Last night someone shouted. Last night someone moved a traffic cone. Last night someone stood in the street. Someone threw a bottle, threw a rock. Last night someone threw their hands in the air.
Today, people are waking to closed schools and a state of emergency. They are waking to military troops and military vehicles. Some walk through streets and yards where tear gas and smoke still cling to the buildings, trees, grass, and ground. They walk through streets strewn with gas and smoke canisters, and ‘less lethal’ riot rounds. Some have yet to wash the tear gas from their clothes.
Now we are told press will be arrested if they don’t ‘look like’ press. Now we are told that the reason for the overwhelming militarized response is a few ‘determined violent agitators’ from outside the community.
To the Missouri State Police, to the St. Louis police, and to all law enforcement in Ferguson:
If all you have to show for all the noise, all the man hours, all the thousands of dollars spent, all the gas, the smoke, the smashed and burned businesses, the terrorized children - if all you have to show for all that effort fighting ‘a few violent agitators’ is six reporters in jail, two handguns, and a bottle of Olde English -
You’re doing it wrong.
Report: Missouri among worst states for gun violence, trafficking
The category where Missouri ranked as the worst of 50 states was in the “time to crime” measure of how quickly a gun is used to commit a crime. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ATF says a “strong indicator” of illegal gun trafficking is when the time between getting a gun and using it to commit a crime is less than two years.
In Missouri, the percentage of guns used in crimes in 2009 that were in that short “time to crime” category was a whopping 40.2 percent, according to a Mayors Against Illegal Guns study. That contrasts with the national average of 22.6 percent, and Illinois’ 17 percent. The only other state anywhere close to Missouri’s level was Arizona, at 30 percent.
via Report: Missouri among worst states for gun violence, trafficking – St. Louis Beacon.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says that Crawford was shot while carrying a toy gun that fires BB pellets. Crawford had picked the gun up off the sporting goods shelf where Walmart displays it. The gun is manufactured by Crosman and is classified as a “variable pump air rifle.”
Police said that Crawford was waving what appeared to be an assault rifle and was shot after he refused to drop it when ordered to by police. Media reports have repeated the police claim along with reports that callers to 911 say that Crawford had pointed the gun at children.
But both the police, the attorney general’s office and Walmart are all refusing to release the store surveillance tapes and in three 911 tapes of calls that are circulating on the internet the caller makes no mention of him pointing the gun at children.
In a press conference held on Monday, August 11, family members and supporters rejected the police claim that this was a “justifiable homicide,” pointing out that if the video supported the police claim it would have been made public by now.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that once we receive everything in its entirety, the evidence, i.e. everything else that’s out there, that he will be vindicated,” John Crawford Jr. said. “My son was not a monster.”
via Police refuse to release video after Dayton-area killing – World Socialist Web Site.
Three civil liberties organizations raised First Amendment concerns with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s imposition of a curfew in Ferguson to quell ongoing clashes between law enforcement and civilians over the slaying of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9 by a police officer.
Amid another night of unrest on Sunday, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law and NAACP Legal Defense fund released a joint statement decrying “the suspension of constitutional rights in Ferguson” for civilians.
“Even more troubling is the unclear nature of the Governor’s order suspending constitutional rights in Ferguson,” the groups said. “People have a right to know when and where their conduct is lawful under all circumstances, but especially when the government is restricting activities that are protected by the First Amendment.”
via Civil Rights Groups To Missouri Gov: Ferguson Curfew Is Unconstitutional.
That May, a local aluminum plant brought in black workers to replace striking white ones. Soon, crowds of whites gathered downtown, at first protesting the migration, then beating blacks and destroying property. On July 1, a group of white men drove through a black neighborhood, firing a gun out their car window. (The perpetrators were never caught.) A few hours later, another car drove through the neighborhood. Black residents fired at it, killing two police officers.
On July 2, as news of the killings got out, white residents went tearing through black neighborhoods, beating and killing blacks and burning some 300 houses as National Guard troops either failed to respond or fled the scene. The official toll counted 39 black and eight white people dead, but others speculated that more than a hundred people died in what is still considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in twentieth-century America. Afraid for their lives, more than six thousand blacks left the city after the riot.
via The St. Louis Area Has a Long History of Shameful Racial Violence | Mother Jones.
An acid spill from a large copper mine in northern Mexico is keeping 88 schools closed starting Monday due to uncertainty over the safety of drinking water. The 12-day-old spill, which sent 10 million gallons (40,000 cubic meters) of toxic wastewater into portions of the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, may keep schools closed for over a week according to the Associated Press.
The Buenavista copper mine, one of the largest copper mines in the world, is located in Cananea, Sonora, about 25 miles south of the U.S. border near Nogales, Arizona. The mine is operated by Grupo Mexico, one of the world’s largest copper producers. Grupo Mexico’s American subsidiary, Asarco, is nearing a deal to gain full ownership of the Silver Bell copper mine across the U.S. border in Marana, Arizona and has been subject to major environmental misconduct charges in the past relating to its mining operations.
Mine officials have been criticized for not reporting the massive acid spill to authorities for around 24 hours, with residents downstream detecting the spill the next day as it turned dozens of miles of river orange.
via Mining Spill Near U.S. Border Closes 88 Schools, Leaves Thousands Of Mexicans Without Water | ThinkProgress.