Ferguson, MO: Gov Declares a State of Emergency Before the Grand Jury Rules
By Dennis Loo (11/17/14) updated November 18, 2014
Upon hearing that Missouri's governor Jay Nixon has today called upon the National Guard, declaring a state of emergency for Ferguson and St. Louis, even before the grand jury issues its findings on whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, do you think to yourself:
a) the governor has no idea what the grand jury will say and just wants to be careful to protect people's constitutional rights to speech and assembly,
b) the governor knows that the grand jury will not indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown and he plans to violently suppress the inevitable protest, or
c) this announcement just reinforces my faith that the criminal justice system is fair and impartial?
What does it tell us about how the judicial, political, and criminal justice system work that public officials are already planning to suppress protests, even though the grand jury has not issued its findings? How come they have already ruled out the possibility that the grand jury will indict Michael Brown's killer? Because if the grand jury does indict Wilson, then that would mean that perhaps there is some small measure of fairness in the system, and there would not be any chance of violent protest against a suitable indictment, wouldn't it?
But this is clearly not expected to happen by these officials, is it?
Public officials such as St. Louis Mayor James Knowles III have said, as reported by the New York Times on November 8, 2014: “By 8, 9 o’clock [pm], nothing good is going to happen out on the streets [after the grand jury verdict],” Mr. Knowles said. “When the gremlins come out, you’re [citizens venturing into the streets] just going to get caught in the crossfire.”
"Caught in the crossfire." The mayor is predicting that cops will shoot at the protestors and is warning people to stay off the streets.
Are they not telling us in no uncertain terms, that you may not protest the way things are - that the police are expected to continue, as a central part of their (un)official duties, to kill, without conscience or any cause, black and brown people, and that if anyone dares to question this practice, that they will surely face the guns and other weapons of the whole police force, in combination with other elements of the state's coercive arms such as the National Guard and FBI?
Pay attention now because they are teaching us and everyone else a profound lesson about the nature of who holds power in this country and what lengths they will go to to preserve and protect that power. They are pulling out all of the stops to show what they will do to foster and reinforce the "thin blue line" of police whose primary job is to protect at all costs those who actually rule this society and their illegal, unjust, immoral system of racism, sexism, plunder, and deceit.
You think we have rights to free assembly and free speech? You don't have these rights if you dare to question the police's license to murder innocent people of color. You will in fact face the state's implements of violence should you dare to freely assemble and freely speak. And unless we are prepared to lie prostrate before these reactionaries and let them continue to run roughshod over the people, then we must not accede to their vicious intimidation.
Now the governor declares a state of emergency pre-emptively to get the National Guard on the scene.
When is the last time you heard of a state of emergency being declared before a state of emergency existed?
b) this just reinforces my faith in the system to deliver justice, no matter what people's color and what their job or social status.
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)