Insights from Ferguson

November 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers

There have been two sets of “leaks” floated out now to try to confuse, divide, chill, and isolate the struggle for justice for Michael Brown. One has been in relation to the grand jury, and the other has been in relation to a Justice Department investigation.

The grand jury is supposedly considering charges against Darren Wilson, the cop who murdered Michael Brown here in Ferguson, MO on August 9. The latest round of leaks from the grand jury was the autopsy report conducted by the state, and this was THE story on October 22—the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality (not a coincidence). On O22, 100's took the streets that night in Ferguson. But the leak was THE story in the news. 

So there is, as you say, the aspect of basically making sure people get the message that it is likely there will be no indictment of Darren Wilson and to lessen the "shock" of hearing that news. On the other hand the powers-that-be know people are angry and things have not gone back to normal, even as the likelihood of a non-indictment is pushing people into other avenues of seeking redress through dead ends like “get out the vote.” 

Mainly, the powers-that-be are advertising that they are restocking their military power to repress the response to a non-indictment which everyone is expecting. The school district requested that the results of the grand jury not be released on a school day, that in their opinion it would be best if it comes down on a Sunday and that they plan to not hold school the following week. Everyone talks about the decision being after the elections—which shows how political the grand jury process is too!

Then there is a second set of leaks—the Department of Justice saying they will not be bringing civil rights charges against the Ferguson police. This was run as a major New York Times piece a week ago and a couple of days ago in the Washington Post. We are inclined to think that this, combined with the leaks about the police chief being fired and the department being recast (as has just been done in Albuquerque) is what the same pig who said "letting them down slowly" (see the article "System Prepares for Grand Jury Decision: Justifies Murder of Mike Brown, Re-Arms Cops") also called the "consolation prize." They are trying to prepare people for Darren Wilson not being indicted in any fashion and so offering some symbolic gesture even if it is the chief's job (he may not be in the loop of what is going to happen to him or this could all just be rumors).

There is a sense among at least some people that there will be overwhelming force and that the suppression can’t be taken on in a strong way and the fight for justice can’t deepen and grow.

But the system is not all powerful. A lot is going on—leaks, criticisms of leaks by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, announcement of firings of the Ferguson police chief and then his refutation, an Amnesty International investigation on human rights abuses, and some exposure of the real situation getting into mainstream news. There is not controversy among the powers-that-be around a program of enforcing and justifying police murder and criminalization, nor of the need to bring vast resources to suppress people’s struggle. But there are differences among them over HOW to do it. In that, there are REAL CONTRADICTIONS AND DIFFICULTIES among the powers about how to carry out the suppression of expected resistance.

There is intense maneuvering within the ruling class around how to deal with the fact that people have not backed down in demanding justice and an indictment. The system is trying to wear the people out, drag this all out into the coldest time of year, put out all these leaks to at least turn very broad public opinion against the people demanding justice, and try to demoralize the local people and on and on. 

Over the last months the “superstitious awe of the state power” has repeatedly and badly been cracked. The stakes in this struggle for the rulers on the one hand, and on the other hand, for the people, are very high.



Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.