Monday, December 1, 2014

"They Think It's A Joke, They Think It's A Game"

They think it's a joke, 
They think it's a game...

Perhaps the primary direct action being taken during the ongoing #Ferguson protests is "shutting shit down" ("Who shuts shit down? We shut shit down!") most dramatically shutting down the freeways.

On the night that the Darren White Exoneration Jury's results were made public, 11/24/14, a good thousand or more demonstrators took over I-44 that runs through Shaw and Compton Heights. I haven't been in St. Louis for thirty years or so, but many memories of my time there have been triggered by the continuing demonstrations. Watching the events unfold on the livestreams has been remarkable -- both for the persistence and perseverance of the demonstrators and for all the memories that are being evoked... It's an odd and exhilarating experience.

Rebelutionary_Z was on the scene Monday night when the shut down of the freeway took place and his video documentation is striking. The freeway shutdown starts a little past 1:05:00 in the video below, and it's worth observing how it was done and how effective it was.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

There have been dozens if not hundreds of similar actions all over the country as a result of the systemic failure of the injustice system. This is a significant escalation in the use of direct action to inconvenience the multitudes. It's not just the interstsate freeways that get shut down; intersections in towns all over the St. Louis area and well beyond are also subject to sporadic and almost randomized shutdowns, often for the purpose of holding "die-ins" which last for four and a half minutes to symbolize the four and a half hours that Mike Brown's corpse lay the middle of Canfield Drive while the authorities with their dogs kept the people  back from the scene.

I'll note in passing that shutting down the interstates is considered a National Security issue, and if these actions continue or spread, we're liable to see a furious reaction from authority. From such kindling do revolutions flare.

Police impunity and the many murders and executions that are the result of a culture of killing that has infected domestic policing from coast to coast for decades is the proximate cause of this uprising.

Killed by Police has recorded 1,010 police killings since January 1, 2014; 1,764 since the website began tracking news reports on May 1, 2013.

These casualty figures are almost entirely on one side -- the side of the people -- for police are very, very rarely killed by members of the public, despite hysterical and false claims by police departments that they are under extreme and growing levels of lethal threat from... who? The Criminal Class -- which is everyone who isn't them, it would seem.

The number of police officers deliberately killed by members of the public is extremely low, like crime in general, the lowest it's been in generations. Police can't acknowledge that. Most public officials can't either.

The public has to say it loud and clear and has to repeat it endlessly otherwise those in power will never hear.

Direct action is one way to make those voices heard...

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