'Bonded With a Common Goal': As Ferguson Recovers, Activists Look Forward

October 12, 2020 0 By PENTICTONLAWYERS

Ferguson activists on Tuesday blocked a highway in St. Louis and interstate bridge as part of a continued series of protests after a grand jury announced on Monday they would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for the August 9 shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

“If we don’t get it, shut it down!” sit-in protesters screamed as police advanced on them Tuesday afternoon.

Protesters updated the shutdown—as well as solidarity actions throughout the country—with the hashtag #Ferguson.

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#Ferguson Tweets

“This moment is a historic one,” organizers with Ferguson Action, a coalition of local community groups, said in a call to action after the decision was announced. “Just like people have done throughout American history, we are making our voices heard, taking to the streets and using our first amendment rights to engage in strong actions of civil disobedience.”

Lou Downey, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, told Common Dreams, “Bringing business as usual to a halt needs to continue and be built on. People need to stay in the streets. Don’t go to work. Walk out of school or make stopping this genocidal program what your schooling is about. People in the neighborhoods where police routinely brutalize and murder need to make their anger felt [through] mass political resistance.”

“Everyone has to take a side in this fight—Are you with the police who murder Black youth and the system that gives them a stamp of approval? Or are you with the people who are standing up and saying NO MORE to this shit?” Downey said in an email.

He added that organizers will be “mobilizing people for the day after Thanksgiving so it becomes ‘Black Lives Matter’ day instead of getting a jump on Christmas shopping.”

Some protests will target a Walmart in the Ferguson area to call for justice for John Crawford, the black man killed in August by police in a Walmart in Ohio.

“And, yes, a grand jury let those killer cops walk free,” Downey said.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Brown family’s attorney Benjamin Crump said the case exemplified the country’s “broken” system of justice.

“We saw how completely unfair this process was,” Crump said. “We object as publicly and loudly as we can on behalf of Michael Brown Jr.’s family that this process is broken. This process should be indicted.”

Crump also blasted St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, whose friendly relationship with police and racially fraught career made him a controversial—and highly contested—choice to handle the case. “We have a local prosecutor who was a symbiotic relationship with local police officers,” Crump said. Referring to the thousands of pages of grand jury files released after McCulloch’s announcement, Crump asked, “Where was [Wilson’s] credibility ever challenged?”