Ferguson: State of emergency called after anniversary protests

Aug. 10 — The city of Ferguson, Mo., is under a state of emergency the day after Black youth fought back against the police during a march near the site of Michael Brown’s killing.

August 9 was the one-year anniversary of the racist, cold-blooded killing of the African-American teenager by white cop Darren Wilson. Despite the facts, a grand jury found “no cause” to charge Wilson with any crime, and a federal review found that Wilson “acted lawfully” when he shot and killed the unarmed 18-year-old. A rebellion against racism and racist police terror erupted in Ferguson in the aftermath of Brown’s killing and spurred solidarity across the U.S.

Commemorative vigils and marches on Aug. 8 and 9 to remember Brown and say “Black lives matter” were set for Ferguson, New York and other cities around the United States.

St. Louis County authorities imposed a state of emergency today after Sunday night’s protest in Ferguson, where gunshots erupted during the march and volleys were exchanged with police. When the gunfire began, cops in riot gear were trying to disperse protesters who were blocking traffic and allegedly smashing storefront windows on a street where part of last year’s rebellion took place.

Police and politicians called the protesters and those involved with the shootings “criminals” and said “two groups of agitators” started the gunfire. When cops in an unmarked car came on the scene, the alleged “gunman” purportedly defended himself and shot at police. Tyrone Harris was then critically wounded by plainclothes cops. Police said more than 40 rounds had been fired, but not by whom. (reuters.com, Aug. 10)

Karen Harris said her nephew Tyrone attended the protests because he and Brown were friends. She said Tyrone was not carrying a gun and had not fired at police. He was “running for his life” like everyone else when the gunfire began. (cnn.com, Aug. 10)

As the County Executive announced the state of emergency, a demonstration of hundreds of people was taking place, marching from Christ Church Cathedral to the federal building in downtown St. Louis. Protesters raised a banner, held up by two helium balloons, which read: “Racism Still Lives Here #FIGHTBACK.” Cops arrested 56 people outside the U.S. courthouse, according to stltoday.com. (Aug. 10)

Kris Balderas-Hamel

Kris.Hamel@workers.org

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Kris Balderas-Hamel

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