Organizers of demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, promised to intensify their protests over the killing of Michael Brown if the officer who shot him does not face criminal charges, warning police that they are prepared to die on the streets for their cause.
Three prominent members of the protest movement that sprung up after the deadly police shooting of Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, told a rally in New York on Tuesday night that there would be a fierce backlash if a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson.
“If they can’t serve justice in this, the people have every right to go out and express their rage in a manner that is equal to what we have suffered,” said Ashley Yates, a co-founder of Millennial Activists United, who was arrested last week while protesting in Ferguson.
Yates spoke alongside Tef Poe and Tory Russell, activists for Hands Up United and the Organisation for Black Struggle, hours after it emerged that authorities in Missouri were making plans to deal with potential riots in the event of Wilson avoiding prosecution.
“We’re going to take our anger out on the people who have failed us, and if they are prepared to deal with that, then let them have at it,” said Yates. Poe said that while people in America often expected “casual revolution”, Ferguson may be “the moment when we can’t do that”.
More than a week of unrest followed Wilson’s fatal shooting of Brown on 9 August after the city officer stopped the 18-year-old and a friend for jaywalking. Several witnesses have said Brown was shot while fleeing and when his hands were up. Police say he assaulted Wilson.
Asked during a question-and-answer session “are you ready to die for this?”, Poe said: “Don’t come to Ferguson if you aren’t ready to die. Stay at home, as it could happen.” Yates said: “I can say this with 100% certainty: all three of us have had moments in the street where we realised we could die right there.”
Let me tell you something, this stupid crap has me sorely pissed off and it’s time these animals are treated like rabid dogs. They don’t want “justice” anymore than the Trayvon Martin supporters. They want vengeance. They want blood, and if it was a black officer who shot Mike Brown, this wouldn’t have even made the news and these animals wouldn’t be pillaging their communities! -MD
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