Protests in Ferguson, Day 5:
Going Up Against Police Martial Law

August 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


August 14

From a correspondent in Ferguson, MO

Ferguson, MO is under siege. Even though they don't say it, it is martial law, straight up. The city has been cut off from the rest of the surrounding area. Police vehicles have set up blockades at many intersections using military personnel carriers and riot police. The U.S. government has given military hardware to local police and they are using it against the people to try and intimidate them.

There is a no-fly zone over the city, and drones are being used to enable the authorities to focus on the protesters. Police helicopters have been hovering above the protest, streaming bright lights all over the protest area. There is the feeling of a war zone and the use of war tactics being brought down on the people in this city. But people have not backed down. People have been unable to move in or out of their homes; they have been confronted with dogs, flash grenades, rubber bullets, and tear-gas canisters as they have peacefully protested.

Last night as we all stood our ground against military armored personnel carriers with police aiming M-16s with live ammo at the protesters, lines of cops in riot gear—I thought about the need to stand with the people against the crimes of this system; the possibility of getting shot or killed crossed my mind, and how critical it was for revolutionaries to be on the front lines leading and giving voice to the people. I thought about Katrina—what it would have been like to lead people across the bridge in New Orleans, when police and armed racist vigilantes fired at people who were trying to escape the floodwaters from the hurricane that had devastated the city—and then about the need to put our lives on the line to be on the streets with the people here in Ferguson.

At the moment when the pigs called for dispersal, we linked arms with others from Ferguson as the police marched toward us. People yelled and chanted, “Stand your ground,” “Hands up, don't shoot.” Usually, when the media leave is a clear sign that the pigs are getting ready to attack. This time they didn't leave, and within minutes the flash-bang grenades hit, huge sparks flew across the street, gas canisters flew, sound grenades exploded—and in the dark, the riot police marched toward us. At a certain point people broke into smaller groups and ran into the neighborhood with the riot police shooting more tear gas that was now clouding the whole neighborhood.

As people gathered at corners in the neighborhood, there was a feeling that this was not over; that people have courageously stood up, that this has to stop today, and people refuse to live this way. As we walked toward our car, people said, “See you tomorrow.”

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