So basically for a variety of reasons, I’ve been rather quiet as of late. Work has been busy, the wife and I have been even busier, and there frankly has been little time in the evenings for me to work on writings. But with the looming decision by the Grand Jury on the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson expected soon, the indicators are all starting to coalesce into a single narrative: prepare for a shit storm the likes of which Saint Louis has never seen.
I live in the Saint Louis area, and one thing I have learned in observing all this has been that while the underlying tragedy of Michael Brown’s death is unfortunate, the facts of the situation matter little to those whom have approached the entire event with their own objectives. But what has really been surprising by all this is how quickly our own 2A crowd had various leaders and advocates so quickly jump on the anti-LEO bandwagon, often having never set foot into the local area or appreciate the situation on the ground was vastly different than what was reported via a biased media. A lot of things happened locally that was either never reported because it risked the narrative that the protestors were “innocent victims” being suppressed by militarized law enforcement. But by the second day, the protestors in Ferguson were anything but peaceful, and the outlet for their misguided rage was to loot and destroy a community that WAS on the rebound in a historically economically depressed area. They fired live ammunition at police randomly and hurled Molotov cocktails at police lines. All the while the law enforcement community bore the brunt and used riot gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Now local businesses struggle to stay open, as they are too afraid to remove boarded up windows after continual looting. (Ellis)
Now fast forward several months.
Elements of the New Black Panthers Party (NBPP) have moved into the Ferguson area; advocating that unless Officer Wilson is indicted, they will ““kill police officers and other white people” (Wilber). Former NBPP leader Malik Zulu Shabazz, who has been in the area since the shooting, called for a full “rebellion” following local visits by Al Sharpton saying to stand up against America’s “…wicked world order. We have as much right to rebel against America society as America did against the British”. (Key) So much tension and hype has poured into Michael Brown supporters that their hatred and paranoia recently caused them to turn on one of their own as the groups leaders have lost control of the various influences within their own party. (Diffin) Never mind that the victim was white and all the attackers were black, or that they blindly attacked the man simply for the suspicion he was an undercover cop.
But not deterred, the “Hands Up Coalition”, which has been described as some of the most eclectic group of Marxists, anarchists, and ne’re-do-wells, took time to publish their listed “Rules of Engagement” to local authorities. The list includes some of the most ridiculous demands of law enforcement imaginable, but it all comes down to the fact these groups feel they have the “right” to lash out and conduct a variety of crimes regardless of the findings. Meanwhile the mother of Michael Brown is now facing felony charges following an exchange where she and several others assaulted another family member for selling shirts with the likeness of Michael Brown on them. (Weinreich) Into the mix have also been self-proclaimed “American” Muslims, such as the frequent radical Umar Lee who once advocated beheading his critics. Lee was previously arrested in September at the start of the Ferguson unrest and frequently utilizes his access to social media to advocate violence against police and “non-believers”. While he will frequently delete his threats, thankfully nothing on the Internet really goes away.
And these external groups gathering in Saint Louis aren’t the least of it. The faceless collective of global computer hackers known as “Anonymous” have hijacked local governance systems several times stating that they know Officer Wilson will not be indicted, and disseminated call for worldwide protesters, anarchists, and criminals to decend on Ferguson and amass there prior to the Grand Jury announcement. (Fox2Now) In previous events protestors, dissidents, and outright members of the American Communist movement came to Ferguson from as far away as Florida and Washington to “lend their support”.
Meanwhile local authorities have been quietly preparing, purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional equipment to include riot gas, non-lethal ammunition, body armor, and training. (Swaine) (Huffington Post) Regional city leaders have only now begun to prepare (although there is some doubt weather politicians have any real intent to do anything but stand idly by as they did the first time) disseminating leaflets and mailings to residents instructing them that they need to have a plan. (Bosman and Davey) Fact is when the Grand Jury decision is made it won’t matter that findings. There will be elements that won’t be happy regardless, and will use the fallout as a cover to conduct various otherwise illegal actions. The police likewise have been sending out information that residents of Ferguson and the surrounding areas should expect severely delay in response times, if none at all, if things get bad. It only stands to reason that if all the police are tied up trying to keep the violence and destruction contained, then there will be few resources left for day-to-day calls. For all intents and purposes, if indeed the comparison is to be made between Ferguson and the LA Riots following the Rodney King trial, and then large swaths of citizens will frankly be on their own. (Brown)
So as the communities surrounding Ferguson breathe deep in anticipation, one thing is certain – the fallout from the Grand Jury decision will likely predicate rioting on a scale not previously experienced by the citizens of the greater Saint Louis area. The question will be at what level law enforcement will tolerate the rioting, or will they stand idly by as they did for a majority of the first time because their leaders deemed it “acceptable” that some level of lawlessness be permitted. Meanwhile the rest of the city is at greater risk should the violence reach out from a confined area and began exporting their hate and misguided sense of “justice” to other innocent communities. Ferguson is likely already a lost cause, and the economic and social damage is far beyond repair. At this point the best anyone in the area can hope for is ample enough time to get clear before the shit storm makes landfall.
Bosman, Julie and Monica Davey. Ferguson Waits Uneasily for Grand Jury’s Decision. 7 November 2014. Accessed 8 November 2014 .
Brown, Tim. What Ferguson Cops Can Learn From LAPD Response to Rodney King Riots. 8 November 2014. Accessed 9 November 2014 <http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/11/ferguson-jury-decision-expected-to-bring-riots-worse-than-the-la-riots/>.
Diffin, Stephanie. UMSL student beaten outside Ferguson protest meeting, leaders apologize. 7 November 2014. Accessed 8 November .
Ellis, Meaghan. Ferguson Store Owners Reportedly Suffering Drastic Revenue Decline, Customers Scared To Shop In The Area. 2 November 2014. Accessed 2 November 2014 <http://www.inquisitr.com/1580291/ferguson-store-owners-reportedly-suffering-drastic-revenue-decline-customers-scared-to-shop-in-the-area/>.
Fox2Now. Hacker group “Anonymous” threatens Ferguson police department. 11 August 2014. Accessed 12 August 2014 .
Huffington Post. Police In Ferguson Stock Up On Riot Gear Ahead Of Grand Jury Decision. 28 October 2014. Accessed 3 November 2014 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/28/riot-gear-ferguson-protests_n_6062608.html>.
Key, Pam. Malik Shabazz Calls for Black Rebellion Against Tyrannical America if Darren Wilson Not Charged. 10 October 2014. Accessed 5 November 2014 .
Swaine, Jon. Ferguson police brace for new protests by spending thousands on riot gear. 28 October 2014. Accessed 4 November 2014 .
Weinreich, Marc. Michael Brown’s mother may face felony armed robbery charges: report. 6 November 2014. Accessed 8 November 2014 .
Wilber, D.W. Ferguson, the Insurgency Grows. 30 October 2014. Accessed 4 November 2014 <http://townhall.com/columnists/dwwilber/2014/10/30/ferguson-the-insurgency-grows-n1911769/page/full>.