by Paul Bowers
Brandon Fish, a well-known activist in Charleston circles, will be traveling to Ferguson, Mo., tomorrow to join and document the protest movement that has been taking place there since the Aug. 9 police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
"It's become a flash point for a lot of different struggles," Fish says. "This kind of militarization of police and violence against unarmed young African Americans, it's been a theme across the country, and I think that Ferguson has kind of become the center of that conflict. I think that what's going on in Ferguson is going to bring the nation's focus to this issue. I'm also going because I think it's a historic moment, and I'd like to be there."
Fish, a College of Charleston student, first crossed paths with the City Paper at Patriots Point in August 2011. Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann was in town making a stump speech, and Fish and his sister were the only two protesters in the parking lot. Fish held up a sign that said, "Pray the Bachmann away." Since then, we've seen Fish out in front at many of the left-leaning protests in town. He was one of the 10 Occupiers who got arrested in Marion Square, and he raised all kinds of hell when the College of Charleston Board of Trustees picked Glenn McConnell as the school's president.
So far, Fish has been chronicling the Ferguson conflict from afar via the Facebook group Justice for Mike Brown-Charleston and his twitter account @CHASubeterrain. He initially set up a GoFundMe page to help fund his trip to Ferguson, but he has since linked up with an activist from Columbia for a carpool. He's leaving the fundraiser site up, though, saying he needs help with personal expenses once he gets there.
By the way, if you've been having a hard time keeping up with the Michael Brown story, Vox.com has a handy explainer that cuts through a lot of the clutter. Click here to read it.