Exclusive: Ferguson Activist Says Gov. Jay Nixon’s State Of Emergency Is A Declaration Of War Against Peaceful Protesters
Activists and protesters are preparing for the worst, but plan to stay vigilant in their campaign for Justice for Mike Brown, this according to one activist currently protesting on the grounds in Ferguson.
As the Washington Post has reported, yesterday Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon issued, by executive order, a state of emergency, which not only brings the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department into one “Unified Command,” but also brings the National Guard into active duty. More specifically, Gov. Nixon’s executive order also calls into service “such portions of the organized militia” to “protect life and property and assist civilian authorities.”
The announcement comes as both the state and the entire country waits for the grand jury decision in the case against Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Mike Brown multiple times and killed the 17-year-old. The grand jury decision was expected on Monday but never came. However, most legal analysts are certain that it will come in the next few days.
Gov. Nixon’s order also comes on the heels of an FBI bulletin, warning law enforcement that the grand jury decision will likely “lead to some extremist protesters to threaten and even attack police officers or federal agents,” this according to ABC News.
However, St. Louis-area activists and independent rapper T-Dubb-O believe that the executive order by Gov. Nixon, as well as the warning issued to law enforcement by the FBI, are not only premature and unwarranted, but slightly antagonistic. “Basically, I feel like they just issued a declaration of war against the protesters,” says T-Dubb-O.
T-Dubb-O has been part of the Justice for Mike Brown movement since the first day of protests and notes that for the most part, the protests have been peaceful.
“Three hundred people were killed during the L.A. Riots, but in the 101 days of protests here in Ferguson and elsewhere in the North County St Louis-area, there has not been a one person injured or hurt,” he says, offering a counter-narrative to Gov. Nixon and the FBI’s concern about alleged extremist protesters.
“I’m just completely baffled by this order and why Gov. Nixon, who says his interest is in protecting the people, would give police and other law enforcement agencies free-rein to do whatever it wants to those very citizens.”
The activist rapper also believes that the state of emergency is a clear sign that Officer Wilson will not be indicted. But in spite of what are dire predictions, T-Dubb-O asserts that the movement will not be deterred. He says that their plan is to continue to protest peacefully, regardless of what the grand jury might decide.
“This isn’t just about Justice for Mike Brown. And this is not just about what’s happening here in St. Louis” he says, evoking the names of John Crawford, Eric Garner, Vonderrit Myers and a number of other people who were shot and killed by police around the time that Mike Brown was killed. “This is an issue that affects us nationally. This is about people no longer being subjected to a system that oppresses. I think that sometimes we forget that the government serves the people and not the other way around.”
In addition to the fight to have local charges put against the Ferguson county officer, T-Dubb-O also said that the movement is actively pushing for the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the shooting death of Mike Brown. And many of the local Justice for Mike Brown activists are organizing with a number of other activists nationally to put the spotlight on a variety of issues, including getting people registered to vote and advocating for policy reforms and legislations, which provide more oversight of the police.
He also said that the movement will continue to push the message that black lives matter too. “I think what is important for people to remember here is that the DOJ’s own statistics say that of 9 million crimes committed in this country, only 2 million of those were committed by blacks,” he says. “But that’s not what we’ve been led to believe.” He notes how the messages we receive shape our perception of entire racial groups.
“Those who say he is not a perfect victim should remember that this is not the 13th century. There is no death by guillotine or cutting off the hands for stealing. We are in the United States of America where everyone has a right to a fair trial – and not to be shot down in the streets because of alleged theft.”
In spite of what is an uphill and likely never-ending battle, T-Dubb-O says that he is encouraged by the thousands of people who have come to Ferguson since the start of the protest, including the Buddhist Monks and activists, who have flown in from the Gaza Strip just to show their support. He is also encouraging as many people as possible to come and join the movement in the coming days. “If you can make it, please come. As I said, it’s bigger than Justice for Mike Brown. But if you can’t, do what you can.”
A couple of Twitter accounts, including @JusticeCoreSTL, have been established to help provide up-to-date information about Justice for Mike Brown activities and actions. A PayPal account has also been established to support the movement. Donations can be sent to: JusticeCoreSTL@gmail.com. T-Dubb-O is also advising that those wishing to donate to the cause donate directly to local organizers (as opposed to national organizations).