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‘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.”  


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