I had been in New York covering the Peoples' Climate March
and Flood Wall St., two powerful events that I felt grateful
to be a part of. After producing my content of those two
demonstrations, I spent a week of down time, bicycling around
the city and enjoying the company of friends from the West
coast and the new friends and network connectiions I had had
met thus far.
But before I could make my way back to Washington DC, there
was just ONE MORE action to cover; the Umbrella Revolution
solidarity action in Times Square. Covered that, and then
Ferguson comes up.
Seems Veterans for Peace had put together a peace keeper team
for the just-around-the-corner "Weekend of Resistance"
organized by the Hands Up and the Ferguson October movements.
This latest round of demonstrations and protests in St.Louis
was intended to counter the narrative of the mainstream media
that had exploited the violent anger expressed over the
shooting death of Mike Brown, by taking a more disclipined
and expressly non-violent posture.
So soon after the killing of Mike Brown, another young black
kid, one VonDeritt Meyers,( aka Droop to his homies) was
gunned down in the neighborhood of Shaw here in St.Louis by
an off duty cop in uniform moonlighting as Security for a
fancy neighbood just a couple of blocks from where the boy
I made arrangements to travel to Ferguson with the VFP crew
and secured a ride for myself and Vlad Teichberg a seasoned
radical and media guru.
We arrived on Oct.10 and secured lodgings with a local Anon
contact, and the following day met up with the march and
demonstration in front of St.Louis PD HQ. There was some
rain, yet the energy was high, and there was anger in the
more of the seething variety, as people were talking about
how this Meyers killing certainly was not helping to reduce
the lingering tension in the city.
The crowd kept a cool head as we all understood that we
needed to be present for the schedule of events over the
A full compliment of rallies, marches, trainings and lectures
kept large groups of demonstrators moving through the city,
as we would march from one police department or another,
occupying gas stations, bridges, and the St.Louis University.
Gas and pepper spray were deployed on several occasions, to
little or no effect other than creating a heightened sense of
It rained all weekend, and it was very moving to see this
once quiet town stand together in solidarity, Cornel West
being led away in cuffs during a torrential down pour while a
killer cop watches it all on TV from his home. The clergy
falling into the arms of the police like sacrificial lambs,
while the young strong black minister from the local church
prays outloud,leads call and response chants, making the
point that while they are arresting clergy for protesting the
murders of peoples'children, killer cops walk around free
from scrutiny and punishment.
At the occupation on campus of SLU lively discussions are
moderated by new organizers and activists mentored by elder
radicals, problems and solutions are worked out in safe
Military veterans are here, not just from VfP and IVAW, but
plenty of unconnected vets coming to lend support, a great
opportunity for outreach/INreach.
People are connecting.
Vlad and his buddies set up great twitter-livestream-chat
hubs so everyone had access to information in real time from
The gatherings are very well done.Marches are orderly and
marshalled with respect and courtesy, there is an air of
friendliness, and it is so apparent that a majority of the
police are quite embarrassed, even ashamed to be there.
There is no mistaking the feelings going through a cops head
and heart when you look them in the face.
It is very important to confront the police, and to handle
your experience in such a way as to create a mutual
to not stir in that cop any negativity. Let his boss be the
bummer, the rain, the noise....but not you.
That being said, the MORAL HIGHGROUND is clearly held by the
"protesters" and their lead organizers.
You know, I am walking around in cammies and combat mode, so
I elicited some interesting comments from white establishment
"YOU PEOPLE are destroying our town"
"It's not really MY PROBLEM, you know?"
"...ain't gonna change nothing, just make it worse for the
rest of us.."
So today, Oct.16 is sunny and beautiful, not a drop of rain
in sight. It is interesting that today when we went into the
store (we have been hanging out at the store where Droop
bought his last sandwich) the owner, a very kind man name of
Bibi informed us that the police confiscated his DVR and
tapes, the ones he was showing us of the 20 minutes before
We had been shadowed for a couple days, and there were
undercover staked out across from the store (the memorial is
across the street) and Bibi told us that after we left last
night (out the back door) the cops came and took his stuff.
The reason, they said is that it "contradicts their
Now, it has come to light that the boy MAY have shot at the
cop, gunpowder residue was found on his hands and clothes.
This is unfortunate, but it is still absolutely possible that
the cop planted and fired the weapon from Droop's hand.
The picture is this:
A kid and his freinds buy a sandwich at the corner store,
where they are tight with the owners (20 years on the corner)
and 4 minutes after they leave (they could've only walked a
block or so) 16 gunshots ring out, and as spectators gather
and approach the scene are told by to stay "the fuck back",
the boys companions are told to "Get the fuck out of here, or
I WILL KILL YOU TOO"
So is it impossible that this pig staged the scene before his
I have lived among these folks for a week. I have eaten with
the family, hung out with his freinds, marched with his
community, and have seen the surveillance tapes from
inside/outside the store.
My impression is that this young man was a good kid, and like
everyother black kid in the cities has to play tough, BE
tough, work hard...he and his buddies have jobs, they mow
lawns for people, help little old ladies cross the street.
So YES there are pictures of the crew, looking hard with guns
and bitches and whatnot.
How many pictures of geeky black metal kids with swords and
Its' youth culture, every rational person knows.
YES youth culture is a tricky beast, coopted by the
Establishment taste makers, and in a constant state of revolt
against current trends, yet young people have
treacherous,complex waters to navigate, every MATURE person
Rationality and Maturity are clearly lacking in the SLPD.
They are in a panic. Advantageous, but dangerous as well.
It will be very important for the organizers here to maintain
a peaceful orientation and chanell the passion into a
simmering threat, just one more murder from exploding.
The killer cops MUST be brought to justice. The problems
exist all across the nation, from fracking to Ferguson, but
the whole nation is not affected. Until the problems grow so
large as to touch every life, we will need to come together
for those struggling communities.
And the amount of love, the outpouring support of the
country, people from around the world are here, and with
social media such as it is constructed by Vlad and others,
the whole world is watching...and waiting...
I would prefer the problems facing our nation and planet did
not grow large enough to affect every life, that we can halt
or mitigate the endemic illnesses that plague our
communities, racism, militarization, homelessness...all of
these and many many more are the byproducts of a system that
relies upon a state brokered relationship with the People, as
opposed to an alternative way of conducting society and
allowing the cultural nuances of all the people involved to
express themselves and contribute to the growth of a shared