Quantcast
Connect with us

‘O Little Town of Ferguson’: NYC carolers serenade shoppers with revamped Christmas classics

Published

on

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amid a sea of holiday shoppers, about 30 protesters, among them professional opera singers, gathered on Sunday in midtown New York to sing Christmas carols modified with lyrics lamenting recent cases of police violence against African American males.

The event, which drew smiles from onlookers, was in contrast to more charged protests, including a night earlier in Seattle, where people threw rocks at police, and in Berkeley, California, where looters smashed store windows.

In the reimagined songs, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” became “O Little Town of Ferguson,” the Missouri city where Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was shot dead in August by a white police officer. A grand jury declined last month to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, sparking a nationwide wave of protests.

Other songs included “All I Want for Christmas is an Indictment” and “Little Drummer Boy,” which was remade into a dirge for Eric Garner, who died in July after being choked by a New York police officer in Staten Island. That officer also avoided indictment in a decision handed down last week.

Organizer Cassandra Oliveras, 35, a self-described “choral freak,” said the idea of adapting carols to the current controversies came to her after a recent protest in Manhattan aimed at stopping the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Police blocked protesters from reaching the site.

“I was so angry and I felt so incredibly hopeless,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep that night and I just stayed up writing these things because they just poured out of me.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The carolers, who began singing at Penn Station before shifting locations, ranged from sign-bearing activists to professional opera singers.

Susanna Mentzer, a mezzo soprano who will perform in “Marriage of Figaro” on Monday at the Metropolitan Opera, said the event marked her first protest.

“I think what’s so unique about current protests is that everyone I know seems outraged,” said Mentzer, 57, who attended with a fellow cast member after learning of the protest on social media.

For some more experienced protesters, the singing represented a welcome change of pace.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Friday there was a definite sense of anger. All you could do is scream,” said Katie Carman, 33, a Manhattan filmmaker, referring to protests in New York.

“Today I wanted to come out and show people we can deliver this message in other ways. But I may be back on the streets shouting.”

(Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Eric Walsh)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mitch McConnell caves into Jon Stewart on 9/11 first responders — finally agrees to meet with them

Published

on

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was completely eviscerated by former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart last week, after McConnell refused to hold a vote on continuing to fund medical care for the 9/11 first responders and workers who helped clean up the collapsed buildings after the attack. But now he's giving in, for now, The New York Post reported.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump is endangering the US by governing like he’s directing a reality TV show: officials

Published

on

President Donald Trump seems to be waffling on whether or not he wants a war in Iran. As it stands, he seems to be against it, pulling back on a military strike that would have killed 150 people and most certainly begun another Middle Eastern war.

In a report from the Washington Post, leaders from policy to politics are telling the president to get it together. The "freewheeling" style of politics may have been a quirky style, but now it's putting the United States in a difficult position.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Conservative columnist tells Trump make good on his threats with Iran or ‘shut up’

Published

on

President Donald Trump appeared to back down last week when it came to an attack on Iran after an oil tanker was allegedly fired upon and the country shot down a U.S. drone during surveillance.

Republicans and even Trump himself has mocked former President Barack Obama for drawing a "red line" for Syria but being unwilling to act further. In Obama's case, the president saw the country cross the red line and asked Congress to give him a declaration of war. Republicans refused at the time.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Raw Story is investing in progressive journalism. Ad-free memberships support original reporting. Help us make a difference.

Learn why we're trying to limit ads.
close-link