Following the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, militant protests have broken out across the United States around the issue of police brutality against Black people. From California to New York, there have been hundreds of rallies condemning police brutality and many have turned into local militant uprisings against the system that keeps the jackboot on the neck of the American people. St. Louis, Missouri is an area which has been a hotbed of activism and uprising over the past decade, most notably after the 2014 murder of Mike Brown by the Ferguson PD and the not guilty verdict given to St. Louis pig Jason Stockley in the 2011 murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Since the days of the Ferguson uprising, certain elements of the Black Community have sought to lead the movement locally. This organization is known as Expect Us and while starting out as a radical group focusing on building a movement against police repression, it is now working directly with the very same pigs who shoot down the people these leaders supposedly represent.
In the early days of Expect Us there were both radical-minded and liberal-minded individuals involved. Over the years since the Ferguson uprising, most of the radical leadership has been purged from the group, leaving a very liberal core and many from this core have used their activism not against the system but instead to jockey for local office thus entering the system themselves. Time and time again, history has shown that a corrupt and exploitative system cannot be reformed from the inside, and that the broad masses of the people must make change on the streets. The liberals ignore this message and seek to exploit the very real anger that this community feels to catapult themselves into the limelight. Furthermore, because of the very nature of the political struggle that has and is currently happening, these leeches must maintain the State’s version of order. They know that if these protests were militant and radical that they could no longer use their involvement in these events to pad their resume. They use the timeworn arguments of “Why burn down our own cities?” and “We only defame the movement when we are not peaceful!” but working-class people already know the answers to these. These are not “our” cities, these are the cities built by elites to purposefully exclude and segregate the people in order to keep the poor and working class in terrible conditions only giving us enough to be useful to them so they can further exploit and berate us. The only real way that the Establishment listens to us is through militant action. When we march by the thousands no one in power cares until their power is disrupted. To make these neighborhoods truly ours we must take a stand!
So the question is no longer, why do they put a lid on the boiling pot of public outcry but how? The answer is plain to see for those who have been to protest after protest organized by Expect Us. Many organizers have been spotted talking with police officers on the outskirts of the protest, making deals and ensuring that they will force the protest to follow carefully planned routes laid out by the police and not to challenge the pigs in any meaningful way. Anytime that protestors take militant action against police violence they are immediately singled out by the “leadership” and publicly shamed before being thrown to the riot cops. The narrative is that the police can gas, beat and arrest us but if we so much as throw a brick back the Expect Us crowd will giftwrap us for the police. Every time the crowd begins to chant more militant slogans and becomes very clearly agitated by the police, these “organizers” halt the march and make everyone take a knee for 5-10 minutes to ensure that they regain control and stop any real militant action from occurring. With protest leaders like these the state doesn’t even need the pigs. Soon they will have us all sit in a circle, sing Kumbayah and say that they took a real stand against this system of injustice that is eager to murder us all!
Recently protestors have begun to speak out against these actions and in Ferguson on the night of June 4th there was a massive protest with hundreds of protestors flocking to the event. Leading the action were several members of the Expect Us group, and as we descended on the Ferguson precinct they started with their same old tactics of forcing protestors to be calm and collected even after the riot police began harassing the protestors. They had everyone kneel for George Floyd but then as is all too common today asked the police to kneel as well. This trend is nothing but disgusting and shameful pig propaganda. In fact, one of the cops who took a knee is an officer well-known for targeting members of the trans community and who has had several complaints against him for harassment and assault. Many young working-class Black members of the crowd sprang up and condemned this action on the spot and a fight broke out between them and the Expect Us leadership. Afterwards the group split up with half going on a march and the rest staying to confront the riot police at the precinct. Once the Expect Us crowd left, the pigs immediately opened up with tear gas, rubber bullets and batons attempting to disperse the crowd. Because of new radical leadership, the line held and the battle with the police ebbed back and forth allowing enough time for militants to storm the precinct and bust it up. This is the sort of action that the masses are calling for, not respectful approaches to the very people we are protesting against. After this, the police routed the militants and small-scale looting ensued. Unfortunately, Expect Us leadership has utilized the local press to vilify any sort of militant actions using the same narrative that anyone can get on Fox News. Firstly, they claim all the militants are white antifa types from outside the St. Louis area. This is a barefaced lie; in almost all footage of these events and from the accounts of hundreds of eyewitnesses, it is clear that those taking militant action are almost all Black people from the area. Secondly, they cry about broken shop windows and are mad that some of these windows belonged to Black-owned businesses. We all know that some shops were looted, yes, but most of the damage was actually done by the police firing rubber bullets at shops and breaking windows themselves to demonize protestors. Also, people loot for the same reason they steal–poverty is the motivating factor. We know that this system creates poverty, so you can attribute all damage to small Black businesses squarely on the system that keeps people living hand-to-mouth with few other options.
The future of this movement seems dim when we have leadership more concerned with their public image than with forcing real change, but there is something to be hopeful about in that many radicals are realizing that we can no longer depend on the whim of liberals to organize protests and that we ourselves must take the reins and move our cause forward. The majority of people are in support of the protests and more are becoming more radicalized by their involvement daily. We must reject the liberal viewpoint and move forward with revolutionary demands and action!
Categories: U.S. News