A group of protesters in Cleveland briefly took up Kendrick Lamar‘s latest single, “Alright” as a rallying cry against police brutality and racial injustice during a demonstration last Sunday. Gathered in the midst of a Black Lives Matter conference that took place there over the weekend, the crowd became increasingly antagonized by law enforcement officers, and then enraged when a 14 year-old boy was taken into custody. Local ABC affiliate newsnet5 reports that officers used pepper spray on protesters who had locked arms in the middle of the street, attempting to prevent a police cruiser to leave and take away the young boy.
The “Alright” chant reportedly came in the midst of this drama, according to the description of a video uploaded to Youtube Tuesday. “Today after the ending of the convening as everyone was walking down the street CPD arrested a 14 yr old,” wrote uploader Blake Piffin. “While everyone was demanding his release an officer pepper sprayed the crowd and further escalated the situation. In unity and solidarity everyone was demanding that he be released, and we stayed and protested until they released him!”
The police critique offered by “Alright” has become more and more pronounced in recent weeks, fueled by Lamar’s recent performance of the song from atop a cop cruiser at the BET Experience, the blistering narrative of its music video, and Lamar’s own assertions that the song is a message of hope for those oppressed by America’s status quo. Watch “Alright” become a protest anthem below, and stay woke.
Spotted at: CoS