Monday, May 8, 2017


Edward Crawford, Jr.: May 4, 2017, is the SEVENTH mysterious death of a Ferguson activist.  He is the only one NOT found in a burning car.
Darren Seals: September 6, 2016
Vinnie Cascella: February 15, 2015 (it is worth noting that Cascella is the only white activist found dead in a burning car)
Terrell Beasley: December 19, 2014
Deandre Joshua: November 24, 2014 (Night of the Grand Jury Verdict) 
Antonio Jones: November 11, 2014
Darnell Robinson: September 8, 2014

Shawn Gray: last seen November 27, 2014  is sometimes included.  His body was found in River Des Peres a week later.  But he was not a protester and not involved in Ferguson. He was pulled over by a police officer, left his car and took a cab somewhere, and was never seen alive again. I do have a lot of questions about why he left his car after being pulled over, who the officer was, and who the cab driver was, and where Gray was dropped off.  Gray's death sounds a like a lynching to me.  A black man out during the grand jury verdict protests, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Crawford was riding in a car with two women through Hyde Park, began complaining about his life and depression, fumbled around and produced a gun, and either intentionally or accidentally shot himself fatally when the gun went off.

Yeah, that's possible, even plausible... But it is very suspicious.

What kind of gun was it?
Where is the bullet entry wound?
Where did the shooting occur?
Who called the police and where was the car in relation to the shooting when the police arrived?
Were their any witnesses outside of the car?
Who were the women?  How did Crawford know them? Could there have been someone else in the car who got out before the police arrived?

The lack of details in the news reports is problematic.  

Edward Crawford, Jr. and Darren Seals
If  you ask people in St. Louis that took part in Ferguson protests or other events (like Ferguson October) who the leading Ferguson activists were, you will hear a completely different list of names than what the media will tell you.  Many of the names associated nationally are not from St. Louis.  Crawford and Seals were both from St. Louis, remained in St. Louis, and neither of them ever formed 501c3 non profit corporations and accepted money for their activism.  To many people in St. Louis, especially in the African-American community, or at least those that I have spoken with, this is important, and a sign of integrity.  To do it on your own time and on your own dime, and to stay loyal to your roots and your home.

(My understanding of this is that accepting money compromises your activism, and that to leave St. Louis and Ferguson, even to fight racism nationally, is still abandoning the place that launched your fame.  Also, for many men like Seals, that had a past that included gangs, it is very important to have a job and be a contributing member of society- to be a role model for other at risk youth. I believe Crawford was also like this, although I don't know that he was associated with gangs in his youth.)

Darren Seals
Darren Seals was found shot in his burning car in September of 2016. The people I have spoken to that knew Darren before Ferguson, and those that knew his story of his past, do NOT believe the police killed him.  But they do think that the police did not bother to investigate at all, because of who Darren was, and what he represented.

I have some problems with the witness from the apartment building.  I actually talked to him.  The next day he had disappeared.  I am not calling him a liar. I believe him, but I also have a hard time with the story. But if the car came down Diamond, the scraping gears and jerky driving would have summoned the Riverview police.  Riverview is TINY.   And late at night the police are clustered near the Fire Station.

Also, why would the driver being wearing socks on his hands if the car was going to be torched, unless the driver didn't know the car was going to be torched?   That is a known dumping place by people that do dirty deeds in St. Louis.  And no one would choose to drive through well patrolled Bellefontaine Neighbors, famous for its traffic court, or risk the labrynth of slow and twisting streets and the St Louis County PD substation of Glasgow Village, to get to Riverview.

If you are going to dump and torch evidence you will come up Riverview Drive from Hall street or Baden, where you can be assured of never seeing a city cop.  And if you do see cops, they will probably be at the site of a major car accident and too busy to pay attention to you.

As I said, that apartment parking lot had had burning cars dumped there before. I heard that a 67 year old women who had reported many of these things to police had died under suspicious circumstances a week earlier.  Despite all evidence to the contrary, this was ruled a "suicide."

In the weeks following Darren's death I heard many rumours about why he died.  One was that he had information on Kajieme Powell's murder.  Or something or someone related to his death.

And that a woman who shows up in one of the videos- getting out a car just before the police show up and shoot Powell- had also died under mysterious circumstances.  (When I find the link I will post it here.)

And let's not forget that Riverview is a place where the City Museum founder was found dead under suspicious circumstances, and was never investigated until the family got involved 5 years later.

