Do #BlackLivesMatter in Israel or Nah?

 

 

 

Do #BlackLivesMatter to in Israel or Nah?

*Soul Rhythms & Heartbeats*

tree

I am so black, I am too black for my own blackness sometimes… If there was such a notion 0_0 (that was a joke)LOL

Just thought I would start this out being super goofy, because what I have to talk about is something that is personally low-key heartbreaking to me… Something that leaves me wondering and feeling shame BECAUSE I sometimes have to fight against feeling I have to protect, through concealment, a part of myself. Authenticity is very important to me,especially from ME, but wisdom and timing & nudging is always the story behind why I speak or why I remain still… At least temporarily. Now is the time I must SPEAK through my written words … I must share my heartbeats and soul rhythms with YOU on the subject that will develop as you read this blog… I only ask you read the entirety of my ramblings, because I guarantee if you skim or only read a part of this, you will misinterpret and completely miss what I am attempting to express… Do me that solid, please and thank you.

As a natural born activist, participating in and observing the budding of this new wave of our continued civil rights struggle, has been re-focusing and encapsulating for me. Though many have been executed brutally by killer cops previous, Michael Brown was the moment personified that the people of Ferguson and the rest of us throughout the Black American Diaspora, heard that transcendent “shofar sounding”; telling us it was time to rise up and fight for our freedom… It was time to fight for the sake of honoring the Divine within & ORIGINAL that flows through our veins …We woke up and assumed the position appointed time beckoned us to assume.

My Identity …

When you look at me, you assume I am just another black woman from America standing up for change; not realizing the complexity of who I am in totality sometimes does not fit in or is considered “worthy” by my Black American brother’s and sister’s in this freedom struggle. What in the world am I talking about? Yes, I am A Black American Woman in every way, my main state of being…. I am also a Beta Israel( Ethiopian Jewish)Woman, a very integral part of my life, my soul…Yes, ethnically a Hebrew just like the Lemba people of Sudan or others throughout the Continent whose DNA has even been proven to descend from ancient Israel. But guess what else? I am also Moroccan, a side of myself I am less familiar with yet it makes its way to the surface, whispering in my spirit, amplified through my sound…Not of the stock of extremely pale faces the media only shows, but of the indigenous and dark. I am very African… Pan-African if you will, but the Hebraic side of myself tends to throw/turn people off because of the atrocities happening to Palestinians in the land so many love… Let me explain more of what I mean…

2014_08_06_10_09_27

amhara1

Who is Really Running Things?

Our Palestinian brother’s and sisters are suffering a lot of heartache & death because of the Israeli governments attitudes and actions toward them…Their anger is a justified anger. There is no reason whatsoever to treat people like crap, and have no regard for their lives. Often we forget that the shot callers are the ones who decide who will initiate each and every conflict, whether big or small…No matter the side or party involved.Innocent civilians on both sides are never taken into account when a destructive plan is schemed or actualized. The people are the ones who suffer… An all-encompassing suffering that is unevenly distributed…Justified rage often leading to more destruction…Cycle never ending…Those with white privilege faring far better than everyone else involved.

I have been in Israel when the sirens have gone off because rockets were coming in from the territories, forcing us to take cover in the closest bomb shelter…Most houses come equipped with them, while numerous public ones are everywhere to protect people at any time. I also know how unsettling it is to get pulled to the side for extensive interrogation when entering the country, and getting  to go through 2 hours of ridiculous interrogation including, a strip search and reading of my laptop documents, on my way out the country(story of my last trip) just because I was coming back a week earlier than I initially said when I entered…So the turn up is real! They also wanted to be sure my wonderful Arab  friends didn’t secretly plant a bomb  in my hair gel or in my bra( as if I want to die).

Suicide bomber’s and retaliatory acts are a reality and an actual thing, non-justifiable in action, yet understandable in theory.Palestinians who feel they don’t have any other alternatives do something…Anything and I get that.The Israeli Government has to take responsibility for the destruction they have done to the Palestinian  soul…Only a hurt soul hurts others…I don’t know why the Israeli Government attacks and harasses Palestinians in so many various unprovoked situations…I don’t want to oversimplify the dynamic; the best explanation I can wrap my finite mind around is the  essence of the problem is systematic oppression seasoned with white privilege.

