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Ferguson, MO: Gov Declares a State of Emergency Before the Grand Jury Rules

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?

a) never,

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.

Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12