Ferguson community struggles for justice, unity and peace

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A many-year resident from the Ferguson area told Peoplesworld.org that, despite images appearing on national television, residents here continue to peacefully demonstrate daily for justice after the police killing last week of unarmed 18-year-old-Michael Brown.

Describing how, due to huge turnout, it took her hours to travel the two miles from her home to the site of a rally in a packed church Sunday, she said, "for the majority it was a day of healing, a day of looking for answers."

"This is my neighborhood. You are my family. You are my friends. And I am you," Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told the 1,300 people at the rally. "When this is over - I'm gonna go to my son's room, my black son, who wears his pants sagging, who wears his hat cocked to one side, who's got tattoos on his arms...But that's my baby."

The long-time area resident who spoke with Peoplesworld.org today said that what people wanted inside that rally, which was organized by the National Action Network, was due process, rigorous investigations into the death of Brown, and the arrest and filing of charges against the officer responsible. "Above all they want transparency," she said.

It is the preliminary autopsy, according to reports, that has convinced the Brown family that the police officer who shot him should be arrested. The autopsy showed that Brown could have been shot from as far away as 30 feet. Six bullets entered his body and at least two ricocheted and travelled back through his body. Bullet wounds to his arms could have been sustained by putting his arms up. "Hands up! Don't shoot" has become a rallying cry for protesters.

Skepticism and lack of trust by the community has led to President Obama ordering a full-scale investigation by the Justice Department and the FBI and an order from Attorney General Eric Holder for a federal medical examiner to perform a second autopsy.

Referring to the release of tapes that allege Brown's involvement in a robbery of candy at a local store, Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the family of Michael Brown, condemned the police for what he called a "smear" campaign against the murdered teen's character.

"There is nothing that can justify the execution-style murder in broad daylight by this police officer," he said

Rev. Al Sharpton added political context when he spoke. "Where are the leading candidates for president?" he asked. "Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, don't get laryngitis on this issue. You can't get to the White House without stopping by our house and talk about policing."

The area resident, who spoke with People's World, said people are angry too, about the almost complete absence of the mayor, James Knowles III, since events began last week. "There is a problem when you have a 67 percent black town with only three out of 53 officers who are black and a mayor who is white," she said. People had set up a voter registration table near the store that is "ground zero" in the protests and it is expected that the current crisis in Ferguson will be reflected in a change in voter turnout in future elections.

Already there are calls for the establishment of civilian review boards chosen by the people in a number of Missouri towns, including Ferguson.

Back at the rally, Sharpton also condemned the few who have carried out violence in and around the protest sites. "Don't loot in Michael Brown's name," he said. "We're not looters, we're liberators."

The positive feelings during the day Sunday yielded to a different type of situation after nightfall with protesters being doused with tear gas again. Local residents, including the person who spoke with Peoplesworld.org, said that they did not see anyone throwing Molotov cocktails or firing guns, as police had reported.

"All we were doing was marching," Lisha Williams, a local protester who was tear gassed told MSNBC.

Chris Hayes, who was reporting from the scene for that cable channel, said cops threatened him with mace if he tried to get any closer to report on the protests.

Photo: Saturday, Aug. 16, protesting the police shooting death of Michael Brown a week ago in Ferguson, Missouri. Despite heavy rainfall and lightning, hundreds of protesters gathered. Charlie Riedel/AP.

 

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  • Local, first African American, former school Superintendent of Ferguson-Florissant Schools, Dr. Art McCoy, interviewed today on local radio, stated that "power concedes nothing without demand"-to quote maybe our greatest American leader Frederick Douglass- as the many, the vast majority, of demonstrators in Ferguson, from far and near, are supporting and complying.
    The pervasive system of usurpation of the power of the African American community, with guns, clubs, jails, racist courts, poisonous chemicals, vicious dogs, and forcible control, a combined system of housing discrimination, discrimination in voting registration, education and mobilization, racist real estate practices, and racist banking policies which bolster these practices, media control, the perpetuation of racist, sexist, stereotypes, the monopolized mass media by big capital, of which the communities have little or no control or influence, poor educational opportunities, in poorly informed and studied public, private, largely racist educational institutions, from pre-school level, to university level, with racist, white male dominated policing in communities of color, all combine, to deny power to people, and aggrandize power to maleness, whiteness and money-the vaunted "business community" in which the swollen, racist, monopolies are virtually worshipped as idols- you know them-Westinghouse, Emerson, Boeing, General Electric, Koch Industries, ect-those "public" stocks which the public cannot afford, and which concerns pay no public taxes.
    This is why, how, when and where unarmed, innocent, by accounts, Michael Brown Junior was slaughtered in broad daylight by officer Darren Wilson-hit by gun fire six to eight times-hands in the air-pleading "DON'T SHOOT".
    The whole community demands justice-and is boldly stating that it is not satisfied with this murder and will not be until there is an end to it and its whole recipe and condition-for Michael Brown and family and the ten thousands and ten thousands of families like the Brown family.
    The community is stating there will be no peace until there is justice-as the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King stated-quoting the Bible's Amos-until justice rolls down like waters from a mighty stream.
    The community is ready to go to local, state, regional, national and international sources to get this justice, and to maintain this justice for its posterity-which the struggle for justice for Michael Brown-affectionately known as "Mike-Mike" represents.
    The community, using all these sources, will be successful-as the struggle continues-for posterity,
    for "Mike-Mike" and community, a community which inexorably "DEMANDS JUSTICE".

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 08/19/2014 11:27am (9 months ago)

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