Vinnie Cascella  
Torching a car is overkill for a botched robbery.  And criminals target easy marks.  You don't break into a house that has a barking dog. You don't carjack a car with bumper stickers all over it.  And Cascella would not have put up a fight for his car or his money. It's much more likely that Cascella either had stumbled across something in Ferguson, and was targeted. It's much more likely that some sort of meeting took place in the car, didn't go the way the shooter expected, and the car was torched to hide evidence and send a message to others.

Ferguson really messed up a lot of "insider" "ole boy networks" and a lot of corruption.  Not just because of National media attention.  Or the DOJ coming in and auditing all of these municipalities.   But also because white kids from Ballwin and black kids from the North side met and talked and formed relationships at the protests.  The white kids from Ballwin saw things that they didn't see in the suburbs, upstanding members of their communty's doing not so upstanding things. Like the strip clubs of East Saint Louis, when the Ministering Sisters reaching out to the sinners find the Pastor with pants around his ankles, Ferguson had the "Young Goodman Brown" effect.  (When Young Goodman Brown finds himself out in the woods on the night of the Witches Sabbat, he finds that the witches are the pious town elders.)

Terrell Beasley
Beasley's death is really suspicious.  He was killed in a shoot out with Officer McGhee, but then was found later in a burning car.  It is his death that makes me think that the burning car is an internal message- a smoke signal that is deciphered by other members of a gang- criminal or law enforcement. 

Deandre Joshua
Most people know Deandre as the first of the Ferguson protesters found in a burning car.  Many people also erroneously believe he was going to testify in the Wilson Grand Jury. Those that knew him personally say he absolutely did not testify against Darren Wilson.  However, the night of the verdict there were a lot of white supremacist and paramilitary groups in Ferguson, and his friendship with Dorian Johnson might have made him a target.  (Johnson was actually in jail, if I recall, the night of the announcement of the grand jury verdict.)

Antonio Jones
He was found in the trunk of burning car in East Saint Louis.   A man was arrested, but there are very few details forthcoming.

Darnell Robinson
Three people were arrested for this, but obviously the torched cars didn't stop.  And as with all the other reports, the story is convoluted.  (It was a woman in the surveillance tape, then later it was man, etc.) 

I don't know if  Darnell was related to Rayford Robinson, who was involved in another strange story of murder in St. Louis.  This time on the east side. He was 16 when he was killed in a drive by shooting. William Sherrill was also killed, and Lane was found not guilty.  Read the link and you will see that the police chief over there never thought it was the three of them.

I cannot completely rule out a rogue policeman, or group, maybe white nationalists, going after Ferguson protesters. It could also be a corrupt federal agent, DEA or ATFE, cleaning up witnesses to things that happened years ago, and counting on the local police to not investigate anyone involved in Ferguson.

I need to do more research on the occurrence of burning cars, and in particular, burning cars with bodies in them, BEFORE Ferguson.  Because it really seems like there weren't that many before Ferguson, and now they are routine. As I said, the burning car seems like a message, or a mark, of a particular group or person.

And this person or people is bold enough or protected enough to kill with impunity.  Who is both bold and protected enough?  Gangs? Or police? Or both when working together?

In St. Louis, the police have been known to both sell drugs, and to work with drug dealers.
Local officers accused of partnering with drug dealers to steal heroin | St. Louis 

In the Hyde Park division, where Edward Crawford, Jr. was found dead, two police officers tried to co-erce a man into giving them a name of someone that the police could plant heroin on and frame. 
 Man films local officers’ attempt to intimidate him under false pretences | St. Louis

(Both of these stories are gone from the web, but they can still be found in the archives of KMOV, and the reports are still in the police files.) 

The officer that shot and killed Terrell Beasley was partnering with drug dealers. Beasley was found later in a burning car.  **
The DEA was able to compile a report that there are 240 street gangs in St. Louis.  This is why these reports shouldn't be called "intelligence".  Without any transparency on how this knowledge was acquired there is no way to validate any of their findings.  What did they do? Walk around asking people "are you in a gang? and which one?" etc? Why would anyone tell them the truth? If anyone needed to make a deal to get out of jail time, or wanted informant cash, they would just make something up.  Or use the opportunity to spin a story that served them.  And if the DEA knows so much how come we still have this huge heroin problem in St. Louis? 

