Michael Brown's death: what kind of message will be sent?

Debra Sweet | November 18, 2014

On Monday, Missouri Governor Nixon declared a “State of Emergency” — mobilizing the National Guard, and authorizing violent suppression of protest — even before there is an announcement from the Grand Jury on whether they will indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown more than 100 days ago.

People seeking justice for Michael Brown, and hundreds of others killed by police every year, widely expect no indictment of Wilson, which is outrage enough. A “pre-indictment” of protest in advance of the announcement is even more outrageous. Is the system protecting people from arbitrary police authority, or planning for it?

St. Louis die-in

Die-in in St. Louis on Sunday. Photo: revcom.us.

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Larry Everest, friend of World Can't Wait and reporter for Revolution Newspaper, pressed Gov. Nixon in Missouri today: “Wouldn’t a lack of indictment mean fear for black people all over this country and objectively a green light for further police violence?”

“If Darren Wilson walks, America must be brought to a halt. That means no business as usual. It means blocking streets and walking out of schools. It means we refuse to accept this.”

Predictably, Nixon had no answer.

On Sunday, the 100th day since Michael Brown was killed, 150 people protested in St. Louis:

“A banner leading the march said, ‘Indict America.’ People chanted: ‘No justice, no peace, no racist police!’ ‘If we don’t get it, shut it down!’ ‘Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!’ At the end of the event, there was a mass reciting of what’s become a defiant anthem: ‘It’s our duty to fight for our freedom, it’s our duty to win, we must care and support each other, we have nothing to lose but our chains.’

People continue to take to the streets and prepare to protest the expected grand jury decision. The crowd was very mixed: most were young people who came as individuals or part of groups that have sprung up in the St. Louis area since Mike Brown’s murder. Black, white, Latino and indigenous people were in the mix, including a number of older folks—some from Amnesty International. A Latino group that attended is working among undocumented immigrants to promote justice for Mike Brown and Black and brown unity.”

Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, said Monday:

“What we do when the grand jury decision comes down has to be more than a one day thing. It must be part of bringing into being a movement of millions of people who are determined to STOP the murder of Black and Latino youth by police and racist vigilantes. The day after Thanksgiving should become ‘Black Lives Matter’ day instead of a black Friday of getting a jump on Christmas shopping. Walmarts should be targeted because a young Black man, John Crawford, was murdered by police in Walmart in Ohio, and a grand jury let those killer cops walk free.

And all this has to be aimed at delivering a message to one and all that THE KILLING OF BLACK YOUTH MUST STOP! People must come together and say this in a loud and united voice. We must mean it, and we must act accordingly immediately when the decision is announce and going forward from there till the murder of our youth by police and racist vigilantes is truly no more.



Carl Dix, co-founder with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, being arrested in August 2014 after National Guard was first called up to suppress protests against the police murder of Michael Brown.

Debra Sweet is the director of World Can't Wait.

Main Mass Incarceration Michael Brown's death: what kind of message will be sent?


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.