LOS ANGELES – Kalayaan Mendoza, a Filipino-American activist who made headlines when he administered first aid to a tear gassed journalist during the August riots in Ferguson, Mo., is once again returning to action as he is set to join Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) this weekend in the front lines of protests that are expected to take place in St. Louis.
Mendoza, 35, said that AIUSA will be sending organizers to support the work of activists on the ground in St. Louis during the #FergusonOctober Weekend of Resistance.
“Amnesty USA is returning to Ferguson to answer a national call to action by organizers and the community to converge this weekend for three days of nonviolent direct action, training and community events,” Mendoza said to Asian Journal via social media.
Mendoza is set to serve as an organizer and a street medic for Amnesty USA during the weekend-long activity.
The Weekend of Resistance comes at the heels of yet another controversial fatal shooting of a black teen in St. Louis, after the August killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a small neighborhood in St. Louis.
According to reports, 18-year old Vonderrit D. Meyers was shot dead by an unidentified 32-year-old off duty police officer in the historic Shaw neighborhood on Wednesday, Oct. 8. Police officials claimed that the off-duty cop got into a “physical altercation” with Meyers during a chase. At one point, the officer saw the teen’s shirt raise and saw what he thought was a gun.
Meyers allegedly fired “at least three rounds” at the officer, authorities claimed. The cop then returned fire, unloading at least 17 rounds, resulting in the death of Meyers. Officials said that a 9mm Ruger was recovered at the scene.
However according to Syreeta Meyers, the 18-year-old’s mother, her son was not armed. He was reportedly holding a sandwich.
Democratic state Senator Jamilah Nasheed said that it was “a clear case of racial profiling.”
Injustice to one, injustice to all
For Mendoza, the Filipino community has to stand up for human rights during these times.
“For Filipinos, it is on us, the community, to support others, especially the black community who bears the brunt of racism in our country. Because then, we don’t have the right to complain about what happens to us unless we really stand up for others. Injustice against one community, is in injustice against all communities,” Mendoza said.
Going into this weekend’s activities, Mendoza said that he’s preparing himself emotionally and physically for the use of tear gas, sound cannons, and other tactics against non violent protesters.
Mendoza said that Amnesty USA stands in solidarity with the community in their call for justice, accountability and human rights.
More more information on the Weekend of Resistance can be found on FergusonOctober.com. According to Mendoza, there is a whole list of activities that will take place all throughout the weekend.
“I’d like to invite any Filipinos in the Missouri area or the adjoining states to come this weekend,” Mendoza said.
(LA Weekend October 11-14, 2014 Sec. A pg.6)