About 12 hours after the city of Ferguson transformed into America’s version of Tahir Square, I arrived here and asked people a simple question: “Why are you here?”

Amid a night of peaceful and triumphant protests, here are their answers:

KAREN SCHERER, FERGUSON
Karen Scherer

WALTER RICE, FERGUSON
Walter Rice

YOLANDA ELKINS, FERGUSON
Yolanda Elkins

JERRYL T. CHRISTMAS, ST. LOUIS
Jerryl T. Christmas

TAMARA SMITH, NORMANDY
Tamara Smith

ANTHONY SHAHID,  ST. LOUISAnthony Shahid

RENITA LAMKIN,  ST. LOUIS
Renita Lamkin

“DJANGO,” LINDBERGH
Django

DJIMON WHITE AND ANGELA RUCKER, FERGUSON
Djimon White and Angela Rucker

ANTONIO FRENCH,  ST. LOUIS
Antonio French

BRANDY GILYARD AND HER GRANDMOTHER SUSAN JOHNSON, FERGUSON
Brandy Gilyard and her grandmother Susan Johnson,