The Ferguson Solidarity Tour reached Oxford on Tuesday, with Damon Turner, founder of GREEDY city collective, giving a talk at Wadham.
As well as protesting against racism and police violence, the event sought to demonstrate solidarity with those whose families or loved ones have been “killed by police in the US”.
According to the event’s description, the talk aimed to “amplify the voices of families and protesters making a stand in Ferguson and across the US. We seek to use this moment to build a movement for those fighting injustice here.”
Over 240 students said that they were planning on attending.
The Oxford event was the penultimate talk given in the Solidarity Tour which has already visited London, Manchester and Brighton.
Hosting the Oxford branch of the tour was Oxford rs21, a group aiming to bring “revolutionary socialism into the 21st century”. Other groups involved in the tour included Defend the Right to Protest, United Families and Friends, and the National Union of Student’s Black Student’s Campaign.
Following the withdrawl of Reverend Osagyefo Sekou due to illness,Turner was announced as a speaker shortly before the event took place.
First-year history student Alice Skinner commented: “The event was fantastic and incredibly refeshing as Damon talked about the campaign Black Lives Matter as a person about the lives of real people, instead of angling the debate in political terms and statistics.”
“Damon was a wonderful speaker and was immensely comfortable in his own lyrical language as a spoken word artist, and this self-belief created a sense of hope for the future in the room”.
“I was particularly moved when he was questioned about the slogan and how it is interpreted. He responded that if all black lives did matter, we wouldn’t need the campaign”.
The talk follows a 250-strong Ferguson protest rally outside the Radcliffe Camera last year, one of the largest Ferguson protests in the UK.
The event page on Facebook quotes the Ferguson protesters: ““We march on with purpose. The work continues. This is not a moment but a movement. The movement lives”.