Black People in “The Land” Face Systematic Racism Abounding…

 In the midst of all this, we forget that the GOVERNMENT and its hateful agenda is why there is so much suffering in this land… Many do not know what it’s like living inside of Israel as a Black Jew or Black Immigrant or Black Asylum Seeker… Facing  the same racial tyrannical atmosphere as we do here in Amerikkka and all over the globe. Eurocentric idealism rules and oppresses Black people… Many are the victims of everything from forced sterilizations to police brutality executions. Many black folk are prohibited by racist property owners & neighborhoods from living in certain areas, many have had a plethora of incidents where public transportation rolls right past them (forget sitting in the back if you can’t even get on the bus 0_0),many including myself have been called kushit(nigger) and spat at to our faces, and many share the same struggles we have here in Amerikka…It’s the same system…Systematic racism is global and we Black Africans of the Diaspora are interconnected by it…Yet somehow black folk in “The Land” are being forgotten and purposely disregarded in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Why is this happening? How do I even know this is happening you ask? Well, I am speaking from what has actually happened… When I have highlighted cases of Police and Mob brutality against Black folk in Israel to some folk here, many of them, mostly black people, often have turned up their noses at the gall of me discussing such an uncomfortable notion…I, though never showing it outwardly, have felt a little pain in my very tender heart…Realizing part of who I am is ugly to my people.

Confusing Israeli Government, Zionism, & The powerless:

From what I have seen and experienced thus far, many people do not understand who is actually to blame for the evil at work. Look at those currently in power for your answers… The shot callers! The land in question has millenniums of complex history, and everyone feels it belongs solely to them… All sorts of different Everyone’s 0_0. I saw someone mockingly tweet today : “What is an Israel?” I know frustration with the regime and its cruelty is why things like this are said, and I push past how totally disrespectful that is … As Mutual disrespect is the flavor of unrest. Both the Torah and the Koran agree that Ya’acov(Yaqub) (Jacob) was the Patriarch of 12 sons. In Torah, G-d changed his name from Jacob to Israel. Both Torah and Koran agree in some very key places, but this is not what this blog is about…I did, however, need to state the aforementioned in order to help bring forth the focus of this particular blog which is: African (black) Lives ceasing to matter to many, even many black folk, because of the inability of some to disassociate the evil that governs this particular land from the black people who live under it; much like the evil we live under here in the States.

Today you see a racist government under the name of our shared Patriarch, doing things that do not please G-d. This makes folks around the world angry… As it should! What I also notice is that people do not realize that black folks living in the land previous to 1948 and  after have had to suffer racism ( YES black people have extensive history in this land ) from Arabs & Europeans. Today the main source, but definitely not the only source  of this racist behavior is European…The system is a racism based off Eurocentric Ideology. However,there are still Arabs and other marginalized groups, no matter the religion or sect, who will call you a kushit if they get angry…Systematic racism has a pecking order and we always end up at the bottom…BLACKNESS always under attack by somebody…Even, at times, from those who know suffering.

It’s the same dynamic here in Amerikkka. We have people who are showing us solidarity right now from various ethnicities, but talked mad trash about us previously. It’s just about awareness…Are folks standing with us because they want to utilize our power for their freedom struggle, or do they really have love for us and a changed heart?A very honest question! But I totally digressed…

 I’ve seen many from #BlackLivesMatter supporting Palestinians, as WE should be, whilst turning a blind eye to African Jews,Immigrants, and Asylum Seeker’s who are suffering and protesting right now and previous… Trying to be free just like we are here in Amerikkka…This is beyond puzzling to me.

The only reason I bring up the suffering of our Palestinian brothers and sisters is because I think that many in the movement here in Amerikka are ignoring the plight of #BlackLives in Israel because they think that African/Black people agree with how Israel treats Palestinians just because they live there, which is totally false. It would be like saying we in Amerikkka agree with all the crazy shit Amerikkka does because we live here… It would be like saying those who “sell out” amongst us represent all of us, thereby deeming none of us worthy of freedom and solidarity from around the world.

For many years, Israel has been able to hide a lot of the atrocities they have done to African’s in Israel …African Jews specifically have suffered many of the things I previously mentioned and in addition have been forced into conversions& re-circumcisions, obeying laws that disregard the spiritual authority of our (kessim) priests, being forced to practice Talmudic Judaism, ( which is based off European rabbi’s interpretations and not Torah) and many other egregious abominations.

