As my past post briefly commented on, there have been massive demonstrations protesting the decision not to indite two different white police officers for killing two different black men (the cases were not related). The protests have been heavily covered by the media. People are becoming familiarized with the symbols of these protests. Somebody could watch the news on mute, without headlines at the bottom of the screen, and still know what the story was about. The most prominent protest symbol: people walking with their hands up while chanting "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" (which is in respect to Michael Brown, the black man shot in Ferguson).
The gesture of putting your hands up is a universal sign of surrender. I think it's interesting that protesters are using a gesture of surrender in a fight for justice.I think it shows that they've surrendered to police violence in the past, but now it's time for change.The chant, "hands up, don't shoot" is directly aimed at law enforcement officers.
Despite the fact that there has been conflicting testimony as to weather or not Michael Brown actually did put his hands up before being shot, I still think that this protest symbol is important because it symbolizes more than just Michael Brown's case. I think it's a powerful symbol that is useful to anyone who has felt stereotyped or been a victim to police brutality. I think the symbol embodies the idea of peaceful protest because it demonstrates protesters are not willing to fight physically (they have their hands up), but they're fighting with marches, rallies, and civil disobedience.