For many this year, Thanksgiving was a time of protest as well as giving thanks. For Massachusetts band Speedy Ortiz, the season was about both of those things, as their protest against the controversial Ferguson grand jury decision yielded a bounty for the town.
Late last week, the rock band put their first two records -- The Death of Speedy Ortiz and Cop Kicker -- up on Bandcamp for free in honor of the band's three-year anniversary as well as Blackout Black Friday, a protest against events in Ferguson that comprised boycotting big retailers.
"The lack of indictment in the deaths of Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO, John Crawford III of Ohio, and many, many more victims of police deaths are unacceptable in this modern society," the movement's Website reads. "To that end, we will cease spending money on American retail corporations until a change is made."
Instead of snapping up the albums for free, however, fans of the band gave back -- garnering Speedy Ortiz nearly $1,000 in profits. Instead of keeping the money, however, the band announced on Facebook that all the proceeds from record sales would be going to Ferguson Municipal Public Library, which became a bastion of hope and peace among the rioting and unrest that followed last week's grand jury decision.
The library was one of the only institutions that remained open during the period of upheaval directly following the decision, according to the Missoulian, and less than a day after the news hit that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown, more than 3,000 people had donated to it. So far, it has been reported that the library has raised more than $100,000.
"Thanks all who gave for our 2 nascent albums this weekend," Speedy Ortiz wrote on Facebook of their own sizable donation. "We're so happy with the donation y'all helped us send to Ferguson Municipal Public Library." They also included a link to the library's donation page so that interested parties can continue to support the institution as the town -- and world -- continues to struggle to make sense of the grand jury's decision and its many ramifications.