Black folks have been moving in action for quite some time in “The Land”, without major help or solidarity from their brothers and sisters around the world… Why is this so? If it is merely folk didn’t realize, that is one thing, but the fact that people have actually expressed to me that they hate the idea of a Black Jew or any black person choosing to live in that land,thereby not really caring what happens to them… As if being treated like trash is their fault… WOW!

Understanding what the land means to people…

The Land means everything to many people… It is a spiritual and emotional epicenter no matter your beliefs, religion, or lack there of…It just is! To my Ethiopian people who remained untouched and secluded, Jerusalem was a mystical place… A place where they thought our people could go to escape feeling like an outsider(Falasha)… Back to the homeland where all would go well…Where everything would be shining bright & flowing with milk and honey. When my people who were still in Amhara, secluded in the Siemen Mountains started making mass Aliyah to Israel in the 80’s, many were shocked to see White Jews… They couldn’t understand this phenomenon. LOL

What many also don’t know is my people who still lived in the mountains, were highly oppressed and downcast by the Ethiopian People and Government at that time…Falasha Mura is not a designation that brings pride, but rather hurtful feelings and soul burns…It means outsider…You don’t belong…You are less than us…It has the same power as kushit (nigger) & the name calling has not ceased, it has not ceased.

Dreaming of going to Israel was all they had….Everything! When the Ethiopian government finally, after much going back and forth with Israel allowed them to leave & renounce their citizenship… Marching order were given and the frightful journey commenced. Some say Israel only wanted to bring them to get their hands on the Ark…I’ve been told (legend has it) that we tricked them into thinking we would bring it, but of course never did…Or would…LOL Even if they had it, my people would protect that secret…We ain’t dumb…Gentle, naive, kind but never dumb!

Israel refused to pick them up in Ethiopia, requiring them to walk through the Sudan. My people, desperate to be treated better and go “home”, fled as the full moon shone brightly, carrying very few possessions with them. They made my people walk through the Sudan resulting in over 6,000+ of our people dying along the way. I have always felt that this was done on purpose for population control purposes, but that is just my personal thoughts on that matter.

17

The manner of an Ethiopian is very sweet unless we absolutely don’t agree… Then we fight, but often not until then. This quality has been exploited to control and take away our beautiful and pure customs and mindsets when it comes to a lot of things, in order to replace it with the European way. The older generation didn’t realize the assimilation was occurring, thinking these people were just being kind, and that it was okay to comply with their silly demands… But then the demands became intrusive and demeaning and being in a strange land, not knowing the language… It totally broke spirits in ways that only colonialism can. Now family dynamics have been ruined in many families, taking away the self esteem of our men by making the women trump them… Making them feel low instead of equal value to one another.

The young people growing up and living in these harsh systematic conditions are fighting back… They are proud to be black! They want to be treated like human beings… They don’t want to be slaughtered in the streets, be called kushit (nigger), or have public transportation not let them on the bus… Sound familiar? It should!

!

European Jews seek out Africans from all across the the Continent for cheap labor in The land. They are treated so so bad, and the blatant racist have no problem exercising this systematic principle. The cause of their fear is the amount of black folk there now is disconcerting to their white privilege sensibilities…. Black folk whether Jews of the diaspora or African Asylum Seekers or African Immigrants… Black folk are flooding the country by the droves… This is not what the racist envisioned for their false sense of what Israel ( the people,not the land) should look like. It’s quite funny actually, but sad how badly people are being treated. I do not have enough words to express this extreme disparity. Black folks are turned away for services and dejected from society. In many cases, immigrants and asylum seekers have to fear for their lives when racist mobs attack and beat them when they get riled up… Kind of like when the KKK would go out looking for one of our black men to lynch… Same dynamic!

VIDEO:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDjidiRVXZ4

Think American cops are corrupt? Their twins are Israeli cops and I am truly not sure which are worse, because there are different factors that affect their madness! Who will protect our people in this land? Who will protect us in Amerikkka? The answer is a united global US…We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, but what does hat REALLY mean?! The problem is this Israeli Government… Causing so many, so much pain… G-d  is not pleased and I think we can all agree on this FACT.

