St. Louis:

Dramatic die-in marks 100 days of injustice and struggle

November 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers

Die-in and street theater in St. Louis on Nov 16 demands justice for Michael Brown. Photos:

End White Supremacy

Indict America

On November 16, 150 people carried out a “die in” in freezing weather, blocking traffic on a busy commercial street in St. Louis. People are outraged about the upcoming grand jury decision, which is expected to exonerate the cop who murdered Mike Brown, and the threats and mobilization by the government of violent repression.

The action, on the 100th day after Ferguson cop Darren Wilson gunned down unarmed Mike Brown and left his body lying in the streets for four hours, started with a street-theater reenactment of Mike Brown’s murder, with a “cop” shooting down the “victim.” This was followed by 25 more people falling to the ground and lying motionless for 10 minutes as others drew chalk outlines on the street. Additional mock cops barked orders and yelled at protesters, calling them “criminals.” Black “coffins” accompanied bodies in the street with names like “Kajieme Powell” (murdered by a cop in St. Louis days after Mike Brown was killed); “Vonderrit Myers” (murdered by a St. Louis cop in October); “Eric Garner” (choked to death by New York cops). Other caskets had messages including “A family’s future,” and “End White Supremacy.” People circulated through the bodies lying in the streets tossing flowers on them. A person rang a bell 100 times to signal 100 days of injustice since Mike’s murder. Protesters then arose and there was a spirited march in the streets for another ½ mile, with enthusiastic support from oncoming cars and people in the area.

A banner leading the march said, “Indict America.” People chanted: “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” “Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” At the end of the event, there was a mass reciting of what’s become a defiant anthem: “It’s our duty to fight for our freedom, it’s our duty to win, we must care and support each other, we have nothing to lose but our chains.”

People continue to take to the streets and prepare to protest the expected grand jury decision. The crowd was very mixed: most were young people who came as individuals or part of groups that have sprung up in the St. Louis area since Mike Brown’s murder. Black, white, Latino and indigenous people were in the mix, including a number of older folks—some from Amnesty International. A Latino group that attended is working among undocumented immigrants to promote justice for Mike Brown and Black and brown unity.

The point was made by people in the march: it’s been 100 days of intolerable injustice, but it’s also been 100 days of struggle. People are tense and getting ready for a big juncture in the struggle for justice.

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