Tag Archive: Ferguson

The Making of “Outside Agitators”

This illustration is available in poster form from artist Corina Dross, to raise funds for arrestees in Ferguson.

This illustration is available in poster form from artist Corina Dross, to raise funds for arrestees in Ferguson.

From Crimethinc.

On August 19, ten days after police murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a slew of corporate media stories appeared charging that“criminals” and “outside agitators” were responsible for clashes during the protests. CNN alleged that “all sides agree there are a select number of people—distinct from the majority of protesters—who are fomenting violence,” quoting a State Highway Patrol Captain, a State Senator, and a former FBI assistant director to confirm this.

Today’s militarized police understand that they are operating on two different battlefields at once: not only the battlefield of the streets, but also the battlefield of discourse. So long as most people remain passive, the police can harass, beat, arrest, and even kill people with impunity—certain people, anyway. But sometimes protests get “out of hand,” which is to say, they actually impact the authorities’ ability to keep the population under control. Then, without fail, police and politicians proceed to the second strategy in their playbook: they declare that they support the protesters and are there to defend their rights, but a few bad apples are spoiling the bunch. In this new narrative, the enemies of the protesters are not the police who are gassing and shooting people, but those who resist the police and their violence. When this strategy works, it enables the police to go back to harassing, beating, arresting, and killing people with impunity—certain people, anyway.

Sure enough, a few hours after these articles about “criminals” and “outside agitators” appeared, the St. Louis police killed another man less than three miles from Ferguson. Here we see how defining people as “criminals” and “outsiders” is itself an act of violence, setting the stage for further violence. You can predict police behavior at protests with a fair degree of accuracy based on the rhetoric they deploy in advance to prepare the terrain.

So when we hear them say “outside agitators,” we know the authorities are getting ready to spill blood. All the better, from their perspective, if people buy into this rhetoric and police themselves so no officer has to get his hands dirty. This is often called for in the name of avoiding violence, but self-policing returns us to the same passivity that enables police violence to occur in the first place. How many people would have even heard about Michael Brown if not for the “criminals” and “agitators” who brought his death to our attention? Self-policing also preserves the impression that we all choose this state of affairs of our own free will, reinforcing the impression that anyone who does not is anoutsider. (more…)

What They Mean when They Say Peace

policestateFrom Crimethinc.

The Forces of Peace and Justice

“I’m committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,”Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said in Ferguson on Saturday, August 16, after a week of conflicts sparked by the police murder of teenager Michael Brown. “If we’re going to achieve justice, we first must have and maintain peace.”

Is that how it works—first you impose peace, then you achieve justice? And what does that mean, the forces of peace and justice? What kind of peace and justice are we talking about here?

As everyone knows, if it weren’t for the riots in Ferguson, most people would never have heard about the murder of Michael Brown. White police officers kill over a hundred black men every year without most of us hearing anything about it. That silence—the absence of protest and disruption—is the peace which Governor Nixon wants us to believe will produce justice.

This is the same narrative we always hear from the authorities. First, we must submit to their control; then they will address our concerns. All the problems we face, they insist, are caused by our refusal to cooperate. This argument sounds most persuasive when it is dressed up in the rhetoric of democracy: those are “our” laws we should shut up and obey—“our” cops who are shooting and gassing us—“our” politicians and leaders begging us to return to business as usual. But to return to business as usual is to step daintily over the bodies of countless Michael Browns, consigning them to the cemetery and oblivion.

Governor Nixon’s peace is what happens after people have been forcefully pacified. His justice is whatever it takes to hoodwink us into accepting peace on those terms—petitions that go directly into the recycle bin, lawsuits that never produce more than a slap on the wrist for the killers in uniform, campaigns that may advance the career of an activist or politician but will never put an end to the killing of unarmed black men. (more…)

Anarchists Target Chapel Hill Police Headquarters in Solidarity with Luke O’Donovan and Ferguson Rioters

Building on fire in Ferguson, MO

Building on fire in Ferguson, MO

(Blog editors’ note: this story was reposted from anarchistnews.org and is not original content of the Prison Books Collective. We thought this was quite obvious, but local journalists seem to be having a problem with this.)