Me in my feelings…But real talk …

So now that I have delved into a little bit of what the dynamic concerning #BlackLives is in The Land, and the persecution being suffered… I admit I feel some sort of way. Everytime I have tried to let folks know what is going on concerning black life in The Land, 98% of people are very despondent… Some folk act like the people living there who are black are not worthy of the same fighting spirit and solidarity we show to others … Some folk act like they are afraid to look at the all encompassing totality of Israel’s crimes… Some People act like you can’t care about #BlackLife in this Land because they want  want Palestinians to be free, a conflation that makes not even a little bit of sense.

I hate that this gets conflated in this manner, but I have encountered more than a few BLACK PEOPLE with this mindset…No one seems to want to touch the issue of #BlackLivesMattering in The Land, because they don’t want to piss off Palestinians, which is absurd! Palestinians know the dynamic in “The Land…They even know some of them don’t even like us, if we are being honest. They are under attack…Fighting to survive right now…That must be their focus… This is not their battle to wage for us, though mutual solidarity would be helpful…The dynamics of separation sometimes make that harder in this particular space…I am not addressing Palestinians …I am addressing Black Folks and allies! I am addressing those who have mistaken the dynamic, choosing to cast off their black brethren as a twisted show of solidarity… You can support Black people living under the same systematic racism you are and Palestinians at the same damn time. Where is the conflict? I have encountered this fallacy of mind when dealing with 1 too many in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and I only want to know why to encourage action and open heartedness…Or, no one has to tell me why as long as the previous takes place.

Like I said previous, some will say they know of Black Jews who agree with Zionist, and I agree there are some. I also would bring attention to the fact that there Black Christians with the same mindset, and  Palestinian Collaborators who work against their own people as well. Neither the Black Jew , Black Christian,or Palestinian collaborator amplifies the heartbeat of their people… They don’t speak for the whole. Here in Amerikka we have ole Al Sharpton and em’ and a ton of black folks living in their mirage of comfort and inaction… Do they speak for us? Does their folly erase what is being done to us by the government? Should no one have moved here (USA) because this lands is actually Native American peoples land? Doesn’t make much sense when put that way, does it?

So… Can we change, educate, & pursue ourselves to be open to know the struggle of Black folks in The Land or nah? They have been moving in action and need help…Our solidarity could and should be making a difference Let’s look at the case of the elongated execution of #YosefSalamasa by Israeli cops…His family has has started a new wave of resistance against police brutality and the way black folk are treated. Check it out:

yosef

6 days ago, a very dear girl I know named #TovitRadcliffe was murdered… Israeli cops and military say her small 5 foot frame took a M16 and shot herself twice… She was part of the Hebrew Israelite Community of Dimona.Technically this 19 year old girl who shares her citizenship and DNA with American Blacks is in the midst of having her death mangled and covered up… Corruption on top of corruption! I will be talking more about her when I can, but I cant right now because my heart is heavy,and details are forthcoming… Just know SHE DIDN’T KILL HERSELF,and the Israeli Government do things like this to black folks in The land all the time… Just like here in the USA!

toveetmain

So what Do I want…What is the point of this blog?

I want us to start seeing systematic racism as a GLOBAL problem… I want us to see that we can’t be free unless we unite, dispel myths about each other, and fight for one another. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but we have to dispel oppressors lies, humble ourselves, and start afresh each day. We have so much to do… I want us to realize that our struggle here in Amerikkka is the same/similar struggle globally for all our brothers and sisters of the Diaspora … I know many intellectually know all of this, but inaction and nonchalant attitudes prove it hasn’t become real to enough of us yet… As a Pan-African woman, my sensitivity to this issue gives me the responsibility to speak out… Yes, I admit I feel like saying these things about myself puts me in a position to be even more hated & misunderstood. Many won’t be happy with the discomfort my truth provides… Many like cohabiting with certain perceptions whether they are true or not… I face fear head on always… So it is what it is… Til next time…

20141022_182720_471_dc531e94-7580-4bed-a425-9ba2d87aab94

The Power of Activism to Restore & Develop Character!

Why Activism? It heals our communities!
The character transformations & alliances I have been witnessing lately are definitely a GOD thing. I am seeing selfish people, become involved in their community. I am witnessing gang affiliations & rivalries being dropped in the name of justice & unity. I am watching young folks & elders taking to the streets together! I am watching communities come out and support Lost Voices & other youth groups in ways that would warm your heart…I AM WITNESSING & I AM APART OF CHANGE!