And as I've said before, I don't think all of these drugs could come in without some sort of cooperation from some police and some agents.  And in this national case, linked below, this corrupt DEA supervisor, Carney, now works in Los Angeles.  Carney had an affair with someone, turned the woman into an informer, and gave her $212k in a period of about two years.  This case is all over the map, both geographically and historically, and goes back to Black Family Mafia.  As a writer of fiction, I can see so many scenarios in this, and none of them make the DEA look good.  Either the agents were all in on the corruption or the entire agency is so inept it should be shut down.

 I am willing to bet that a lot of the problems with gang violence escalated when the ATFE showed up here back in ?? 2006 or so.  Their "fictional sting operations" are notorious for creating more problems than they solve.
One of their operations made national news when it happened during the Ferguson protests.

Only We The People can ask these questions, and keep the investigations of these 7 men open and active.

RIP Edward Crawford, Jr.  And thank you for throwing that tear gas cannister away from those children.  You are appreciated, and you will be remembered for your bravery and selflessness.

**A few other St. Louis suspicions, not Ferguson related: 

Like Officer Don McGhee who shot Terrell Beasley, Officer Jason Shockley is rumored to be part of some sort of police drug ring, and that he shot Anthony Lamar Smith for that reason. 

I doubt Chicago is the only city where police tax drug dealers.  

Many people are suspicious of the story involving George Bush the Third, who improbably walked up to a policeman's car in front of the Police Union and shot the officer.  To me and many other people it sounds much more like a war between the cops, the criminals, and the cops that work with criminals.

And if Bush's story is that the criminals are becoming less afraid to murder police, a lot of that could be attributed to the fact that black men in St. Louis can be reasonably certain that their murders will never be investigated, and that crimes that they do commit have a good chance of getting pinned on someone else.

Friday, September 9, 2016


In addition to Deandre Joshua and the three bodies in burning cars that I knew about outside of Ferguson, on Riverview drive, in Baden**, and in East St. Louis, there is this list and note.

From @missjupiter1957 social media post:
I've been tracking these murders for 2yrs, but now that people are actually talking about them, there is a lot of misinformation.
#DeandreJoshua was a friend of Dorian Johnson's, but contrary to popular belief, he was NOT a grand jury witness.
I only later discovered #TerrellBeasley was actually killed by a cop before he was mysteriously "found dead in a burning car," b/c I was already tracking men-shot-&-burned-in-cars. It was never reported as an "officer-involved shooting."
#VinnieCascella was NOT black. He was white, which is why I know more about his life from local media than the 1st 4.
#ShawnGray is not on this list b/c he drowned & was NOT shot-&-burned-in-a-car. He was also NOT a grand jury witness.

And this video from News One Now: 

**Baden was Terrell Beasley.



 EDIT: I posted this at the first draft, because I do not know how much time I will have to work on it.  I am editing it now, at 7:30 AM, and hopefully will have a chance to clean it up a little more.  I apologize for the roughness, rambling, and typos.

I do not believe that Darren Seals murder was gang or crime related or random.   

There is a seeming backlash against Ferguson activists going on right now.  All of these police departments in the area got a huge influx of revenue and grants because of Ferguson.  And the increasing violence in the city has ramped up "crime fighting", which often is nothing more than a clampdown on poor neighborhoods.  (At no point in my memory has increased police presence reduced crime to any significant degree.  More police seem to only increase investigation and prosecution after a crime has been committed.)

In June Seals was pulled over by the Ferguson P.D. and covertly threatened.  The (great and very thorough) article from the Riverfront Times blames vindictive trolls. (The link to Seals' facebook video about the incident is included in the article.)

And this is very likely.  The backlash mostly seems to be individual police officers, and factions of officers.  (In my opinion emboldened by the lack of sanctions or systemic changes to the rank and file, and also the racism the Trumpsters have been whipping up.)  I do not think that all the police in the St. Louis have come to a decision to go after Ferguson activists, but I do think there are some, and that retaliation has begun.

Ferguson was different from every movement and uprising that has ever come before it.  Ferguson shook the world.  St. Louis had its first non-Cardinals related tourism for the first time in ages. National and International Media and celebrities came in droves.

The Justice Department could not make a few calls to the known leaders and quell the riots, as they have in the past.  They had to send a team here and that team went through the books and records of all these municipalities.  (Thank you, Justice Department.) The Justice Department wasn't able to make a lot of long lasting changes.  But they uncovered a lot dirty deeds.

