Journalist and activist Davey D pushes back on the notion that not enough is being done by activists for the cause of long-term justice in relation to Ferguson. Reposted from his Facebook page:
A few observations… First people have gotten upset and asked why don’t people do more constructive things other then take to the streets.. Well the fact of the matter is people are doing lots of things.. In Ferguson, many youth and young adults have been doing trainings since Brown’s killing and have formed safety patrols in their community..They have cameras and have been watching the police..
Many have been doing de-escalating and civil disobedience training. many have been working with gangs (street orgs) who for the most part have truced up and put aside differences.. many have been doing political education..They been evaluating past movements, adopting best practices, rejecting old worn out methods and trying to find ways that fit today’s times and their lifestyles. Many have travelled to other places and to meet with folks and connect dots and link struggles in other cities and countries and many have come to Ferguson to share info and be in solidarity.There was a fairly large delegation from Ferguson and Chicago that went to the United Nations in Geneva for their hearings on torture and political prisoners.. They brought their case and concerns about police terrorism and offered sharply stark contrasts to the US who had ambassadors on hand stating the US does not believe in torture and treats her citizens well.During the hearings the delegation joined by others who were impressed by them did a silent protest in the chambers. They objected to the narrative given by the US which they considered false..We did an interview with the delegation from Ferguson which included Mike Brown’s mother and father. We spoke with members of the We Charge Genocide out of Chicago.. Many of the folks are under 21.. They noted that not one major outlet contacted them or got their story even as they were covered all over the world..People often ask where are the young people?? I ask where are you looking? Hopefully its not at Don Lemon, CNN, the NY Post and other outlets that don’t want their agendas and narratives tripped up by showing folks doing pro-active things..Many of the organizers in Ferguson have clear goals and have been working feverishly toward them. Most were not organizers or activists. As one of the sisters from the Millennial Activists United explained, they had to learn to become activists and organizers in the wake of Mike Brown’s death.. From Hands Up United to the Lost Voices to numerous other orgs, people have stepped forth and have tried to make ways out of no ways..
Organizers who have grown upset with the political landscape where the main adversaries are Democrats ie Gov Jay Nixon, DA Bob McCollough, folks have been working to establish a third party..
Many have also been working on dealing with the onslaught of municipalities that plague Ferguson residents by issuing dubious high priced traffic tickets as folks drive from through the scores of cities surrounding Ferguson.. There are 91 in the St Louis area.. 41 of them are around Ferguson.. These tickets have court fees attached to them and each small municipality has its own rules on how tickets should be paid. Miss a court date or don’t pay a high fine and court fees, warrants are issued. In Ferguson you have 21k people and 24k warrants.. .This all documented and can be seen in an excellent news documentary put together by GritTVNetwork and Laura Flanders
What does this mean? Well during the last election when we spoke to folks like Tef Poe of Hands Up United he pointed out how police routinely patrol voting polls looking for folks with outstanding tickets..Its a harsh way of disenfranchising folks. People have been fighting this for years..
When speaking about Ferguson and the the verdict around Mike Brown we have a choice.. We can focus on burning cars and burning buildings or the organizing efforts of those we say need to be doing something.. Yes we know the old adage of if it bleeds it leads when it comes to news.. but nevertheless the choice of what you focus on is yours.. If folks can stay focused on the Giants winning a World Series and the heroes on that team in spite of mass rioting, then you can do the same when it comes to Ferguson.. Focus on the heroes and sheroes there.. If you get lured into spectacle that’s on you..the incredible organizing work folks are doing has not stopped and won’t stop. How are you helping them?
Will you be participating in the Blackout Friday Boycotts or Buy Black Campaigns that have been launched? People say we need to economically cripple those in power..so here’s an opportunity.. Thus far over 3 million people have been reached on twitter. Will you pass along the word? How many of us will make that sacrifice or will you be part of the madness storming Walmart or Best Buy trying to get yet another large flat screen TV?
The challenge before all of us is will our attention around police terrorism wane as corporate news outlets who don’t have our best interests at heart turn the page..Weren’t we all talking about Ebola two weeks ago? Wasn’t everyone an instant ISIS expert the weeks before that? When was the last time folks spoke about all those missing girls in Nigeria? If we are gonna demand that folks step up to bigger and better things, then we have to step up and meet them.. Go beyond the spectacle and get to the heart of the matter and work with the folks doing good work locally or in Ferguson. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised even if they are showing people on TV rebelling.