Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Black shirts in the streets of Ferguson (USA)

They call themselves "Oath Keepers" but are a heavily armed paramilitary group ("militia"), 100% white, issuing electoral support for the extremist and racist presidential candidate Donal Trump and made up of former soldiers, police agents and other paramilitary structures. Police is allowing them to walk heavily armed in the middle of the demonstrators. Let's not forget that Ferguson is a municipality with a black majority but effectively controlled by the white minority, particularly the bourgeoisie, thanks to the very anti-democratic US electoral system, which actively works against actual popular participation and strongly favors the twin major parties.

When I read this yesterday night, I could only think in Mussolini's black shirts and how similar armed far right squads brought Italy to 25 years of dictatorship after just crushing all working class organization and resistance, serving always the demands of the bourgeois oligarchs.

Of course that there are many other cases, today's Ukraine notably, backed by the same extremist oligarchs from the USA, but post-WWI Italy is archetypal.

And I don't care if their shirts are mottled or pink, nope.

What happened to Tyrone Harris?

Two days ago, when there was this huge march in commemoration of the murder at the hands of police of Michael Brown, just when the police chief was talking to the press and saying how tolerant and patient they were trying to be with popular protests, there was a mysterious shooting that left the chief open mouthed.

As result another African American young man was shot and severely injured, shot in the back by police officers who alleged that they were responding to fire. Strange to say the least.

Some footage has become available recently on this matter. Notably a surveillance camera caught a key fraction of the events:

We can see how people is walking around normally, relaxed, when they suddenly run all around and look for cover. Someone was shooting.

One of them, plausibly Tyrone Harris, pulls out a gun and heroically attempts to face out the attackers, moving out of camera towards them afterwards. 

According to the police version, Tyrone was shot (in the back!!!) when he was firing against plainclothes police officers. 

What is clear from the video is that, no matter how the racists want to put it, he was exerting the right to self-defense. He could not know that the attackers were police agents because they were in plainclothes (according to the police version). But in any case, why would police agents shoot to a peaceful crowd like the one we see at the beginning of the video?

That is the big question. The question is not if Harris' gun was legally owned (it was not) or if he had played the piano at the police station before (who hasn't?), the real question is why he felt the need to pull out the gun and attempt self-defense?

And the answer is very apparent in the video itself: someone was shooting from that direction. Were the shooters plainclothes' police officers? Probably but it is the Ferguson Police Department who has to explain, again. 

My impression is that some of those racist cops tried to cause an incident, shaming their own chief precisely when he was speaking to the press about how peaceful and tolerant everyone was. That it was a mini-coup consistent with the power dynamics in the beleaguered US town, which has become the epicenter of the much wider conflict between a police state in which the repressive system systematically attacks minorities, very particularly Blacks but even more so Native Americans and also Latinos, and these minorities, and in general the working class across racial and ethnic divides, who oppose it.

The intrusion of the black shirts is only another step in the restoration of the KKK order by racist terror. 

It may also be of interest this video on how Tyrone Harris was being denied an ambulance after the shooting and how the ones protesting that were eventually arrested. These are not the only peaceful protesters arrested these days in Ferguson, hundreds have been. Meanwhile racist white crackpots with guns are allowed to walk around fully armed.


  1. Sorry, Clay, I accidentally deleted your comment, which read:

    The "oath keepers" are sickening. It is all very discouraging. What I take away is that no victory for racial justice is permanent. The struggle has to be fought every generation. At least in the contemporary USA.

    The publish and delete buttons are a bit too close and there is no confirmation. :((

  2. No worries, Maju. The only blogging mistake it's hard to recover from is accessing social media of some kind after drinking too much. trust me, I know.

  3. Regarding the Oath Keepers, though. I keep up on Facebook with the people I went to High School with in a small town in Indiana, almost none attended a university. They work in low paying jobs or served in the military and have few prospects. They are very sympathetic to these Oath Keepers and what they represent (in popular understanding). They represent some mythical American past, almost a Wild West kind of past Working class whites are under economic stress and stress from cultural change. They feel themselves falling behind in money and opportunity. They see America is no longer majority white, it has a black president, some public funded medicine, gay marriage, etc. They respond positively to Donald Trump when he blames everything on undocumented immigrants. They see young African American men as being on the other side of some war instead of as fellow citizens.

    Similar to Ross Perot 20 years ago. Just a different demagogue. It really is discouraging. Not every working class white person is like this, but it is so common that is passes as normal.

    1. Fortunately a lot of white workers are not that way. We've seen a lot of white people marching along blacks in all these conflicts.

      I kinda miss the Black Panther Party though. That's the right way to use the right to bear arms, particularly in a Black majority town as Ferguson.


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