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Podcast: ‘Ferguson October’ & How Community Continues to Stand Up to Police Aggression

Graphic promoting upcoming “Ferguson October” from Organization for Black Struggle (OBS)

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 the Organization 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.

Also, below is a player for listening to the podcast. You can listen to the podcast this way or you can go to iTunes and find the podcast listed there.

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”360″ align=”none” !}

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.

Pr”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.”

 

CommunityFDL Main BlogThe Dissenter

Podcast: ‘Ferguson October’ & How Community Continues to Stand Up to Police Aggression

Graphic promoting upcoming “Ferguson October” from Organization for Black Struggle (OBS)

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 the Organization 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.

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”360″ align=”none” !}

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."

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