Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American who had recently graduated from high school, was walking with his friend Dorin Johnson through Ferguson, Missouri on Sat. Aug. 9 when they were accosted leading to Brown being gunned down by local police. Several eyewitness accounts of the killing suggesting that Brown had his hands up when he was shot multiple times quickly turned into outrage as hundreds of his fellow community members went into the streets to condemn the brutal attack.
Immediately mass demonstrations were organized where people entered the streets with their arms up, in the same fashion as Brown when he was killed, shouting “Don’t Shoot Us.” Brown’s mother, Leslie McSpadden, lamented that she had been overjoyed with her first-born son’s graduation from high school. It is a monumental achievement for African American young people who face countless pitfalls within a racist society which degrades their existence daily.
Brown was scheduled to begin classes at a technical college just two days after he was slain by police. People within his age group knew that this could have been anyone of them as well.
The step-father of Brown, Louis Head, stood on the street with a sign saying that the police had executed his son. Anger had reached a fever pitch by Sat. evening and the people were refusing to leave the streets.
By Sun. other demonstrations were planned including a vigil outside the Ferguson police station. Cops on the scene began to push the crowd back from the streets in fear of the growing mass discontent of the young people.
Reports indicate that a section of the demonstration pulled away and began to break windows and trash stores. Police were taken aback and fled from one location to another trying to contain the unrest.
Local corporate media outlets immediately began to describe those who were attacking private property as “opportunists and criminals.” They would find people from Ferguson who would urge the youth to refrain from violent actions and to remain peaceful.
Yet police operations against youth targeted as “looters and arsonists” were by no means peaceful. Dozens were arrested and plums of teargas spread throughout the affected areas in Ferguson.
Back Into the Streets
People were not dissuaded by the media framing of the developments on Sun. Aug. 10. Another demonstration was held on Mon. Aug. 11 where thousands came into the streets.
The community was demanding that the policeman who killed Brown be arrested. The officer’s name was supposed to be disclosed on Aug. 12.
By nightfall on Aug. 11, police were mobilized for waging war against the African American community. People were being contained through roadblocks set up in areas where demonstrations had taken place over the last three days.
Youth in defiance of the police attempted to reassert their democratic rights to assemble and protest against the repressive conditions that lead to the killing of Michael Brown and the atmosphere that has prevailed since then in Ferguson. Law-enforcement agencies from throughout the region have been deployed in the suburb of 21,000 people, most of whom are African Americans.
Soon enough as night fell, the police began to fire teargas, beanbags and rubber bullets into residential neighborhoods trying to force people off the streets and into their homes. More arrests took place raising the total to over 50.
Police claimed that they were fired on by unknown assailants. These reports could not be fully documented but it served to further raise tensions among law-enforcement officers dressed in military gear patrolling Ferguson in armored vehicles.
National Oppression and Militarism
On Aug. 12 the much-anticipated announcement of the name of the officer involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown was not revealed. Police claim the name was not made public because of fears for his safety.
Nonetheless, the safety of Brown and thousands of other African Americans in Ferguson was not considered on Aug. 9, the day of his killing; or since then with the massive occupation of the community by law-enforcement. Anticipating continuing anger and mass demonstrations, the authorities in Ferguson declared a so-called “no-fly zone” over the suburb on Aug. 12.
A news report on this declaration said that “Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, on Tuesday instituted a no-fly zone over the suburban town where tensions have been high in the wake of the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by a police officer. The off-limits airspace, which extends to 3,000 feet over the town north of St. Louis, was requested by the St. Louis County Police Department, which is investigating the killing of Michael Brown, 18, by an unnamed Ferguson Police Department officer.” (nbcnews.com)
In a statement issued by the Ferguson police it says “On Sunday night our police helicopter came under fire on 3 or 4 occasions, so we requested that the FAA put up a no-fly zone for the safety of pilots who would be in the area,” St. Louis County Police Department Officer Brian Schellman said. This “no-fly zone” will be in effect until Monday, Aug. 18.
Although no helicopters or police vehicles were reportedly hit, Schellman said that “We don’t know if it was a long gun or a handgun or what. Many suspected that the live news coverage of the rebellion in Ferguson had proved troublesome for the local authorities where press helicopters have provided aerial views of the unrest.