And so did Ferguson activists.  And they still are.

The corrupt mechanism of St. Louis- that seems to be at the core in government, business, and law- lost a lot of power.   The people that run that mechanism have likely been waiting for the hoopla to die down so that they could retaliate. 

Seals was from the Riverview Gardens School District.  The gangs of his neighborhood apparently were at war with the gangs of Riverview and/or Glasgow Village. But I don't buy the story that the RG High School gangs killed Seals'. (It is possible, but I just don't believe it.)

I don't know that the Ferguson P.D. killed Darren Seals, either. I think it is just as likely that a businessman or woman, or a politician, had him killed to protect their own interests.  And that should frighten every citizen of St. Louis- not just those of us here in NoCo.  It frightens me much more than the thought of gang violence.

In St. Louis, if you have a dirty deed to do, you head up to Riverview. The area is 70% poverty (mostly African American, and partly "just enough to hang on in low rent/mortgage" and partly ephemeral and transient), and 30%  lower middle and middle class white (some holdovers from before "white flight").   Each street up here is its own entity. There is no village-wide communication encompassing all strata of residents.  (Yet.)

Even though every city cop could get his month's quota of tickets in one afternoon on Riverview Drive (and Hall street in nearby Baden-- another place dirty deeds are done secret, another place bodies are dumped in burning cars) you NEVER see cops on Riverview drive.

Not county, not city, not nearby Bellonfontaine Neighbours.  Riverview cops, sometimes.  But they are always busy.  There is no day without sirens in Riverview, or Glasgow Village.  Accidents, arguments, gunfire, shootings, theft, robbery.

And like every municipality they have to make those traffic quotas.  No local government can operate without the revenues from their traffic courts-which have nothing to do with real commuter or pedestrian safety.  This area is highly unsafe to drive in because of road conditions and lack of sidewalks.  In early August there was a huge six car accident with overturned vehicles at Scranton and Riverview Drive.  One of the most dangerous intersections in the area.(Almost nothing that happens in Riverview is ever reported on the news. That accident should have been front page on a slow news day.  If it had happened on the south side it would have been.  Not a peep.)

Why isn't Riverview drive patrolled? Who has the power to decide what streets get patrolled? And what streets never get patrolled at all? 

The apartment building parking lot where Seals' was found has hosted many dumped cars that were lit on fire.  So have many streets along Riverview Drive and Hall street. And not too long ago, a 67 year old woman was murdered. She lived in the apartments where Seals body and car were found, and had reported a number of these abandoned and torched cars. 

Riverview is so obviously ignored by law enforcement it is like Gypsy Rose Lee at a gathering of Deacon's wives; the elephant in the middle of the room, wearing a red dress.

Horrible, weird things happen in Riverview alot.

Bob Cassilly's death was suspicious, and only recently has it gotten any media attention.  Like most people I assumed if he was murdered, then it must have something to do with his business ventures.  (His own businesses, or a rival for the area- like the recent developments in Baden.  Or an attempt to keep a lid on Cementland's radioactive toxicity from reaching the news.)  But now I wonder if he wasn't just an inconvenient obstacle to some other nefarious activity going on at that site?

A woman was beaten in a moving car and then thrown from it 2 years ago on my street. Both Chambers and Riverview Drive host roving gun battles every other month or so. It is not unusual to find used needles and condoms in the street, and shell casings. (Not to mention stuffed garbage bags of god knows what that are thrown out of cars up and down Riverview Drive and also at the corners of Scranton, Adrian, Valley, and South East Chambers.)

This would be great place for hired assasins to ambush a Ferguson activist visiting his old high school friends (I don't know if this is really the case with Seals, just illustrating why I think the murder happened up here).  

And one of the strangest house explosions happened 18 hours after Seals' body was discovered.

This explosion didn't burn anything.  It only blew out the front and back windows, and the roof.  Or so it appears.  The house had been vacant for awhile. Who knows how much of that damage had already been done?  I really want to know what caused the explosion and why it was so strange.

Bomb and Arson unit were called and we need to demand a thorough investigation.  Just by nature of the fact they were summoned to the scene tells you how strange this "explosion" was.  Explosions are uncommon here, but not unusual. It really says something that even the fire department is suspicious. I believe that this house is connected with Seals death.

