St. Louis: The Struggle for Justice for Anthony Lamar Smith Continues!

October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Protesters have been in the streets of St. Louis nearly every day since September 15, the day a judge’s verdict let another murdering pig walk free. They are demanding justice for Anthony Lamar Smith and an end to the cold-blooding killings of Blacks, Latinos, and other oppressed nationalities by the police. Hundreds and hundreds of protesters took to the streets day and night for days following the verdict, refusing to back down even in the face of ugly brutality by the police.

Two cops had chased Anthony Lamar Smith in their car after accusing him of a drug deal, one of them recorded as saying, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker.” Less than one minute later the pig fired five bullets into Anthony, who never got out of his car. Anthony was not carrying a gun, so the pig went back to his own car and pulled out a “throw-down gun” to plant next to his body. When the gun was checked for fingerprints later, the only ones found belonged to the cop. But when a pig murders a Black man, facts don’t matter—the judge let him off.

While the number of protesters has diminished in the weeks since then, an organized core of 50 or so people have continued to protest in the streets of St. Louis and surrounding communities almost every night. One 27-year-old Black protester said, “We haven’t seen any real, tangible, systemic change at all… But we’re not done.”

A reporter for the New York Times, John Eligon, recently wrote about the significant impact these continued protests are having (“In St. Louis, Protests Over Police Violence Disrupt Economy, and Win Attention,” October 20, 2017). The protesters have gone into white neighborhoods and shopping malls to cause economic disruption—just the rumor of demonstrators on their way has made stores and malls temporarily close. According to the Times report, the leaders of these protests were involved in the 2014 protests in Ferguson, just ten miles away, and have learned the importance of being well organized in order to have a significant impact on society. They have been able to catch the police off guard by creatively organizing through social media, including live-streaming demonstrations online.

The determination of these protesters is influencing and challenging people to come to their side. A reverend, who is co-chair of a commission formed after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, told the Times reporter that “if nothing else, the persistent protests should alert cities nationwide that people will not be satisfied by endless commissions and policy proposals that do not result in action.”

Around the country people have been stepping forward in similar ways, like the movement inspired by Colin Kaepernick among NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem, in protest of the murder of Black, Latino, and other people of color and against social injustices overall.

Shortly after the protests in St. Louis began, received a correspondence from a member of the Revolution Club on the ground there. The conclusion of the correspondence continues to be important in relation to the need and basis for people like the protesters in St. Louis to become a part of the movement that begins November 4 to drive out the Trump/Pence regime:

There is a need to struggle for people to more deeply see the links of the outrage here to the whole fascist agenda—and this means that we have to draw out the links between the ongoing and horrific murder of Black and Brown people by this white supremacist system that is bred into the bone of this country, and Trump, Pence, and Sessions putting that on steroids with their egging on of the police, like Trump did in Long Island. At the same time, it is very important—and a good example for all—that people in St. Louis are defying the brutalizing and arrogant pigs—these pigs actually have been chanting “Whose Streets? Our Streets,” which when they do it is basically saying “fuck the rule of law, we do what we want”—by going out every day; this should be learned from by the whole movement and prefigures in microcosm what needs to happen on November 4.



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