Critics question motives of youth protests in US

World Today

High school students across the United States are walking out of class in solidarity with widespread protests. They say they’re outraged over recent decisions involving white police officers and the deaths of black men. Still, some critics question the motives of these young people. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reported this story from the state of Colorado.

Critics question motives of youth protests in US

High school students across the United States are walking out of class in solidarity with widespread protests. They say they're outraged over recent decisions involving white police officers and the deaths of black men. Still, some critics question the motives of these young people. CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reported this story from the state of Colorado.

It’s become almost a daily occurrence in the city of Denver. High school students hit the streets to vent their anger about race, justice and law enforcement in the U.S.

“Yes, I’m very frustrated right now because how it’s happening in the world. It’s just not okay, it really isn’t,” Armanni Portee, South High School Student said.

“Today’s goal was to get our voices heard about everything,” another student said. Police provide security as protesters directly or indirectly criticize them.

“You look at all of these cases that have happened, this police brutality. There is no justice whatsoever, at all,” Portee said.

“Part of our responsibility is we have to protect some of the very individuals who are protesting against us. But we have to do it in a very professional way,” Chief Robert White from Denver Police department said.

Demonstrations that have become much more frequent and heated after the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case now feature kids in their teens whose motivations can vary widely.

“I think that this is completely stupid. Why because he assaulted a police officer. That’s kind of against the law,” a student said. So why was he marching?

“Ah, I’m going to get some lunch early, get a two hour lunch,” he said.

It may all seem rather not serious, just another excuse to skip school but one academic who studies social movements says these issues are deeply personal to this younger generation. A generation with a higher percentage of kids of color than ones before.

“These young people might experience being followed in a store. They might have police in their schools, so they’re very aware that this could have been them,” Hava Gordon, Associate Professor at the University of Denver said.

Prof. Gordon thinks that like the Occupy Wall Street movement, the latest protests in the U.S. could spur real policy changes later on.Denver’s police chief believes the Brown case and others could end up benefitting his city and these protesters.

“What’s the teaching moment behind these incidents and how can we improve our relationship,” White added. Meantime, many students ignore calls to go back to class and march on.

“Your being present here today is really a symbol that there’s something greatly wrong in your country,” Rev. Del Phillips, Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance said.