And since several people on Diamond are rumoured to have heard the gears in Seals' Jeep grinding, and also the driver apparently hit the bushes a few times, we need to make sure the police check the routes from the exploded house on Grampion to the parking lot on Adrian.  (The car was actually dumped at the parking lot on Adrian, not Diamond drive as reported in the news.)

We need to know not only who the driver was, but who the white man was that lit the fire and knew his way through the yards of the houses that line Riverview Drive?  

If Raqqa Mart or any other businesses have cameras we need to demand that footage be examined by the police.

I want to know how Seals' body was identified, and if there were any marks or bruises or remnants of tape or other clues.

Who did he talk to in his last days? Weeks? How much information do we have about his whereabouts before he was murdered?  When was the last time someone talked to him or saw him?  Where was he?

Darren Seals deserves justice.  We need to keep the spotlight on this case to protect the witnesses. And for the safety of every Ferguson activist.  We can keep ourselves safe by demanding a thorough investigation, by investigating ourselves, by bugging the media to keep publishing articles on the investigation, and by making all of our communities less safe for murderers.

In the last few months, in addition to Seals' encounter with the Ferguson P.D:

One activist who is known to be a gay man has reportedly been charged with having sex with an underage female.

A woman that witnessed the murder of Kajieme Powell died under circumstances that people that knew her found to be mysterious.  (I.e., not the spin the local media coverage gave it.)

And let's not forget the filing of charges against many activists that were arrested over a year later, last fall, and the subsequent harsh sentencing of Josh Williams.

I did not know Darren Seals.  I recognized his picture immediately, and his twitter handle.  (At Ferguson protests introductions were often made with twitter handles.) Whatever disagreements he had with Black Lives Matter and other groups that arose from Ferguson, he was respected by all and loved by many, many people.  His death is a loss for St. Louis, for social justice. 

Finally, on a personal note: I love Riverview.  I love Baden.  I've lived here for about three years.  I don't believe Darren Seals was killed because of some gang issue.  But there are gangs up here.  And a lot of kids that don't have anything to do and don't believe the future holds much for them.  Seals' murder has urged me to reach out to those kids in my community- to register to vote, to work for social justice and change, to encourage them to find things to do that they love, and work toward building a good lives for themselves.

On Wednesday night a kid was shot dead on Diamond street.  Was this somehow related to Seals' murder? I don't know. Since I have lived here a several kids have been shot and killed on Diamond.  In January of 2014 a kid (I believe named Noah Barnes) was shot and bled to death in the street.

I don't want to see anymore kids lying dead in the street, for any reason.  Our youth are our future. Some of this crime fighting money needs to go to the schools and economic and job development.  This cycle of violence and crime has got to end. 

And the good cops in St. Louis need to step up and start exposing bad cops, and the men behind the curtain. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


The first issue is the template for change.  Future issues will focus on specific issues and power structures (including Metro/Bi-State, of course).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Within the last few months we have seen Ferguson and the other PD's pursue charges against Ferguson activists from last year.

We have to do the same. Don't call the ACLU, go into their offices and talk to someone. (454 Whittier St, St. Louis, MO 63108)

It may be that if you have charges the best thing to do is challenge them in court.  It may be that you should pay the fine or accept the plea and then file a lawsuit.

Take a page out of the real "thugs" book:  When the Koch Brothers sought to hijack national elections they didn't hire protesters, they hired lawyers. (If you don't know about Citizen's United click here.)

We learned in Ferguson what this country is really about. Who is really in charge.  And now it is time to reclaim our power.  The laws need to reflect the People's rights, not the police and Good Ole Boys of industry and politics.

And Robert McCulloch needs to be removed from office.  There needs to be some sort of legal suit brought against him for the way he conducted Wilson's Grand Jury.  He will remain in office until we remove him. 

Law and order are not the same as peace and justice.  And there will be neither peace nor justice as long as that "powers that be" are allowed to remain intact.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


EDIT: If planning to protest please check out this website immediately:

I didn't see the whole press conference Governor Nixon gave today.  But social media has been buzzing, and it seems like even the most uninvolved people (those that have not been paying attention to events in Ferguson or altered their lives much except where it intrudes) are holding their breath.

"Nixon's warning to Ferguson protesters sounded a lot like dialogue from Selma" From VOX: 


EDIT: Here is Mayor Slay's edict. (Ferguson officials have been noticeably absent from the proceedings.)