We want justice…Will we get all we deserve? Probably not…So how how are we winning? We are winning because the conscious of a good number of our people has elevated? This elevation changes hearts…When our hearts are changed we protect each other, and no longer take out our aggression against the *oppressor* & his tactics on one another. This is why Hoover & many other racist’s have always warned against allowing black people to organize & unify & know our history…THEY KNOW WE ARE POWERFUL when we stop falling for their tricks!

Some of you eternal naysayers will point out that we have had  these conscious moments before; that eventually they fade away into the abyss of yesterday. It’s true we have to individually decide to continue to teach “principles of people” to our progeny, but I strongly reject the notion that we should give up or never try! I don’t care how many times we may “miss the mark”, We can NEVER stop raising and re-raising the bar set forth by our CREATOR. We are ORIGINAL( use rasta accent)!

“We are a grandmothers prayer, We are a grandfathers dreams, We are the breath of the Ancestors, We are the SPIRIT of GOD.”~ Sweet Honey in the Rock

Integrity is CRUCIAL as an Activist & Organizer + My personal Commitment to Undefiled ACTION

purity

There is definitely some things on my heart…Deep things, that I must share in this particular space, at this designated time.

In the wake of the Mike Brown tragedy, and the tragedies of many others who have been killed around the country recently due to police brutality; something dirty and rank is starting to damper the sweet smell of a pure freedom struggle…GREED-SELFISHNESS-PRIDE-EXPLOITATION! Unfortunately, when do these things not get in the way of beauty? With all the kindled and re-kindled hearts that have been lit and now burn ablaze, many struggle opportunist are starting to arise.  All sorts from organizers and activist’s to media personalities and certain clergy…And all imaginable parties in-between. Some of these “opportunists” started with purity of mind and purpose, but now have been mesmerized by the recent popularity they have attained. Some of these other “opportunist’s” are people who are building their business ventures and in some cases “non-profits” around a pseudo care for cause, and a love for financial gain. A third type of struggle opportunist is a little of both, with their own added brand of deceit lying in wait. 

With all that’s still going on in Ferguson at this point, I have been witnessing a plethora of organizations starting to come forth. Some are legitimate, and have not done anything sketchy as of yet. However, some are already cashing in, selling products to help their cause…A cause that is not always clearly stated on the websites I have personally visited thus far. Now, I understand money is needed to do things, and that these said monies can be and should be allocated to different parts of the struggle. In lieu of that fact, a very important aspect  continually seems to be overlooked…Why are there so many monies and goods being raised with very little, if any of the proceeds at all, going toward helping Michael Brown’s Family?

Everyone is claiming to do what they are doing in order to bring forth  justice for Mike Brown, and I know most people who have been on the ground in Ferguson, and who are still on the ground; truly want justice for Mike. What I am questioning is the integrity of method. Are things being done to fight for Mike Brown and build community? Is the money being raised, going towards things that will NOT affect change? Is money being raised so that an organization can pay people, when volunteers could and would be willing to do the same work for free? Is a group or organization asking for things that are truly needed? Has pride taken over sensibilities?

One thing that I think is causing a lot of discrepancy within micro and macro movements of this particular struggle  is that we have a lot of virgin activists moving in power and action…This in itself, is awesome! The problem is that many may not know that the role of an activist is to give your all to the cause your taking action for, while taking as LITTLE as you must! SO though we may need certain things to do our actions, we should NEVER, EVER as activists take any more than what we need to get that particular job done. The other problem is the old head shady activist’s and organizers. These are people who know the game, have lost integrity over time, and lead the young bloods astray. Activism is not about comfort and capitalism; but its about struggle, sacrifice, and service.

The same things that can be said about wayward activist’s, can also be said about wayward organizer’s; except an organizer often has a more negative impact if they operate in this wayward state. Many, but not all, people who wear the title of an organizer are falling into the some of same pitfalls as unethical activist’s, but are doing so on a grander scale because they are supposed to be bringing all aspects of community together. Their have been too many organizers in Ferguson trying to push their way into the limelight; speaking presumptuously and spreading falsehoods about what the community really wants and needs. I notice that nowadays people are more into classifying themselves as an organizer…You automatically assume more recognition with the term, as it denotes that you are in charge of “getting stuff together.” The things is, I personally witnessed online, many organizers who were in Ferguson  before I had gotten there, people who have thousands of followers on social media; continually telling people not to come to Ferguson because “they got it.” The funny thing is, I never met any of these people when I was  there…Mostly because I stayed in what we call the “ground zero” area everyday, working with people who actually live in the particular area that all the police brutality was currently happening.

