September 28th, Ferguson

Barbeque in the Afternoon....Defiance and "Indict NOW" at Night

October 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/ received the following correspondence from Ferguson:

Sunday night, September 28, about 300 people gathered on South Florissant Road across from the Ferguson police station. The Organization for Black Struggle invited their “white allies” to join them with pots and makeshift drums to make a lot of noise, which they beat while chanting and calling out the police. This was a very good development as the crowd included people of all different nationalities including close to 40% white students, middle class people and some from the ’60s.  It expressed that Black people are not alone in the struggle for justice for Michael Brown.

A wall of officers, some carrying riot gear, formed a line down the street facing the protesters, who at times hurled expletives and shouted: “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” “Michael Brown did not have to die, we all know the reason why, the whole damn system is guilty as hell.” “Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail.” “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Darren Wilson has got to go.” There were many comments yelled at the police by protesters who faced off with the cops. People were loud, defiant and up in the cops' faces.  Many young white women and men joined the front lines, locked arms and blocked any attempt by the police to surge into the crowd.

The protesters defied the police over and over again. At a certain point after marching and a short rally, people marched back, then took the streets, refusing police orders to remain on the sidewalk. Police cruisers with their lights blaring surrounded the protesters, but at that point they were unable to do anything, so they backed up. This happened a number of times where the police took the middle of the street, then pulled back with people waving and singing “good-bye.”

Eight people were arrested on charges of resisting arrest and failure to obey the police. The cops in riot gear surged into the crowd a number of times, knocking people down and grabbing people. Women on the front lines were fiercely opposing people getting busted. The tensions grew very high, people calling out anyone who collaborated with the police in no uncertain terms. Several legal observers said people appeared to be picked out of the crowd randomly while legally protesting on the sidewalk.

The arrested—some who seemed to be targeted, other grabbed randomly—were being treated like hostages, being used to try and intimidate and manipulate other protesters. There was sharp debate among the protesters—should people negotiate with the police to try and get people out of jail without charges or bond if they “toned things down” and remained on the sidewalk? Others were saying, no way should the people negotiate with the police. The police had in the last week been raising bond to $1,000 vs. just cutting people loose with or without charges.

Throughout the protest people held up Day 49, Indict NOW! Revolution newspapers had been out in the crowd the days preceding at many of the protests, and many people had gotten them. Most protesters had “Indict NOW” buttons on which people loved, repeating “Not tomorrow, not next week but now!” One of the people from the Stop Mass Incarceration committee passed out the call for the Month of Resistance activities. Protest continues every night in front of the police station.

Earlier in the day a few revolutionaries were invited to a barbeque over at Canfield Gardens, the site of the murder of Mike Brown. When we got to Canfield there were artists painting pictures of Mike Brown and other art forms to be sold to raise money for his family—as part of an October contribution for justice. Some were part of the Hands Up Coalition and others were drawn by the need for creative people to speak out in their own way to help the family.

The site of Michael Brown's murder draws people from all over. Just today people from Nashville, other cities in Missouri, students, people who used to live in the neighborhood, and five female pastors all came to look at, pay respect and take photos of the memorial.

Some ministers were here from churches in the Chicago area and spoke to how they had read about the murder of Michael Brown but that it was another thing to come down and see the memorial and meet the people who had been fighting to get justice.  They were moved by the poster we had—“We refuse to accept slavery in any form.” They said that this poster really spoke to all oppression and took a number to post at their churches. They were intrigued by the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on Revolution and Religion, wanting to know if buses were leaving from Chicago. People took stacks of the pluggers about the Dialogue to get out to their friends and churches in Chicago saying they would call the number on the plugger when they got back. People discussed what it would take to get rid of the crimes of mass incarceration, police brutality, and the criminalization of a generation. 

We got into how people need to get free from this capitalist system; that it would take a revolution and that we were building that movement now. We talked about how the October Month of Resistance and the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian were two major ways that people needed to be part of changing the whole trajectory around police murder and bringing forward a whole new morality.

The question of the youth among people was a big one, with most thinking that the youth needed to come to god to get that morality. We said you need to be at this Dialogue and engage this question. We showed people Revolution newspaper with the call for the Dialogue and the need to get this postcard out; there is nothing like this happening anywhere and you need to be there!

They were also into mentoring women on domestic violence so they got a copy of Break the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution. One pastor was excited and said, we were just talking about “breaking the chains.” When we asked her what that meant she said women have to get free of abusive relationships and be able to stand on their own.

As people from the neighborhood dropped by, some listened to Chuck D’s new audio, reading the pledge for the October Month of Resistance, most took up the” Indict Now!” button and Revolution newspapers and fliers for the month. One brother wasn’t sure if he would put it on, saying “people might think I want to be indicted.” But then since everyone had it on so he did. During the afternoon there was spoken word, drumming, and singing. Copwatch was present, who have given cameras to all the residents along with “Know your legal rights” pamphlets.

Last week the memorial to Michael Brown had been burnt to the ground under very suspicious circumstances.  Today, out of nowhere, a red car came driving backwards down the street at high speed and took out part of the memorial. It happened so fast it took your breath away. People ran into the street, but the car continued to race backwards up the street and around the corner. It was a cowardly act, but the memorial was quickly rebuilt.

A young brother from the project took responsibility for the barbeque. He raised how he had been thinking a lot about history in a more scientific way. We got him the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and will be going back to talk to him. As we left more people of all nationalities and ages were coming by to sing and dance.


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