Since no one expects to hear the decision is to indict and proceed with a trial, there are a lot of conversations among Ferguson supporters about what the most effective response will be.  And deeper questions, too.  Because no one thinks this will be over even if there is an indictment.

Without an indictment, there will be pursuit of civil suit.  There will likely be renewed long term protests.  And no matter what happens, what has been born from the Ferguson protests and protesters are many groups and committees and legal actions that will continue to work to end racism, police brutality, and government corruption for years to come. "The whole damn system, is guilty as hell."

In St. Louis there is still Kajieme Powell and Vonderrit Myers, Jr. In Ohio there is John Crawford. In Utah, Darrien Hunt. There's still the matter of body cams, and de-militarization of police. And issues like economic development, jobs, healthcare, housing, and public transit.  What has become obvious to many many people is that there are a lot of long term changes that need to be attended to.

So while we all wait for this announcement, for the people that are committed to Justice for Mike Brown, no one thinks life will go back to "normal".  This is just the beginning.

But what will everyone do at the moment of the Grand Jury verdict?


This is a link to protests planned around the country after the verdict is announced:

There is a call to convene at the Ferguson Police Department at 5 PM on the day of the announcement.  The best thing to do is to get yourself a twitter account and follow the Ferguson hashtag: #Ferguson  Immediately sign up for the newsletter:

Great article on Deray and other Ferguson activists:

You can follow @deray and @nettaaaaaaaa (8 a's) on twitter to start, they run the newsletter, and tweet and instagram from all the protests. Check out MillennialAU and HandsUpUnited and Lost Voices and OperationHelpOrHush and Black Lives Matter and HealSTL.  Anonymous is OpFerguson.  That will get you going on Twitter, and able to keep up with the Ferguson protest community. 

On the day of the decision and following, Twitter will be how the Ferguson Protesters communicate when and where to meet for the protests and marches, as they have for the last 95 days. Twitter is also where you can find links to the livestreams of all the protests.

EDIT: another group worth following is the Don't Shoot Coalition, composed of 50 organizations. They wrote the demands for the police in wake of the verdicts. Here is another great article about the protests written by one of their members:

It seems certain that if you go out to protest you should be prepared to "tolerate violence" from these guys:

Get a gas mask, some maalox and milk, etc. Be prepared to be arrested, even if you aren't doing anything illegal or violent.  In fact, a good thing to do would be go to the legal workshop tomorrow night: Or at the very least, go by the Ferguson P.D. protest site and talk to one of the National Lawyers Guild legal observers, in the bright green hats, and just ask them what to do to prepare.

From the Anti-Media: 8 Lessons from the Million Man March. 

Also from Anti-Media, another article on what to do after the verdict:

Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis will be having a 24 hour vigil from the moment of the announcement.  Everyone is encouraged to come for as long or short as they wish, and join in the prayer vigil or just to sit quietly and reflect and think.

(I wish the Central Library would also stay open for 24 hours, to offer refuge to atheists, and to activists that want to do research or create media for the next step.)

There is also a leaflet circulating calling for a mass strike and boycott.  Stay inside, don't go to work or school, don't buy anything.  The leaflet is vague on how long to do this, and also shows no authorship.  But the idea is circulating heavily among people, mostly older, like myself.  I visited the protest site the other night and a woman said "we should stay inside for three weeks, then come back out to the P.D. and start protesting again."

I would add another dimension to this, which is the OPTINSTL "Armchair Revolution".  Not like the picture, below, but a revolution from your armchair.  If you choose to participate in the mass boycott and strike, use the time at home to organize and engage in mass twitter storms, email campaigns, and flooding the phone lines of elected officials, including McCulloch and the DOJ, with your comments, questions, and suggestions about justice for Mike Brown, institutionalized racism, police brutality, and police reform and de-militarization.

(Also, you can be on standby to make calls on behalf of any protesters that are arrested, and monitor from the livestreams.) 

Personally, I will be leaving a candle lit In Memoriam again, as many of us in St. Louis did in the nights following Brown's murder.  A public candlelight vigil will likely be called for by some group or church-- or perhaps has been already, and I just haven't heard yet-- but this is another activity I would engage in during the boycott and strike.

