Our spark:

On Saturday, August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, MO, Officer Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown, an unarmed, Black, 18-year-old, with his hands up in a posture of surrender. To this day, the officer has not been arrested and police have used excessive force and military weapons against peaceful protesters. 

To combat the injustice in this case and countless others, and to dismantle the system that allowed it to happen in the first place, youth in Ferguson have formed a movement called Hands Up United. Our goal is to bring justice to Mike Brown in the short term, and prevent future incidents by building a nation-wide movement to dismantle the New Jim Crow and the prison industrial complex.

This means an end to state sponsored violence, including the excessive use of force by law enforcement.  It means ending mass incarceration and the criminalization of black and brown people. It means ending racial bias and white supremacy in all its forms. Our dreams are directly linked with those resisting militarism, war, and state repression around the world. We will achieve this new beloved community hand in hand, step by step, in global solidarity with all people committed to lasting peace and full justice.



Our approach:

We are starting a different kind of social movement.  As a youth-led movement, our aim is to:

  1. AMPLIFY: First and foremost, we amplify youth voices, our voices, which are often left out of conversations on social justice. 
  2. ENGAGE: We also know that what happened in Ferguson happens all over the country. We aim to spark a national conversation that engages people throughout the country. 
  3. TRAIN: To achieve justice, we know that youth need the tools and skills to make real change happen. And so, Hands Up United creates and provides tools, trainings, and leadership at our space in Ferguson that will continue to grow this movement. 


Our space:

We have a vibrant, open space by and for youth in Ferguson that serves as a place for meeting, creating, organizing, and movement-building.
Join us!

Our Demands

Local Demands 

  1. Swift and impartial investigation by the Department of Justice into the Michael Brown shooting and an expanded Department of Justice investigation into patterns of civil rights violations by police across North St. Louis County.
  2. Immediate arrest of Darren Wilson.
  3. County Prosecutor Robert McCullough to stand down and allow a Special Prosecutor to be appointed.
  4. Firing of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson.
  5. Accountability for police practices and policies, including effective civilian review regarding shootings and allegations of misconduct. 
  6. Immediate de-escalation of militarized policing of protestors to protect constitutional rights.
  7. Immediate release of individuals who have exercised their rights to assemble and protest.

National Demands

  1. Obama to come to Ferguson to meet with the people whose human rights have been violated by aggressive and militarized policing, including the family of the victim – Michael Brown.

  2. Eric Holder to use the full resources and power of the Department of Justice to implement a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities.

  3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities by requiring front facing cameras in police departments with records of racial disparities in stops, arrests, killings, and excessive force complaints.

  4. Immediate suspension without pay of law enforcement officers that have used or approved excessive use of force. Additionally, their names and policing history should be made available to the public.