“Hong Kong civil servants returned to work at the government’s headquarters Monday as pro-democracy protests, which have paralyzed the area for more than a week, subsided to meet a deadline to disperse,” reports al Jazeera this morning. Protesters opened the barricades to allow civil servants to go to work, in an effort to both maintain the protests and satisfy officials, who had threatened to crack down.
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance take us deep into the struggle in Hong Kong.
The latest evidence for the consequences of global warming is that Antarctica is losing so much mass from melting ice that it’s actually changing Earth’s gravity.
Friday night I posted on Facebook, under Jack Revolutionist, “Once again, we find that people in the USA do not have the right to peaceably assemble. People arrested in Ferguson and given high bail in a crackdown obviously intended to put a stop to the protest,” and I provided this link.
It is now the modus operandi of the National Security State, as protests break out, first to pretend to recognize the right of protesters, when there is no other choice. Too many cameras were on Ferguson when the first protests broke out, and even though the police initially employed brute force to stop the protests, more and more cameras focused on the scene and the pretense of a right to peaceably assemble ensued for placating the masses.
The same thing happened during the Occupy protests. Take the cameras away, and police began beating people, pepper spraying, tear gassing and imprisonment, destroying the property of protesters and generally causing mayhem. To avoid cameras, many police operations occurred during the dark of night.
If not for the protests in Ferguson, the police officer responsible for killing Mike Brown would already probably have been exonerated (he may still be) and it would all have blown over. Now the establishment is desperate, and our leaders are dangerous when desperate. They believe they have the right to do as they wish, and that the unwashed masses should keep in their place.
Months before the Occupy protests began at LUV News we encouraged protesters who would participate to bring cameras.
Now there are few cameras on Ferguson and it is happening again –Jack Balkwill
by Kevin Gosztola
Police action against protestors in Ferguson escalated again this past week. According to those who continue to organize for justice in the aftermath of Mike Brown being gunned down by a Ferguson police officer, the police are now engaging in a process similar to hostage-taking, where they arrest people and agree to release those individuals if protests are stopped. It seemed police arrested 13 people, including a CNN freelancer, to discourage people from protesting.
Also, it was reported on October 3 that the St. Louis County Police are once more in charge of policing protests. The handover of control comes a week ahead of an upcoming weekend of resistance, “Ferguson October,” that will take place October 10-13. St. Louis County police will be in charge of handling arrests and communicating to news media about events on the ground.
And, on Saturday night, people interrupted the St. Louis Symphony in the middle of Brahms Requiem to unfurled banners from the balcony while singing a “Requiem for Mike Brown.”
This week on the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast the guest is Montague Simmons, the chair of theOrganization for Black Struggle (OBS) and founder of Hands Up United. He provides an update on recent aggressive action by police against protestors in Ferguson. He talks about helping community residents feel they will be secure when they participate in actions and how “jail support” is being handled. Simmons also shares a preview of what to expect with “Ferguson October.”
During the discussion portion, Gosztola and Khalek talk a bit about Ebola (they don’t have it). Then, the war in Syria and Iraq is highlighted, particularly how Obama has abandoned the “near-certainty” standard, which was developed to prevent civilian casualties in the administration’s covert drone war. We talk NSA spying and how the government has its own definition of “collection” that does not mean what you might think. And the show wraps with Khalek reflecting on a hashtag she and journalist Max Blumenthal started, which garnered quite a bit of attention: #JSIL.
The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and to download), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast that will automatically start playing.
Organizers have continued to “engage residents of Ferguson” and St. Louis County on “what real transformation should look like on the ground and in their lives and what not only the relationships with police should look like but what should really matter in their lives in terms of shifting power directly to them and out of the hands of the police and government,” according to Simmons.
Even though the Justice Department is on the ground, Simmons has come to realize that “nobody is going to come to rescue us.”
“We have to do that ourselves. So, people are committed and honestly I’m inspired every night that I see new folks coming out to continue to push resistance.”
Those involved in actions have done their best to provide security. “We’re thinking about who actually wants to be positioned where. So, normally, what happens is in our own actions and plan, like if we plan on getting arrested and we position who we know would actually be cleared to get arrested.” However, police aggression has made it difficult because lately they will not talk to police liaisons.
All municipalities in and around Ferguson are not only showing increased levels of oppression but increased levels of aggression. Increased numbers of police stops and they tend to be much more aggressive than they were August 9,” when Brown was killed, Simmons states.
“We’re actually still escalating toward another moment of crisis and I have to admit that I’m fearful of when the announcement of whatever the response is from the grand jury comes down because, as much organizing as we’re doing, we can’t control that. And if the police continue to show that level of aggression, it’s gonna be worse” than it was during those days right after August 9.
The protestors have had a bail fund for “jail support.” Simmons suggests that police might be trying to deplete the fund in the run-up to “Ferguson October.”
“When this first started in the early days of August, those of us who were already organizing on the ground on these issues, we did come together and we began to respond to what was happening,” Simmons recalls. “First the crisis itself and the murder, and then the ensuing uprisings and the way that the police responded to them violently.” However, few were prepared to seize the moment and take advantage of the “flood of help” Ferguson was receiving from people throughout the nation.
“We weren’t actually positioned to fully embrace that and allow this to be the national moment that it was supposed to be. But now, I think we’ve gotten to a place, especially considering other murders – Ezell Ford,Eric Garner – around the country where we really need to seize this space and talk about what it is to not only respect black life but for us to begin to demand equal application of democracy in every community in every way.”
There will be a “major series of actions to build energy on the ground by Friday.” A march in downtown St. Louis will take place on Saturday that will align “Michael Brown’s case with every other case that is happening” and show everyone that people are organizing against something bigger than just what is happening in Ferguson or St. Louis.
On Sunday, there will be “cultural pieces that have to accompany movement building” and faith-based organizing events. Then, on Monday, a full day of actions will take place all over Ferguson and St. Louis County.
“We can’t go back to the same status quo that allows us to still interact with police in the same way, to still expect the same kind of violence,” Simmons declares. He adds that this is the first time in his experience that he has actually seen hope that “we can actually win real change.”
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