The grand jury decision whether to indict killer cop Darren Wilson for the execution of Michael Brown could be mere weeks, or even days away. Almost everyone knows there’ll be no indictment – police officers are rarely disciplined for using deadly force, let alone prosecuted.
Knowing this, law enforcement agencies have begun flaunting new military weapons as residents also prepare: by way of fashioning homemade defensive shields and boarding up windows.
It truly looks as though a hurricane is about to hit Ferguson. That might not be so far from the truth.
This is what police state looks like: where the mere idea of unrest elicits hundreds of police to become even more hostile. Imagine if the reverse were true: if we lived in a world where we were all preparing for the guaranteed trial and likely conviction of a white cop for murdering a black teenager – because such an act was universally considered outrageous.
Corporate media has played a large role in hyping up the “chaos and violence” angle as they always do. The only ‘chaos’ has been some selectively targeted property destruction of mostly franchise chain stores. The only violence in Ferguson has been inflicted by police.
— Harris from the Post (@rousseau_ist) November 12, 2014
In response to Ferguson and St. Louis police’s increased displays of militarization, residents have been attending Direct Action Training sessions at local churches. People are getting organized, preparing for a sustained resistance. This is a very good thing. Police know how to put down uprising by invoking fear and scatting a crowd into running for their lives. Police are fairly impotent at disrupting thousands of people marching with arms locked.
Missouri governor Jay Nixon seized the opportunity to look tough for the cameras earlier this week. During a press conference, he threatened that a nice round number of 1,000 officers had been specially prepared to deal with Ferguson’s rage after the forthcoming grand jury announcement. Many have pointed out, just this statement alone is indication that Darren Wilson will walk a free man.
Referring to the case, Nixon was clear, “That ugliness was not representative of Missouri and it cannot be repeated.” The governor, of course, was referring to public reaction, not the actual murder of Mike Brown.
As I sit here writing this in Portland, Oregon, preparations are being made locally as well. Several event pages have popped up on Facebook, each giving location and time details, but obviously as yet no confirmed date.
Some have speculated it could be as early as this Friday afternoon in the hopes of obscuring the subsequent outrage from national news coverage. Thankfully, most trust Twitter more than CNN.
Whatever happens in Ferguson, it will represent more than just Mike Brown’s killing, as unjust as this was. There, here, in every city and state across the county, black people and other communities of color have struggled against structural racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years. What it will take for justice to come, I can’t say – but following the ‘verdict’ – things will certainly get interesting.
See you in the streets.
— Tommy (@thomas_3000) October 14, 2014
“The paper-tiger hero, James Bond, offering the whites a triumphant image of themselves, is saying what many whites want desperately to hear reaffirmed: I am still the White Man, lord of the land, licensed to kill, and the world is still an empire at my feet.”
~ Eldridge Cleaver