This has the potential of ending badly in #Ferguson. I seriously hope the #OathKeepers know what they are doing. --- Please don't start an armed race war in my country.
I am more for non-violent peace march/civil rights.. Is that sadly no longer possible in Ferguson and elsewhere?
The same topic of "violence and arrests" has been raised by members of the #Occupy movement, arrested in NYC and elsewhere, and held in jail to await trial in cases that often involved excessive bonds for minor charges, which were sometimes not even understandable.
At a town hall meeting in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 15th -- Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told his audience that each of them might be personally needed to March on Washington. The idea raised fear among the mostly white audience. "How can we know that we will be safe if we protest and demand changes in Congress that powerful corporations are against?" was the question.
"It will be hard, but not impossible," said Senator Sanders. "When we rise up in very large numbers, we can protect each other."
In Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 15th -- The Missouri chapter of the Oath Keepers announced plans for an open-carry march through downtown Ferguson that will include 50 black protesters, armed with AR-15 rifles.
The decision to hold the event transpired after St. Louis County officers, in violation of Missouri's open carry law, insisted that members of the group could not open carry long barrel rifles within the city --- and the group realized that no black protester would ever feel safe on the street, openly carrying a fire arm.
"Every person we talked to said, if they carried, they'd be shot by police. That's the reason we're going to hold this event and it will be a legal demonstration," said Sam Andrews, head of the St. Louis County, Missouri Oath Keepers group.
Oath Keepers are made up mainly of current and former military and law enforcement officers, who have sworn an oath to protect the Constitution, ahead of any law or command given that violates the rights of citizens.
Mainstream media tends to paint the Oath Keepers as some kind of quasi-racist fringe right wing militia group, with explicit implication that blacks should fear them.
In actuality, Anderson said, "We have people from all different races on our security team. We're not racist and we wouldn't tolerate anyone in our organization who was racist." The group has captured the national spotlight for its effort to protect stores from looters, as well as offer people in the community a better sense of "safety and protection."
That can also include a greater sense of safety and protection for black protesters, he said. "Every person we talked to said if they carried, they'd be shot by police. That's the reason we're going to hold this event and it will be a legal demonstration."
You can follow the discussion at thefreethoughtproject.com.
Because I am a civil rights - peace marching child of the 1960's I DO BELIEVE that we will fully overcome racism in this country, only if #WeStandTogether to MAKE #BlackLivesMatter, and this greatly depends on seeing the URGENCY!
-- More than 1,100 people have been shot and killed by police in this country, just this year.
Is the crisis diminished because not every lost life was black? --- NO!
Is this a "black issue" best solved by only people of color? --- NO!
The current atmosphere of police brutality is coming down heavy on all people, who buck the system -- who stand up to "establishment government." --- But the hand of the law comes down heaviest on the most vulnerable protesters, the poor and people of color, and the LBGT community.
When Sandra Bland was drug out of a car, handcuffed and arrested in Waller County, Texas for (possibly) making an illegal lane change, we all watched the video and thought exactly what Senator Sanders said, "That would never have happened if she had been a middle-class white woman." --- The fact that she later died in jail only heaps insult onto the already despicable example of racial victimization.
There is no doubt that racist injustice exists, from cops to courts to the mass incarceration in privatized prisons for profit --- The crisis has reached what we can only hope is a turning point, because we now have a greater portion of our citizens in jail than in any other place in the WORLD.
Which is why, I really want to understand this effort by the Oath Keepers in #Ferguson to arm black protesters with AR-15's for an "Epic Rights-Flexing March." -- It seems like a high-risk effort. But there are many people in the Ferguson neighborhood, who describe the Oath Keepers as pretty level-headed guys, who always think things through.
"This march is a great thing, because it shows solidarity among Americans of all backgrounds. It shows that U.S. citizens are united in standing up for each other and our great nation," commented one woman.
Symone Sanders, the face of the national Bernie Sanders campaign says, "We are all doing Black Lives Matter work. For some of us, it's policy -- Some of us it's advocacy, some of us it's activism, but we all have a place -- whether we are in the streets, or working to advance policy and understanding.
She is personally a young black, juvenile justice advocate based in Washington D.C., working to help young people and convicted felons caught up in an unjust system.
Bernie Sanders is the candidate, who will have the courage to end the "war on drugs" and fight to close privatized prisons for profit, she told CNN.
I am listening! ----- Mary Jo Pezzi, an Iowa girl and Florida transplant.