Activists and members of the media are posting tributes to Bassem Masri, a Muslim Palestinian-American civil rights advocate and Ferguson, Missouri, activist whose death was announced on Tuesday. Masri, who live-streamed the 2014 protests in Ferguson following the death of teenager Michael Brown, was remembered as a passionate, committed soldier in the fight for social justice.
With his death, Masri is the fourth Ferguson activist in as many years to pass away.
Masri’s family shared the news of his passing on Facebook Tuesday.
“A gentle man who was fierce when he faced injustice,” Faizan Syed wrote of Masri, who he credited with helping to unite the fight for “black liberation and Palestinian liberation.”
“We ask everyone to pray and make dua for Bassem and his family. May Allah accept his sacrifices for justice and overlook his flaws and mistakes,” Syed added. The causes and circumstances of Masri’s death are still unknown.
Tributes to Masri poured in from people who worked within or covered the Ferguson Uprising, which protested police brutality in the St. Louis area after Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson. Basri would livestream the protests in and around Ferguson and St. Louis. People who knew him described Basri as being an essential, “fearless” voice in the movement.
Three other Ferguson activists have died since the protests, including Edward Crawford and DeAndre Joshua, whose deaths were both ruled suicides. In 2016, Darren Seals was found dead in a burning car, six gunshot wounds riddling his body. His murder is still unsolved.
In addition, Danye Jones, the son of activist Melissa McKinnies, was found dead hanging from a makeshift noose in October. While police consider Jones’ death a suicide, McKinnies says her son was lynched.
Before passing, Masri had his sights set on political office. Just three months ago, he wrote on Facebook that he intended to run for Missouri state representative in 2020.
“My allegiance is not for sale,” Masri wrote, adding that it was a time for a new chapter in Missouri politics. “I would like to help out the other state representatives that work tirelessly to get justice for the voiceless.”
Memorial services for Masri are scheduled to be held today, according to his family.