Interestingly enough, it appears as if the commercial air traffic in and out of St. Louis will not be impacted by the “no-fly zone.” The police sought to deny that these measures were designed to curtail the world spotlight now on Missouri and the racist violence perpetuated by law-enforcement in the U.S. against the African American and other nationally oppressed communities.
In response to the allegations of media censorship, Schellman emphasized “We understand that that’s the perception that’s out there, but it truly is for the safety of pilots. Its scary stuff to them, so that’s the reason the commanders made the call. I understand that it’s nice for media helicopters to get up there, but we have not restricted any media access on the ground.” (nbcnews.com, Aug. 12)
The police killing of Michael Brown is by no means an isolated incident. These shootings take place almost on a daily basis at the hands of the police and racists outside the organized armed wing of the racist state in the U.S.
Marlene Pinnock in Los Angeles County was nearly killed by a California Highway Patrolman on July 1 when she was held down and beaten repeatedly in the face and head. If this blatant violation of civil and human rights had not been caught on videotape it may have gone unnoticed by the world.
Oppression Breeds Resistance
What distinguishes the killing of Brown in Ferguson is that the community rose up immediately in righteous indignation. Whether non-violent or violent, the African American people were justified in striking back against the oppression they face on a daily basis.
U.S. society is built on the oppression of people of color communities and the level of state-sanctioned violence is escalating. President Barack Obama, although of African descent, does nothing to address the special oppression of the African American people.
Despite the massive unemployment, underemployment, incarceration rates and law-enforcement repression facing African Americans, these issues are never addressed by the White House, the Congress or the corporations which dictate government policy. Attacks on private property during anti-racist rebellions represent the alienation of the nationally oppressed from the dominant economic interests that control the U.S. and the world.
Even though the White House and Wall Street will only respond to an African American rebellion with benign neglect and further state repression, it does not hesitate on a foreign policy level to engage in more wars against people throughout the world. Several days prior to the brutal killing of Michael Brown, Obama authorized and carried out aerial bombardments in northern Iraq under the guise of protecting civilians and religious minorities.
Of course most people in the U.S. opposed the Iraq war which Obama promised to end when he ran for office in 2008. Nevertheless, he has re-entered the Iraqi theater again adding to the administration’s wars against Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Somalia and others.
Whether it is the people of Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East or those of the oppressed communities of Los Angeles, New York or St. Louis, their lives become worthless in the face of the imperatives of the powerbrokers of Washington and Wall Street. However, these peoples will inevitably respond through rebellion and other forms of resistance against a militarily and economically powerful enemy which acts not out of principle but based upon the continuing mad drive for profits and military supremacy over the vast majority of humanity.
By Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine
Covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri: St. Louis Alderman Antonio French provided coverage of protests in the St. Louis suburb last night: “A line of police cars with high beams on greets anyone trying to enter #Ferguson. It’s shut down. No media allowed.”
Some of the photos coming out of Ferguson more closely resemble a war zone than a suburban community in Missouri.
Officers — some riding in military vehicles — responded to the unrest wearing full-camo riot gear, combat boots and armed with “short-barreled 5.56-mm rifles based on the military M4 carbine, with scopes that can accurately hit a target out to 500 meters,” according to Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra.
By David Ferguson, Raw Story
Police in the embattled town of Ferguson, Missouri shot down another man in the early hours of Wednesday morning, roughly a mile from the site of the town’s protests against the slaying of unarmed black teen Michael Brown on Saturday.
MSNBC reported that around 1:00 a.m., St. Louis County Police responded to a report of gunshots and of five or six African-American men toting shotguns and wearing ski masks.
Officers told MSNBC that when they arrived on the scene, a group of men there scattered and ran. One of them reportedly pointed a handgun at police, which they said gave them no option other than to shoot. The suspect was injured and taken to an area hospital in police custody.
Police also said that an area woman was injured in a drive-by shooting earlier in the night, but that neither shooting appeared to be related to the protests that took place in Ferguson on Tuesday.
On Saturday, a Ferguson police officer shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown. Witness and police accounts of the killing differ sharply. Police claim that Brown attacked a police officer, who fired on him in self-defense.
Witnesses who were on the scene on Saturday claim that Brown and a friend were being harassed by a police officer who singled out the boys and attacked them.