I couldn’t believe these particular organizers would use their voice to spread such selfishness. I came to the conclusion that these few organizers who were doing/ saying  these sort of things, wanted to be famous.There was and still is plenty of ground work for those who have pure intentions, want to serve, and are not trying to be a shot caller…LOL! Now, again, I am not saying  that all of the organizers and activist’s coming to Ferguson to help are bad.I am specifically addressing the ethics of those among us who are supposed to be servants, yet are starting to make a very beautiful struggle look really bad…Taking advantage of tragedy should NEVER be amongst us!

If we are all heart broken about what happened to Mike Brown in Ferguson, and truly heartbroken about all of the “Mike Brown’s” around the country, we need to be sure, as activists, that we are setting effective goals and actions…Doing so without  draining potential resources that could go to other pertinent things. Activism is not about becoming famous, or building an offshoot business or a for -profit subsidiary…It should be about the cause that moved  you to start your action in the first place. As humans we can lose focus, and when people start throwing things in our face, temptation can be overwhelming for some…A true activist is only a true activist, when they  can say no to temptation and only do things that uplift the cause.

Let me be clear about my activism…The way I have always handled things…I am all about integrity! I personally cannot and will not stand for injustice to be re-perpetrated by fleecing the people or being unethical in my actions. I am totally for movements being given what they need to operate and survive! I am not saying that things have to be dreary, and that reasonable requests to boost morale cant occur. It’s not in me, nor do I ever want to be a part of anything where peoples genuine interest in helping a cause or movement is taken advantage of. I have not, and hope to never be a part of any such actions! I shouldn’t be standing alone in this…All activists and organizers should have the same Modus Operandi!

***ACTIVIST CHECKLIST***

‘s MUST HAVE:

1. intentions

2. clear actions

3. operations

4. long & short term

5.

6.LOVE

7.

8. Proper Understanding & Adherence to the Laws     

DAY-8–FERGUSON—“Absent in Body, Present in Spirit and Continued Action”

yupmamamama

Mentions:

Lost Voices Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/TheLostVoices

Lost Voices Twitter: @lostvoices14

Sweet Honey in the Rocks “Meyango”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvXcoQwJ_7k

Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Are We A Nation”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vOwAfLD_ag

Official Sweet Honey in the Rock Website: http://sweethoneyintherock.org/

By the time I got back to my hotel after our meeting,  it was technically the next day. I had an early flight, so I decided that I would stay up and pack. I was feeling sad, confused, tired, and overwhelmed by all the police brutality I had seen while in the area. As I packed, I was playing some Sweet Honey in the Rock, which is a continued staple for me now days. I was feeling for the first time, that it was okay to feel all the things I had been suppressing…There just wasn’t any time to “process feelings”  until this moment.

I remember tweeting out that I was listening to “Meyango” and “Are we A nation” by the phenomenal Honey’s…The words sliced my soul into the realization that hatred will never end until the consummation of the age. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t the message of the songs, as The Honey’s always instill hope in a  seldom- wayward warrior like myself( smile). However, the reality of now, and hope for the one day in the future; were just  not meshing together in that moment. I was definately mourning something, hence why I was listening to “Meyango,” deeper than my conscious or subconscious could handle. I definitely was also looking for something real yet hopeful, hence why I kept  listening to “Are We A Nation.” Perhaps, that is why the SPIRIT led me to those particular songs at that time…Healing happens suddenly!

I was blessed to have a visit fom a wise person as I was packing. She lectured me about faith, and about me not getting super bothered about things I couldn’t change. It was annoyng at the time…But needed…She was trying to get me to sing…To praise in a time when I felt like giving up on fighting for freedom…Everything is appointed and everything is divine by design, though we often are too small to get it..Ha!

