Sunday, August 24, 2014

So what do people protesting in Ferguson want?

HuffPo reports that demonstrators have presented demands via three spokespeople. Here the list as shared by the local group Organization for Black Struggle.

Immediate Demands
(These demands are being fine-tuned as the struggle goes on.)

Local Demands
1. Swift and impartial investigation by the Department of Justice into the Michael Brown shooting
2. Immediate arrest of Darren Wilson
3. County Prosecutor Robert McCullough to stand down and allow a Special Prosecutor to be appointed
4. Firing of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson
5. “Immediate” De-escalation of militarized policing of peaceful protestors
6. Ensure the protection of the rights of people to assemble and peacefully protest
7. Hold law enforcement officers accountable for excessive use of force on peaceful protestors
8. Immediate release of individuals who have participated -- their right assemble and peacefully protest

National Demands
1. Obama to come to Ferguson to meet with the people whose human rights have been violated by aggressive and militarized policing, including the family of the victim – Michael Brown.
2. Eric Holder to use the full resources and power of the Department of Justice to implement a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities
3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities by requiring front facing cameras in police departments with records of racial disparities in stops, arrests, killings, and excessive force complaints
4. Immediate suspension without pay of law enforcement officers that have used or approved excessive use of force. Additionally, their personnel information and policing history should be made available to the public.

Sure, these folks are asking for the moon, but if it takes an ugly broad daylight killing by a cop and two weeks of noisy protests to get any attention, it makes sense to use every bit of your moment of national attention. And if this is not a police state, "transparency, accountabiliy, and safety" are completely reasonable expectations.

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