Since Saturday, the town has been riven, with protesters claiming that the lives of African-Americans matter little to the police, who behave more and more like an armed gang and less like protectors of the public peace. Police have responded aggressively to the street demonstrations, firing tear gas, wooden projectiles and rubber bullets into the crowds to force them to disperse.
Now, state officials are reportedly mulling whether or not to call in the National Guard to maintain the peace. The police force has refused to release the name of the officer who killed Brown, claiming that to do so would endanger his safety.
The Department of Justice is currently investigating the Brown case, with a DoJ representative telling NBC that the FBI, federal civil rights attorneys and a team from the Community Relations Service are watching the situation in Ferguson carefully.
By TBogg, Raw Story
God-bothering Fox News contributor Todd Starnes, flogger of bullshit stories, gender hysteric, and literal embodiment of what comes out of your ass if you contract Ebola, is not a big fan of President Barack Obama.
No sir, he is not.
If you are not familiar with Starnes, all you need to know is that he was once grotesquely obese and about to die until he was forced to have heart surgery and lose a shit-ton of weight–which he has since put back on — and that he possesses the the ability to take the most anodyne story and pump it up to levels of mendacity and stupidity that would make Jim Hoft blush, and Hoft is the Dumbest Man on the Internet, mind you.
So when President Obama expressed condolences to the family of 18-year-old Michael Brown — who was gunned down in the street in Ferguson, MO. — while at the same time appealing for calm in the city, Starnes decided that, well, you know, the President was just sticking up for “his people,” if you know what I mean …. hint hint … dog whistle …. “the sheriff is a nig-clang.”
Here, briefly, is part of Obama’s statement:
“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time”
“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”
That seems like a fairly harmless and responsible statement, right?
Here is Starnes’ takeaway:
You read that right.
Obama did not extend condolences to the police officer who was “allegedly” attacked by Michael Brown who — and let’s be blunt here — was ‘literally’ murdered by that police officer, according to a witness whom the police haven’t gotten around to interviewing yet because they’re too busy playing — in the words of Cintra Wilson — “Space Nazis” in the streets of Ferguson.
Starnes has certainly upped his game, having missed the opportunity to condemn the President for expressing his condolences to the families of the children slaughtered at Sandy Hook, but not to the NRA, back in 2012. Hell, recently Starnes blew the chance to upbraid the President for sending out his condolences to the family and friends of Robin Williams, but not to the belt manufacturers of America.
Bless his soon-to-be-exploding heart…
By Arturo Garcia, Raw Story
An unidentified Missouri man posted, then took down, video of himself spewing insults and racial slurs while driving past a group of Black residents in Ferguson, Crooks and Liars reported.
“If it was a white person, nobody would care,” the man can be heard saying while passing a local convenience store that was vandalized during the two nights of demonstrations and looting following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. “F*ck y’all.”
The video was originally posted on Tuesday by a user calling himself “Brandon,” who described it by calling the motorist a “Crazy white guy driving a 2014 yellow Camaro. He was filming and dropped his camera so I wanted to post this to the world.” It was later taken down but resurfaced after being posted by another user.
“Look at all this trash,” the man can be heard saying while passing by a man sweeping up the store parking lot while wearing what appears to be a fraternity shirt. “And you call yourselves educated. That’s why you’re in north county.”
As the car makes its way through the parking lot, an unidentified woman yells at the man to leave the area, to which he responds, “Go back to Africa. If it was a white person, nobody would give a f*ck. Look at that n*gger.”
The car then leaves the parking lot and makes its way back into regular traffic as the man continues berating the demonstrators.
The video follows sporadic reports of racist language being hurled at protesters in the wake of the fatal shooting of Brown by a local police officer. Reuters reported that authorities backed out of their plan to reveal the identity of the officer who shot Brown, citing fears of retaliation.
Watch the video, as posted online on Tuesday, below.
REPORT: the Missouri Citizen’s Militia is NOW IN Ferguson to protect innocent Americans from the tyrannical ‘police state’
Graphic Video – MOMENTS after Police Shot Killed Mike Brown Body Ferguson Looting Riots
The tension in a St. Louis suburb following the shooting of an
unarmed African-American teenager by a police officer was thrown into
stark relief Sunday night in a video captured by CNN of a police officer yelling a derogatory phrase at protesters.
“Bring it, all you fucking animals! Bring it!” the officer said in the exchange.
Watch the CNN segment above.huffingtonpost
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