[act-ma] "Day After/Day Of" Notes from tonight's Ferguson Call (Hands Up!)
James in Cambridge
tompaine at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 23 19:28:27 PST 2014
Below are the notes from tonight's Ferguson conference call. The people
involved are well-organized and doing an excellent job building a movement out
of the death of Michael Brown and others killed by police violence in black
KZ [Kevin Zeese]
Hands Up United
We are 106 days into this issue. We thought there would be an announcement
this weekend, now that is looking less likely.
We could be approaching a tipping point, transformational moment on this
Organization of Black Struggle reports:
600 people trained in the St. Louis area in nonviolent direct
Affinity groups have formed out of these who all planning different actions
on their own, with the same goals and strategy.
We have also seen more oppression, more arrests, police using their powers
as well as using the power they have to control the media to get the
government's message out. We have also been working to get our narrative out
through our media outlets.
We need to be in the streets all over the country. This is not just about
Ferguson -- the problem of police abuse in black communities is nationwide. Use
your voices to get our narrative out and counter-balance the corporate
We are giving each other energy.
Black Lives Matter [see Black Lives Matter BOSTON for protest details here] reports:
Inspired by the work in Ferguson and St. Louis. Transformation from
folks getting tear gassed and angry to people who are still angry but
We are gearing up for direct action across the country. People are
using the slogan 'black lives matter' as well as organizing under that banner.
Actions are being planned in numerous cities, e.g. Atlanta, Boston,
Kalamazoo, Los Angeles, Chattanooga, Oakland Chicago and other cities.
Also there will be actions in Canada, e.g., Ontario protesting at US
embassy. International pressure and organizing important to push the US.
This is a moment to be creative, use old tactics, develop new tactics. We
are already winning.
Hands Up Coalition
Principles for action:
1. Design actions to be intense, direct and sustained -- not a blip or a
spasm. Continue this dialogue to transform this into a national movement and
conversation -- more than a 24 hour news cycle. Rolling actions or sustained
actions should be considered.
2. Department of Justice or other federal buildings are a suggested focus.
If St. Louis and Missouri cannot provide justice then we are asking President
Obama and Department of Justice act where the state of Missouri has failed.
Demand immediate action from Obama and Holder. If not a DOJ or federal building
then choose a location that resonates in your community, symbolize of police
violence against African Americans in your community.
3. Leadership in Ferguson is young black women and men who have stepped up
and provided amazing leadership. Great personal sacrifice for the last 100 days,
designed actions, used their ingenuity to keep Michael Brown and violence
against blacks in the US as an ongoing focus. We ask that you consider elevating
the leadership of young black folks in your community.
4. Be clear about what this moment is: an opportunity to address systemic
racism. We want to elevate Michael Brown but we do not want to limit the
conversation only to Ferguson. Be in solidarity with Michael but want a
conversation about white supremacy, conditions of blacks in the US, and
relationship with police -- and the need for a transformation of black people re
relationship to police and other institutions.
5. In many cities these will be mass events. We have a text service that we
can provide to create lists: Text 90975 with the message "Hands Up" in the
message area. This will give us people's texts and we can create national texts
and regional texts to those who sign up.
We are trying to develop support networks for those taking action.
Developed a team that will reach out to those planning actions to develop unity
around how we are presenting our case as well as national coordination as we
move forward. This needs to be more than a spasm based on emotion; it needs to
be a sustained movement going forward. We want to collectively organize a
long-term effort on these issues in our communities.
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