Of course, there are big drawbacks with the boycott and strike, and that is why it is mostly popular with older people, and not with any of the Ferguson Protesters I have asked about it (which should be noted is fewer than 8 people). Young people generally want action. A lot of people will be coming from all over St. Louis and many parts of the country, and if everyone is at home there would be no local leadership for the out of town protesters.

And a boycott/strike is not visible, and across the country and probably around the world, media has crews on stand by to come to Ferguson the moment the announcement is made. A boycott and strike would give them nothing to report or film.

Unless there is an eruption of anger and mass movement from people that have not participated since the first two weeks, or not participated much, or at all, before. Then the press would have essentially, an "amateur night" to report. And the police and government would be hit with a double whammy. A crowd of protesters in the streets that they are NOT familiar with, and demanding flood of calls and emails from the St. Louisans staying at home. And then the many people missing from work due to the strike, and revenues being lost due to the boycott, would also put a lot of (legal, non-violent) stress on "business as usual."


Anyone that has ever talked to even a few of the 100 or so core protesters, or the 400 plus who participate regularly and/or provide support, one of the fears is that violence will be started by newcomers and outsiders- very angry people, opportunists, or the kind of people in the photo below- and then blamed on the protesters.

Trolls are racists and white supremacists and women with a crush on Darren Wilson that have nothing better to do all day than spew vile hatred and harass peaceful protesters.

And while the trolls are extremely troublesome on their phones or computers from mom's basement, there are some that will put on pants and load up the back seat with artillery and drive around looking to pick a fight. The Klan is also promising to be on "patrol." (I couldn't copy an image of the leaflet that is circulating on twitter, but basically, they say they can't wait to put on their white hoods and pick up their guns. In recent years they have not had a strong show of force. But who knows? Be prepared.)

EDIT: Here is an article with a copy of the leaflet.

My biggest worry is about the police. My next biggest worry is racist random shooters. I have no worries about the Ferguson Protesters.

(Even the incident of the so called "Student Streamer" getting chased out of a meeting at a church is not cause for alarm. There are many things about this guy and the incident that are not being reported in the mainstream media, and I will do a post about it as soon as possible and link to it here. Suffice to say, if you go the training workshop or check in with a legal adviser, you should be fine.  And unless you are livestreaming, yourself, I'd say leave your cell phone at home. If you get arrested you will want to call Jail Support from the jail, and they will probably already be there. And you don't want the police having access to your phone while you are detained. Just my opinion.)


One of the women I follow on Twitter says "the best response to the Grand Jury verdict is crickets."  She is also in favor of the boycott for economic reasons.  In convos with her and others these are some of the strengths:

The "crickets" would publicly humiliate police.  And the longer it went on the more nervous they would become. All that money wasted on troops and riot gear (assuming that the streets were truly empty of people and business as usual).

As I said above, if there were people that wanted to engage violently then the peaceful would not be caught up in it.  It seems like the entire "not involved" part of the city is going to shut down anyhow. Schools are closing, businesses are boarding up. When the great apocalypse fails to materialize, and black savages don't run through the streets killing white people, or whatever the hell all these idiots think is going to happen, it would dawn on them that they had, in fact, participated in "shutting it down."
My vision would be: the boycott/strike, armchair revolution, and home candle vigils would go on for at least three days, and the next business day after that there would be a "hands across Saint Louis" silent protest/vigil starting in Clayton at noon, and running until 4:45 PM.  Instead of a mass of people gathered or marching in the street, people would stand side by side, single file, as far down the streets of St. Louis as possible. Miles of streets with protesters standing silently for the amount of time Michael Brown, Jr.'s body lay in the street.

Whatever happens, the movement will continue, through group and individual efforts. Everyone has a part to play. 

I hope that this blog post has been helpful for you to determine what response you will take.

Stay safe. And "Stay Woke".

(EDIT: I just wanted to add a personal note about non-violent versus violent action.  Often people that want to respond violently will say "I am willing to die for my country" or "I will take a bullet for my beliefs."  But a pacifist will also die for his or her beliefs (or country or people, etc), he or she won't kill someone else, too. Pacifism is truly courageous. Violence is circular. It creates more of itself.  And unless it is very large and well organized movement, strong enough to stand up to the military and seize and maintain power, it does not seem to accomplish anything long term.  I also believe that human evolution has reached a point, particularly in a developed, wealthy nation like ours, that the peaceful protest, civil disobedience, and more widespread attention and pressure on the government by the people is a true path to lasting change, and real peace and real justice.)