Skip to content

‘Hands Up’ Joins Legacy of Boston Tea Party, Rosa Parks, Selma, Lawmaker Says (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as a symbol of protest against injustice is here to stay, Rep. Al Green said Wednesday on the floor of the House.  

“This is not going to go away,” the Texas Democrat said during a short, public response to critics — chiefly MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough — who have taken issue with Green’s and other black lawmakers’ use, during congressional proceedings two days earlier, of a gesture that has come to symbolize frustration over the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.  

Green said the “Hands Up” movement that has germinated in the wake of last summer’s shooting is the latest in a long line of historic protests, including the Boston Tea Party, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Selma march and Rosa Parks’ refusal to sit at the back of the bus in Montgomery.

Responding directly to talk show host Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who ripped the lawmakers Tuesday, Green said, “I refuse to accept injustice. What happened in Ferguson was an injustice.”  

“I will continue to hold my hands up. I will continue to support those who engage in peaceful protest.”  

The congressman also defended several members of the St. Louis Rams, who made the gesture while taking the field before a National Football League game over the weekend.  

“What happened with the Rams players was a seminal moment, and I want to legitimize what they did.”  

“I will have flags flown over the Capitol of the United States of America in each person’s name. Somebody is going to say, what about the people who may have committed a crime — Washington wasn’t perfect. But we honor him. Jefferson wasn’t perfect. But we honor him.”  

Related:

CBC Members Back Obama’s Call for Police Body Cameras


Ferguson Protestors March to Capitol, SCOTUS, DOJ


After Ferguson Riots, Durbin Calls for Civil Rights Hearing


D.C. Police Roll Out Body Cameras; None Planned for Capitol Police


Congressional Black Caucus Members React to Decision in Ferguson


CBC Members Call for Full DOJ Investigation Into Ferguson Shooting (Updated)


The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress


Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Recent Stories

House passes RFK stadium site bill, boosting dreams of wooing Commanders back to DC

Senate wades into abortion debate with IVF bill, Budget hearing

Supreme Court to decide Trump’s criminal immunity argument

Biden focuses on issues that often fuel GOP campaign attacks

Capitol Lens | Ode to Joe

New York adopts congressional map that benefits Democrats