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View Diary: Ferguson, Missouri: Video of unprovoked police attack on peaceful demonstrators (173 comments)

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  •  Very poor comparison. (14+ / 0-)

    Have you been to Soweto or Ferguson?  What is happening is bad, but it demeans the struggle of South Africans for liberation to compare it to that.

    Ferguson is a working class suburb with nice homes and its not apartheid.  The police there (many municipalities probably untrained for this) are not doing a good job, and, as Antonio French said this morning in a local TV interview when he was released from jail, the police shows of force are creating the problems of violence.  He talked about young men who usually have guns (gang members) who start shooting at cops AFTER they start the tear gassing.  

    I fear more innocents will lose life there.  What is needed for people to back up.  Police shows of force are making it worse.  

    Follow Antonio French on twitter.  I've met him years ago, he's a good guy.  St. Louis alderman now, and always has been a people's journalist.  

    It's ain't Soweto.


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    by TomP on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:42:04 AM PDT

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    •  Soweto.....peaceful protests brutally suppressed.. (18+ / 0-)

      that's what I recall....but thanks anyway.

      •  There are molotov cocktails and gunshots (16+ / 0-)

        happening in some places and peaceful demonstrations in others.  I fear the police will open fire if one is shot.

        Antonio said the police were arresting him and minsters last night, the peacemakers.  

        This is not because of some conspiracy, but because these are mostly police from suburbs who are untrained for days of this.  This is not just Ferguson police, but police from various municipalities, some of which are extremely low crime areas.  

        The City of St, Louis police would be better trained for this, but I do not think they are there.  

        As bad as some of the police actions have been, so far they have not killed a demonstrator.  I pray that continues.  I fear that something really bad is going to happen.

        One cop shot there (and there has been gunfire) and all hell may break lose.  

        County Exec Dooley, Congressman Clay, and others need to be up there.  There need to be peacemakers among the cops.  They need to back off on tactics.  

        They left a peaceful demonstration alone across from the police station.   They need to do more of that.  

        I fear a massacre, a Kent State.  But it can be prevented.

        This is becoming the story rather than Micheal Brown.

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        by TomP on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:55:27 AM PDT

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    •  you think people should back up? (4+ / 0-)

      I don't. You don't roll over for an abusive police force or it just gets worse.

      THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

      by xenubarb on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:02:57 AM PDT

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    •  I have been to Soweto, Tom (8+ / 0-)

      and Cape Town and Gugulethu as part of the research I did for my Masters Thesis.  I have not been to Ferguson.  What the police are doing in Ferguson is very similar to the police tactics used in Apartheid South Africa when young, unarmed African men were stopped by police for no reason, or for reasons just as lame as walking.  Many were killed or beaten half to death  during the course of arrests, at the police station, and once in prison.  The bodies of victims were left in the street for hours, parents did not receive the bodies of the young men for days, they were not told where the bodies were being held, they were not permitted to see the bodies before the autopsy was performed or to have a representative present, the names of the police involved in the deaths were not released because of fear for their "safety".  Eyewitnesses were not interviewed or they were subsequently arrested on  equally bogus charges.  The results of internal investigations were never released.

      The atrocities committed by police, prosecutors, jailers and Pass Court magistrates in South Africa during apartheid were more frequent and more widespread than what is happening now in the U.S. Many more people were killed.  

      However, from hearing news reports and watching videos like the one above, I think that noting the similarities between the tactics of the police in Ferguson and the tactics of the South African police during Apartheid is entirely appropriate. It does not demean the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa to note the similarities between the conduct of the South African police on any given occasion during Apartheid and the police in Ferguson from the time Michael Brown was stopped through the activities of last night.  

      And the attitude that dehumanizes black Americans, especially black men, as potential criminals who might at any moment turn into savages unless they are tightly controlled through aggressive stop and frisk measures, arrest using excessive  sometimes deadly force, even after the person is in custody force is widespread among the police, most of whom live in the conservative bubble and follow the racist pronouncements of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, ... I base this conclusion on personal discussions with former police officers I know and current police officers in my community college classes.  

      The police in and around Ferguson and in many cities across the U.S. have been permitted to treat African American citizens as enemy combatants even when they are just walking down the street, minding their own business in basically every state in the Union since the Civil War without much attention from the media.  These tactics must end.  

      I fear that the police in Ferguson--not the demonstrators--will lose control and more young people will be killed or seriously injured.  The people who appear to have no respect for the law are not the demonstrators who are attempting to exercise their constitutional right to free assembly and free speech. The Ferguson police and St. Louis County are acting unlawfully and without authority from elected leaders who appear to be cowering under their beds in fear of alienating voters.  

      How can Republicans say they love America when they hate Americans so very much?

      by Tchrldy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:10:21 AM PDT

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    •   Looks like Soweto and Gaza (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrannyRedBird, mrkvica

      Ferguson I heard is 70% black with a 90% white police force. Then the white police force is armed to the teeth and firing into peaceful people who are demonstrating death of a child. If that it is not American Soweto, what is?


    •  I totally agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

      Comparing the too is hyperbolic. However, it really is terrible what is going on in Ferguson right now. The County Police really need to back down. They are making this situation worse not better. However, no body should be firing on ANYONE if a protestor or a cop gets killed as a result of all of this it will turn ugly for the whole city.

      As for Antonio French, I've never been a fan of the guy. He has been the Anti-Progressive in this city when it comes to trying to move this city forward. Plus, in my experience he is really a media attention seeker.

    •  No one is suggesting (0+ / 0-)

      that is is as bad as Soweto.  It is brutal nonetheless.  Do you propose we all just sit idly by until it is as bad as Soweto?

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