When I left to go to the airport, I felt numb…Mostly because I was overly tired. I was early for my flight, so I just laid my head down and started to snore so loud; that I even woke myself up a few times. I have no shame when I am tired…I will sprawl out anywhere. I guess I looked so pitiful, a woman woke me up to be sure I wasn’t missing my flight. I very much appreciated the sentiment, but my flight wasn’t leaving for another hour so I was light weight salty that I and now this lady kept waking myself up…LOL

Returning back to Ohio was weird and daunting…My best friend picked me up, and I was really happy to see her, but I didn’t want to talk…I was in a “mood”…She is my best friend because she knows me so well that she just sits in my presence quiet, looking crazy until I say something…Looking for any signs of the real me to emerge, which usually is some reference to what are we going to eat? I love her.LOL

Oh, as a side note, I barely ate while in Ferguson, and what I did eat was pure crap other than a few times I had fruit or other healthy things people brought the youth at the occupy site. One night I even ate hot wings from a 7-11, because it was the only place near my hotel that was open. I am actually on a cleanse now, because of all the stress and bad eating I committed while in Ferguson…Pure criminality!

So where do we go from here? Well I will continue to do my work with Lost Voices, and support any actions they decide to take on. This is only the beginning, so I don’t know what all lies in store . I know we are all still waiting for that indictment of that cop, who shall remain nameless. I know that there are many I will still fight for, in whatever way I am to be involved… I am a SPIRIT-LED daughter of obedience, descendent of the ancestors, an activist, a healer, a singer-songwriter, an actress, a dancer, a writer,a poet, a lover of satire, sarcasm, wit,& the innocently obscene…I am me, and I will do what I am supposed to, when I am supposed to do it…Looking forward to all the new paths on my journey.

This is not the last blog…More to come as more developments happen, or I as I recall things that need more in-depth reflection. Follow this blog, and follow me on facebook: devy-orit ahfor or twitter: empress_orit to find out about new posts…Or just to observe how weird I truly am..TTYL

DAY 7–FERGUSON– “The devil is busy, so staying focused is key”

me & the guys me girls

I was feeling all some sort of way, because I was not sure if I should extend my stay in Ferguson to make sure Lost Voices had the right people around them, or if I should go back to Ohio to work with the group remotely, as we had already planned. I just was not feeling easy…

I came out to the occupy site early in the day, with nothing but business on my mind. I wanted to make sure everyone was clear about the goals THEY had set, and what actions would have to be taken to accomplish these said goals.

A little while after being there, a group of agitators came to start fights with the youth of Lost Voices. They were threatening gun violence, and trying to provoke the youth to fight them physically. Of all people, the last people in the world we wanted around, the cops were called to get the trouble makers to go away. At that time, we thought it was just some haters who knew the kids and wanted to disturb them. The way the cops arrested the agitators, then released them out of custody around the corner 5 minutes later, showed us that  this was an orchestrated set-up. The cops hated that Lost Voices had been protesting against their department, and that the lady who owns the property was allowing them to occupy her lot. The cops threatened that  they would make Lost Voices move if they had another run-in, whether it was their fault or not, and what do the cops do? They release the trouble makers almost immediately… Hoping that they would catch Lost Voices in the act of  mayhem  all over again.

Black folks know that in most cases, we have no one to turn to in times of crisis but ourselves, because of the horrible historic pattern of racism in the police force.This is why so many black people distrust law enforcement, especially when law enforcement proves itself hateful by making war on the communities in which we live. I know their are decent cops out there…Maybe even some great ones. A black person doesn’t know off top whether a cop is there to help them or to hurt them. We don’t get to question the cops about their actions without facing force, and many times white cops are not culturally aware to deal with various communities in a given location. It’s like flipping a coin for us, and that’s what we want blissfully oblivious white people to understand.The Ferguson Police couldn’t even try to do the right thing in this situation Lost Voices was facing…The whole Ferguson Law Enforcement community needs to be disbanded and doused with some holy water and blessed oil…They are seriously corrupt!

All this tension from the outside played right into the enemies playbook of trying to damage this blossoming movement. As tempers flared, and blame was passed from person to person, an out of place and uniquely lit light in the sky started to shine brightly. All around this bright light from the heavens; a darkness began to fill the sky…Then out of no where, it began to rain. I took a few of the kids and another member of the group and we went into one of the full zip- up tents. We continued to hear the arguing and bad attitudes outside, and as that was happening the rain began to pour down  all the more. We didn’t think it was so strange at first, but this extremely loud thunder and  lightening started to strike over and over again. The thunder was so loud and the lightening was so bright that, that we all sat in the tent wide-eyed and silent.

