Ferguson solidarity women fall in love

Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell

From SheWired in the USA:

Love Through Activism: Two Ferguson Protesters Get Engaged

Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell proclaimed their love with a marriage proposal at St. Louis City Hall.

By: Trudy Ring

December 17 2014 6:22 PM

Love has blossomed through protests: Two women active in the protests over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., are engaged to be married.

Alexis Templeton, 20, and Brittany Ferrell, 25, met in August at demonstrations calling for police accountability after Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson officer. Both are Ferguson residents and students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, but they didn’t know each other previously. In an interview with The St. Louis American, Ferrell recalled when she first saw Templeton.

“She had on an UMSL shirt,” Ferrell said. “I was like, ‘Oh, hey.’ I embraced her just because she was there. You hug people and you welcome them, especially in a time like that.”

Their attraction to each other grew quickly. Templeton’s sister, Bre, said she learned about the relationship in mid-September. “Alex came up and sat with my son and she fed him,” she told The Huffington Post. “She was like, ‘Dude, I got a crush.’ I was like, ‘OK, that’s cool.’ And she was like, ‘No, I got a crush on a girl.’ I asked her how she felt about it and she said good. I asked her if she wanted to talk about it and she said no.”

Templeton and Ferrell discussed marriage in private Monday night, then made a public declaration Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall. “One hundred and thirty days ago, I fell in love with somebody and her 6-year-old mini me,” Templeton said to Ferrell in her proposal, in front of friends, strangers, and media, the American reports. “I didn’t expect you to want to be with me … other than fight on the front lines with me. You have every single piece of my heart.”

The women then obtained a marriage license, the city of St. Louis currently being the only jurisdiction in Missouri issuing licenses to same-sex couples, as onlookers chanted. “Black love matters.” They could have gotten married the same day, but they say they want to plan a gala ceremony. They have 30 days before the license expires.

“There’s going to be a lot of food, drinks, happiness,” Templeton told the American. “I’m going to be the DJ — music over the people,” a reference to her Twitter handle, @musicoverpeople.

The two will continue to be partners in activism. With another woman, Ashley Yates, they founded Millennial Activists United. A friend, James Spann, who acted as best man for their proposal, lauded Templeton and Ferrell’s activism and love.

“Day in and day out, I’d lock arms with these two and stand in the face of quite literally tyranny and oppression, as they shoot rubber bullets at us, as they shoot tear gas at us,” he told the American. “It didn’t matter what the National Guard and the police threw at us. As long as we were together, we built power together and fed off each other’s love and energy.” Seeing them fall in love, he said, was “like watching poetry write itself,” and their dedication to social justice “gives me more than hope.”

As he and the couple left City Hall, Spann jumped and shouted, “Revolutionary love, love, love!” and the three raised their fists in the air.

This video is called Ferguson protest leaders get engaged & apply for marriage license at St. Louis City Hall.

From the Human Rights Campaign Blog in the USA:

Finding Love in Ferguson

December 18, 2014 by HRC staff

Post submitted by Samantha Master, HRC Youth and Campus Engagement Manager

Brittany Ferrell and Alexis Templeton found love in a seemingly hopeless place.

The couple — leading organizers in Ferguson, Missouri, and at the forefront of a movement that has galvanized youth of color against police brutality — was engaged on Tuesday, December 16 at St. Louis City Hall. Their friends held celebratory signs and chanted “Black love matters,” they got their marriage license — an impossibility just a few months ago.

From Poynter.org in the USA:

Aug. 12, 2015 2:07 pm

The News Guild this afternoon condemned charges brought against two Washington-area journalists stemming from their brief detention while covering civil unrest in Missouri last year, joining the chorus of news organizations and journalists who have also voiced their concerns.

The charges, brought by St. Louis County against Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post, came nearly a full year after the pair were arrested in a Ferguson, Missouri McDonalds amid protests against the police in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing.

Lowery and Reilly have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer and have been ordered to appear in a St. Louis County court. They could be arrested if they refuse.

In the statement, the News Guild President Bernie Lunzer called the charges “a gross abuse of power” and a “vile assault on the First Amendment.”

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