In the eight days since Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old, was killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, what began as an impromptu vigil evolved into a sustained protest; it is now beginning to look like a movement.
The local QuikTrip, a gas station and convenience store that was looted and burned on the second night of the protests, has now been repurposed as the epicenter for gatherings and the exchange of information. The front of the lot bears an improvised graffiti sign identifying the area as the “QT People’s Park.”
With the exception of a few stretches, such as Thursday afternoon, when it was veiled in clouds of tear gas, protesters have been a constant presence in the lot. On Sunday afternoon the area was populated by members of local churches, black fraternity and sorority groups, Amnesty International, the Outcast Motorcycle Club, and twenty or so white supporters from the surrounding area.
On the north side of the station, a group of volunteers with a mobile grill served free hot dogs and water, and a man stood on a crate, handing out bright yellow T-shirts with the logo of the National Action Network, the group led by Al Sharpton.
The conversation here has shifted from the immediate reaction to Michael Brown’s death and toward the underlying social dynamics. Two men I spoke with pointed to the disparity in education funding for Ferguson and more affluent municipalities nearby.
Another talked about being pulled over by an officer who claimed to smell marijuana in the car as a pretense for searching him.
“I’m in the United States Navy,” he told me. “We have to take drug tests in the military so I had proof that there were no drugs in my system. But other people can’t do that.”
Six black men I spoke to, nearly consecutively, pointed to Missouri’s felon-disfranchisement laws as part of the equation.
“If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register,” one said.
Ferguson’s elected officials did not look much different than they had years earlier, when it was a largely white community.
It is a movement
friends are supposed to make you feel good about yourself
just remember that
Protesters upset about the smearing of Mike Brown converged at CNN headquarters.
your life is worth living even if you’re “not doing anything”
your life is worth living even if you are “letting life pass you by”
your life is worth living even if you stay in bed all day every day watching netflix
you don’t have to be big, beloved, important, beautiful, wealthy or famous
there is dignity in just being
it is ok to be
you merely have to be
I think what people aren’t getting about what’s happening in Ferguson is that if a police force in a city of less than 30,000 people can mobilize into a military force so quickly, imagine what the NYPD could do. Philly PD. LAPD. Chicago PD. Detroit PD.
there are folks out…
the dedication recovery
You cannot avoid it,
nor can you speed through it.
take your time.
Your path may alter,
your rest stops may change,
but you will be
I’m getting scared as fuck to be alive right now.
Don’t let it disappear. Not now, not ever.
I can’t handle this dog.
a cop just threatened to shoot the livestream operator in the face please continue to boost the stream links all over so that these journalists life and death efforts reach as many people as possible
Chaos in Ferguson. Sunday night, part 4
August 17th, 2014
Captain Johnson broke a direct promise he made on Saturday when officers and SWAT under his control broke up the night’s demonstration using military-like vehicles and tear gas while enforcing a midnight curfew.
Johnson insisted at a press conference earlier in the day that those methods would not be used.
“We won’t enforce it with trucks, we won’t enforce it with tear gas. We’ll communicate. We’ll talk about, you know what, it’s time to go home,” Johnson told a boisterous crowd.
But shortly after midnight, when the curfew went into effect, riot police equipped with rifles, shields and five armored vehicles, shot tear gas and smoke grenades to disperse defying protesters chanting “No Justice, No Curfew”.
It was initially unclear whether tear gas or smoke was volleyed. Police spokesmen on the ground told reporters there that the anti-riot agent they were using was merely smoke.
But several reporters tweeted pictures of the canisters they picked off the ground which showed that riot CS smoke was being used.
not to mention live rounds.