Before the "not guilty" verdict was announced in the trial for the policeman who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson back in August, business owners began boarding up their shops in preparation for the imminent shit storm that was brewing. In an interview with Mic, artist Damon Davis said that he wanted to do something "visually appealing" with the boarded-up buildings to "give the people hope, and let them know we stand with them."

He began to take black-and-white photos of people's hands and pasted them onto the walls with permission from the owners, creating what Mic has deemed "the most powerful street art in America."

Image via Mic / Sebastiano Tomada
Image via Mic / Sebastiano Tomada

The images pasted onto the walls of businesses who decided not to "remain neutral" are even more powerful now after seeing the aftermath of last night's protests in Ferguson and in other parts of the country. "Artists play a vital role, telling these stories and keeping history alive," Davis told Mic, adding that his "Hands Up" posters "are important for people who may be on the fence to see. Maybe they'll change their minds. And for those who aren't on our side ... now they know we're still here. And we're not going to back down."

[via Mic]