From Anarchist News

In the early hours of August 14th, three police cruisers were smashed out at the Chapel Hill Police Department Headquarters in Chapel Hill, NC. A message was also painted on one of the cars, reading, “For Luke.”

This was done as a small gesture of solidarity with Luke O’Donovan, of Atlanta, GA, who was recently sentenced to two years in prison for defending himself against five homophobic attackers. We hope this brings a smile to his face.

We also carried out this act in solidarity with the rioters and looters of Ferguson, MO, who, in the face of continued brutality by racist police, have inspired the world with their courageous resistance against the forces of state, capital, and white supremacy. May their insurrection spread.

Both as small groups and entire neighborhoods, it is possible to fight back.

– some anarchists

New Bail Fund Link for Ferguson Rebels

freguson-hands-up2From Anti State St. Louis

Over the last few hours thousands of dollars have been streaming in from all over the world to support those arrested over the last few days in Ferguson, Missouri. This support is incredible and breath-taking, and sadly our previous link is not set-up to handle this level of activity.

Please, please, please, circulate this new link and continue donating.
https://secure.piryx.com/donate/mS25KFCe/MORE/mikebrown

Original call for donations:
A bail and legal fund has been established to support the 43 or so people who have been arrested during the anti-police demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo. Please spread the word widely and help us get some money together to get these people out.

All funds collected will be used to support those arrested during the demonstrations–their bail money, fines, legal funds, or other related expenses. In the unlikely event that there are additional funds, they will be used to support people resisting police repression and police violence in the future. Thank you.

Bail and Legal Fund for Those Arrested During Ferguson Anti-Police Demos

ferguson-hands-in-the-air

From Anti State St. Louis

Over the last few hours thousands of dollars have been streaming in from all over the world to support those arrested over the last few days in Ferguson, Missouri. This support is incredible and breath-taking, and sadly our previous link is not set-up to handle this level of activity.

Please, please, please, circulate this new link and continue donating.
https://secure.piryx.com/donate/mS25KFCe/MORE/mikebrown

Original call for donations:
A bail and legal fund has been established to support the 43 or so people who have been arrested during the anti-police demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo. Please spread the word widely and help us get some money together to get these people out.

All funds collected will be used to support those arrested during the demonstrations–their bail money, fines, legal funds, or other related expenses. In the unlikely event that there are additional funds, they will be used to support people resisting police repression and police violence in the future. Thank you.

Hey, Step Back with the Riot Shaming

fergusonFrom Mask Magazine

As you may have heard, a young black man named Michael Brown from Ferguson, Missouri was shot many times and killed by a police officer on August 9 of this year. A bit of a caveat before my rant: I’m angry and it comes out a bit here. Sorry not sorry.

Processing my anger in the wake of Michael Brown’s murder.

On August 11, 1965, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles exploded after a confrontation with police grew to a critical mass. The neighborhood SMOLDERED FOR SIX DAYS. Almost a thousand buildings were looted and burned to the ground. The unrest marked an important turn in the struggle against an overtly racist America. That was forty-nine years ago today.

Listen: police in this country attack poor people of color. IT’S HAPPENING. Like, it’s still happening. Every day. All across the country. It’s been happening. The story of America is an uninterrupted chapter book of brutality and horrific violence. Racist violence in America is a story with no interludes.

The narrative of “progress” steadily advances divorced from the reality on the streets. For all the online discourse about oppression, identity, and ‘shaming’, there is a disturbing lack of insight and nuance when it comes to riots, vandalism, and looting in the wake of these unsettling acts of violence against people of color. So I thought I’d put together my responses to the phenomenon of “riot shaming” – the policing of young black and brown bodies in the aftermath of police murder. (more…)