Opinion on Ferguson
Being 16 years old, I had many reasons as to why I was still awake at 12:58 PM on a Saturday evening. But rather than watching television or playing video games like anyone my age normally would, I was watching the live stream of the beginning of the curfew in Ferguson Missouri, where citizens protesting the death of Michael brown were told to leave the streets until 5 AM the next morning by the local authorities. I switched between the live feed from infowars.com and the St. Louis County Police scanner to try and get both sides of the story.
At exactly 12:00 CST, the St. Louis County Police department announced on their scanner that the curfew has begun. Immediately after, possibly armed groups violating the curfew were spotted and a group of 15 subjects moving down to the McDonald’s towards the large congregation of media and police were reported. Rumors were spreading through the crowd that a violent confrontation would happen.
Eleven minutes into the curfew, things were still peaceful. The majority of the protestors stood their ground and didn’t act in any threatening manor to the police. The police were centered on a large square titled “the free speech zone” where the media was allowed to report the incidents. One could easily mistake the police as Imperial Stormtroopers right out of Star Wars, as they were dressed in full body armor and armed with riot shields, rubber bullets, and high-powered sniper rifles.
At 12:41 the police began bull horning the crowd telling them that the “curfew is in effect and that they need to disperse peacefully, or face arrest and or other actions”. The big question that was being asked by protestors and reporters alike was “what are the other actions”? In response, the protestors informed the police of their first amendment right of being able to assemble peacefully.
At 12:48 tear gas had been deployed at the crowd. The police scanner advised its officers to “mask up”. Six minute later protestors began leaving the area in droves, disappearing into the clouds of tear gas. As they left, several gunshots were heard and a shooting was reported. The police learned right after the gassing that a robbery was reported despite all of the events at the protest.
With racial tensions getting worse due to extremist groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Ku Klux Klan and the economy getting worse and worse, destroying U.S. infrastructure, it is expected that people will become more and more frustrated with the state of the country. The American tradition of protesting what one thought of as injustice has now become something frowned upon by the police and media, and in many cases can get protestors shot or gassed by the newly militarized police.
In my opinion, I feel that we as a whole nation should try and ignore the racial lines which some try and use to divide us and instead look upon each other as an extension of ourselves and our loved ones, because at the end of the day, we’re all human beings; we were all born and eventually we will all die, so why not choose to love each other in the small time we have?