Here Are Some Terms From The National Protests That You Should Know

By Alyssa Pereira

Following the decisions to defend the actions of police officers in New York City and Ferguson in the last few weeks, protesters nationwide have assembled to spark action.

Regardless of where your opinions fall on the issue, you can stay informed on some of the nuances that you might be seeing and hearing on television, including phrases, slang, and imagery.

Here are just a few to keep in mind:

Kettling is a police tactic where officers will surround protesters from all sides in an effort to direct them to a particular area.

Black Bloc
Black Bloc is a debated term. To some, it is used to define a group of protesters wearing all black who incite violence in an otherwise peaceful protest. To others, it’s a term too loosely applied to black-clad protesters who simply wish to remain anonymous. In any case, the term is not restricted to the protests currently underway across the nation—it has been in use for years.

Initiated after the non-indictment of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death, die-ins are (hypothetically) peaceful demonstrations where participants simulate being dead in large groups.

“I Can’t Breathe”
A quote derived from video of Eric Garner’s final moments has gone viral, and has evolved into a collective rally cry surrounding national protests. Protesters are wearing t-shirts and carrying signs emblazoned with some of Garner’s final words.

(Creative Commons)

(Creative Commons)

Guy Fawkes masks
Referring to the film V for Vendetta based on a rebel who tried to blow up the British Parliament in 1605, the Guy Fawkes mask has become the literal face of protests in the modern era.


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