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Many people have followed or just read Antonio French on twitter during the demonstrations in Ferguson.  Mr. French is an alderman in the City of St. Louis, a people's journalist (he had the paper and then blog, PubDef) and an long-time activist in the St. Louis area.  When Michael Brown was murdered in a police crime, and the streets erupted in Ferguson, Mr. French traveled the few miles from North St. Louis where he lives to report and help out in Ferguson.  He was arrested early on (on August 19) for reporting while black:

FERGUSON, Mo. — St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who was arrested late Wednesday while documenting the protests and police presence in Ferguson, was released early Thursday.

After his release shortly after 7 a.m., French told reporters he had been arrested for unlawful assembly, but hadn't been given any documents about the arrest. He didn't have to post any bond.


French said he had gone into his car to escape the smoke bombs and tear gas being thrown by police.

"I realized that the best place is in your car with the windows rolled up, to keep the tear gas out, and that was where I was."

While in his car, police approached him, dragged him out of the car and arrested him.

USA Today: Antonio French freed after arrest in Ferguson, Mo.

French moved from reporting to peacemaking and organizing during the protests.  Realizing that there is a lacuna of leadership in Ferguson, he has stepped up to help organize Ferguson's future leaders.

Last week, he and others started the Heal STL movement.  


Despite brutal heat on Saturday, West Florissant was more active than it has been in several days. The atmosphere was positive, as many people were there to take part in the Heal STL movement.

Organizers and participants of the movement made signs and marched along the roadway. They also helped people register to vote.

Among city leaders participating in the effort, was St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed.


Here is Heal STL on twitter.  Please check it out.  Volunteers are growing for the real work ahead.

Last Saturday, Antonio tweeted this:

Antonio French @AntonioFrench  ·  3h

Secretary of State @JasonKander is bringing us voter registration cards. Thanks, Jason. I've got a t-shirt for you. #HealSTL

They were registering voters and the Missouri Secretary of State, Jason Kander (a Democrat), personally brought the registration materials.  

This also:

As of today, I am officially a deputy registrar of the Board of Elections of St. Louis County. #HealSTL
HealSTL is "A project to help heal the wounds from #Ferguson and right the wrongs which led to it."

Today they moved into the storefront in Ferguson:

Antonio French @AntonioFrench  ·  3h
We're moving in our first #HealSTL office at 9171 W. Florissant today. Our first mission: register and organize black voters in #Ferguson.
They need some things:
Antonio French ‏@AntonioFrench  2h
Things needed for the #HealSTL office:

Carpet tiles (1,500 sqft), fold-up tables, desk chairs, pens, paper, water, snacks, etc.


Now I know that you all are not in St. Louis, so I understand that you cannot just go over and help with some stuff.  But YOU can help.  Here's how:  

You can buy a tee shirt.  

Here is what they look like:

Umar Lee ‏@STLAbuBadu #HealSTL shirt courtesy of @AntonioFrench . Let the healing begin #Ferguson #stl

Here's how to get them.    

#HealSTL t-shirt


A project to help heal the wounds from #Ferguson and right the wrongs which led to it.



The shirt is free if you volunteer one hour or you can pay $9 for it and we will use that to pay a Ferguson youth for one hour of work organizing his/her community

It's $5.60 for shipping in the US.

Go here:  HealSTL Tee shirt at Square Market  

Just hit the $9.00 link and you can order a shirt that will pay a Ferguson youth for one hour of work organizing his/her community.

This is a relatively inexpensive way to help change the wrongs in Ferguson.  If African Americans vote in the municipal elections the Mayor and Council are gone.   There is power in the ballot box!

Buy a tee shirt and help out!

Go here:  HealSTL Tee shirt at Square Market  

This is a movement and we are not going away.  

Update I:  Here is a picture of MC Hammer in #Ferguson at Heal STL with Antonio French today.

Originally posted to TomP on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders, Barriers and Bridges, and Black Kos community.

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