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“The Ferguson Report” is a weekly column from rappers/activists and organizers on the ground in Ferguson, MO. Tef Poe writes this week’s column. The rapper/activist has been on the ground in the St. Louis. MO area since the killing of Mike Brown. #fergusonoctober
Roughly a week ago another young Black body was brutally executed by the murderous regime of the Saint Louis police force. His name is Vonderrick Meyers and his murder occurred in South Saint Louis. The city responded to his murder hastily and in the blink of an eye a overwhelmingly large crowd was gathered behind the police tape patiently waiting to erupt and force the tyrannical order of the police out of the South side. The scene was intense and very unstable, as emotions ran high from the community.
The line in the sand has been drawn as the community of Greater Saint Louis City and North County has decided to actively respond to Vonderrick’s murder by pushing back on police brutality. By pushing back I mean the Black community has decided we will no longer allow the police to murder us and continue to hold ground in our neighborhood as if they are not our enemy. STLPD’s Chief Dotson is still very much in denial about the role his officers play in this conflict. As the murder tally stacks up against his police department behind the scenes he has been quoted yelling to organizers “Keep that s**t in Ferguson.” Dotson candidly speaks about the young black protesters as if we all have been contaminated with Ebola and must be contained and quarantined in the name of keeping our diseased minds from influencing the rest of of the city. For me personally the weekend of resistance started right here at this very moment. On the ground here in Saint Louis we believe there several lies surrounding the death of Vonderrick Meyers. We believe we must do whatever it takes to influence a narrative of truth. So in the name of defending the countless victim’s of police brutality we decided to stand up and speak out.
During Ferguson October, the weekend of resistance, all hell broke loose in Saint Louis as several acts of civil disobedience took place at the drop of a dime all over the city. In the name of peaceful protest people were arrested around the clock causing the police to subsequently stretch their resources thin. Several high profile figures in the activist community were arrested including Patrisse Marie Cullors -Brignac (Founder of Black Lives Matter) and Cornell West. This action was significant because it’s appearance didn’t resemble actions from the past. On Sunday a hip hop concert with performances from the likes of dead prez, Talib Kweli, Jasiri X, and Saint Louis based emcee’s like Nato Caliph and T-Dubb-O to name a few. This weekend was viewed as a universal war cry amongst the youth. People demonstrated and blocked traffic in the pouring rain. Men and women of the clergy stood together in solidarity risked arrested. A few of them were even charged with felonies for peacefully resisting. This has transformed into a historical moment of resistance on the global frontier right in front of our very eyes. Saint Louis, Missouri has transformed into the new era’s version of Jackson Mississippi. For many young people including myself this is our version of freedom summer.We are no longer afraid to die and going to jail is merely a badge of honor for us. We will push back at the system until victory is ours. We aren’t attempting to become the next Malcolm or the next Rosa Parks. We are becoming the first versions of ourselves. We are stepping into our own version of consciousness and political engagement.
Throughout we did more than take to the streets and yell at buildings. In the midnight hour we held organizational meetings to discuss our next steps. A group of young people organized a massive occupation on the grounds the Saint Louis University college campus.In honor of John Crawford 4 different Wal-Mart’s were shut down. A group of bold and courageous young women lead the charge to shut down the very conservative Frontenac shopping Mall. The weekend kicked off with a march and break away action lead by a group of young activists carrying a glass casket to the police station and dropping it off on their door step. At this very location the mother of Carrie Ball spoke about how her son was shot 21 times by the STLPD. Her speech was very emotional and gut wrenching, she told her sons story with the true conviction of a scorned mother fighting for justice. To me personally this weekend was all about lifting up the names of the victims and their families. We do this for the Mike Browns , Vonderricks Meyers, and Carries Balls of the world. I am hoping this same exact energy will transpire in other parts of the country as we once again prepare for a day of massive protest and organizing on October 22nd. The rebellion continues and I believe we will win.