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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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

“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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

(Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Eric Walsh)

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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

Breaking Banner

Washington Post editorial board calls Trump too cowardly to pass background checks in scathing editorial

Published

on

The Washington Post just published a scathing editorial saying that President Donald Trump is far too cowardly to fight for gun safety laws or any kind of gun reform.

For a brief few days, while Trump was on vacation, he was willing to say that background checks needed to be tightened. But once he was on the phone with the National Rifle Association, everything changed. It isn't the first time. When Trump promised action after the Parkland, Florida massacre he said to the faces of parents who'd just lost their children. The next day he reneged. Now Americans are back at step one, where the next shooting is around the corner and even if police are on scene to take the shooter down in less than 60 seconds, people will still die.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s tumbling support among ‘the poorly educated’ may crush his 2020 prospects: report

Published

on

When Donald Trump famously declared, “I love the poorly educated” during his 2016 campaign, it was obvious that he was taking a much more populist (or rather, pseudo-populist) approach than Republican presidential candidates were typically known for. And white males without college degrees continue to be a key part of the president’s base. But Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake, analyzing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday, stresses that when Trump is up against a “generic 2020 Democrat,” he finds himself struggling with non-college educated white women.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Republican donors any recession will be ‘moderate and short’

Published

on

President Donald Trump has spent the last week claiming that any talk of a recession is a conspiracy theory by the media and part of a leftist coup against him.

The message didn't seem to get to his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told Republican donors this week that the recession will be a quick one.

Politico reported the comments Tuesday, saying that it was part of a Jackson, Wyoming fundraiser with White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are supposed to be "camping" with their family, according to her Instagram channel.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image