State of Emergency: The Urgent Need for Organizing

On Monday November 17, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a State of Emergency in a preemptive measure to mobilize state resources and suspend civil freedoms in anticipation of social unrest in response to the grand jury decision on indicting Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9th killing of Michael Brown. Protestors in Ferguson Missouri have stood for over 100 days calling for an indictment of Officer Wilson, the appointment of a special prosecutor in place of Bob McCullough, and accountability of the Ferguson Police Department for its corruption, abuse of power and violation of the human rights and civil rights of the residents of Ferguson. Simply put, justice for Mike Brown.

A state of emergency is defined as a situation of national danger or disaster in which a government suspends normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control. According to this definition, the true state of emergency is in Black communities. A black person is killed extrajudicially every 28 hours. Since Mike Brown’s killing, at least three other young Black people have been killed by members of law enforcement in St. Louis alone. At each turn, the demands of peaceful demonstrators have been met with militarized police response, disrespect, and violence by some white citizens and demonization and outright lies from the mainstream mass media. If anyone is under threat, it is the Black community in Ferguson and allies.

For weeks, law enforcement in St. Louis have been staging military vehicles and equipment into the Ferguson area, elected officials have issued an inflammatory media statement, ramping up tensions and raising the specter of angry mobs of Black looters, causing many white residents to run to local gun stores, under the guise of self-defense. The terrorist organization Klu Klux Klan has issued a public statement of their plans to use lethal force against protesters, with no reprimand from government officials. This is indeed an emergency. The right of Black people to live and defend the lives of those killed unjustly is under threat. This has grown bigger than Mike Brown. 100 days later, Ferguson is the center of the fight for racial justice and, with the eyes of the world watching; activists across the country prepare to respond.

Ferguson Speaks: A Communique From Ferguson is a short video that shows the complex perspectives from the Ferguson community and supporters on what the killing of Mike Brown means, and the fight for justice. Exposing antiblackness, injustice, the police state and systemic corruption, in the words of the people on the frontlines

Watch the video and prepare to take action. There are Mike Brown’s in every community. This is not a Ferguson issue, this is a national issue and concerns the human rights of everyone in the United States. Allowing police to kill with impunity means that no one is safe. A new website- http://fergusonaction.com/ – includes actions planned in response to the grand jury decision in cities across the U.S. Get involved and take a stand in what has become this generation’s pivotal moment to affect change.

This is an emergency.