All of a sudden this harsh, malicious wind began to blow. A young lady and myself who were in the tent with the kids tried to amass our weight to steady ourselves. The kids were starting to panic, and so were we. The tent actually slid with us in it, and it was actually beginning to suffocate us. A guy, who had come to visit with the youth that day, was the first to see us in distress. Unfortunately, his  first concern was an ipad in the tent rather than the kids in the tent. The zipper of the tent was stuck and we could barely get out. I had to be pulled out  of the tent, and the rain started to drown me. One of the young men of Lost Voices had to carry me over to a bank nearby. It was literally tornado strength winds, and water was just splashing on us like ocean waves…There was NOT one rain drop…Just blasts of water that felt like continual buckets being poured upon the body.

Once I was inside the bank corridor, I started tweeting out about what had happened with Lost Voices being attacked, and about the terrible storm we had  encountered. I started to tell the twitter-verse that the youth needed security, and that  the  community members should come down after the storm to help me organize the details. As I gathered myself from the torrential rain, I happened to look up and see I was in the presence of two New Black Panther Party Members, and we began to talk. I straight up asked them if they could help us with our security issue. They immediately said yes, though I didn’t know how serious they were at the time. They really represented the St. Louis Chapter very well. When the rain subsided, they went back to the place we had got stuck in the tent to look for my shoes, since I had lost them fleeing the scene. They also, helped the youth clean up the storm torn occupy  area.

A fierce woman, who was the leader of the New Black Panther Party of St. Louis, came down as soon as the rain subsided. She and I talked about what the youth, Lost Voices, were doing, and about what needs to be done in the overall fight against police brutality. I introduced her to the leader of Lost Voices, and left them to talk. The Panthers told us they had to go have a meeting, but would then dispatch security for Lost Voices…And that is exactly what they did! The old school  and the  New School Black Panthers apparently have great unity, because the Old School Panthers have been dispatched and sticking beside the youth of Lost Voices ever since, and I am so thankful! The Old & New Black Panther Party of St. Louis is about ACTION, and deserve the upmost respect!

Members of Lost Voices began to say that they believed that the storm, that had come out of nowhere, was brought on by God because of how ugly everyone was acting right before it commenced. I agree that God and the legacy of the ancestors was trying to grab a hold of their conscious at that time. These young people started this movement without any malice between them, but so many people coming in and out had started to try to grow strife amongst them. Everyone acknowledged  that the main goal of this  group was justice, and that NOTHING should ever get in the way of that!

The rest of the night was filled with visitors from everywhere. I was becoming frustrated by the fact that I needed to have a meeting with the group, as this was my last physical night with them for a while. The thing we had realized a few days previous;  is that we needed complete privacy  when having our meetings. We encountered, on many previous occasions, people from the outside trying to interrupt and take over the proceedings.  Being that Lost Voices is occupying outside, it’s hard to truly have privacy. This is why Lost Voices NEED their own office space, so that there can be a semblance of order in such cases.

Finally, we had our meeting, and I can’t say I was feeling good about leaving  Ferguson at this point. I love these young people as if they were birthed from me naturally! I didn’t and still don’t want anyone to take advantage of their hearts, their purpose, or their new found popularity. A very wise woman we call Mama T told me I need to get worry out of my heart and vocabulary, and  just trust God…The elders always know, don’t they?

DAY 6–FERGUSON–Rain doesn’t stop a good protest!

Lost Voices & Friends

   Lost Voices & Friends

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qxUs4rHDMA

I coming back to write this blog 6 days after the fact. Again, as I have stated in the other few blogs previously posted, I am not in any danger of forgetting key things that happened on these particular days…I just was not coherent or alert enough to write them on the same day, as I was overly tired at the time…You all understand!

The day previous, was of course, a day of silence and peace for Michael Brown Jr. Newly energized, this particular day was to be a restart to the protest process. It was a normal Ferguson/ St.Louis day full of heat and humidity when I left my hotel that early afternoon. Again, I would only go back to my hotel around 3am or so just to do work, to sleep an hour or so , and then to get right back out to the youth! I ran a few errands, worked on projects, and headed over to the occupy site that day. Our ally Mihn, being an artist, came by to help coordinate some projects. I was busy making sure everyone in Lost Voices were organizing themselves properly, and trying to gate keep as much of the media influx as possible.

At this time, Lost Voices had been gifted so many supplies to aid in their 24-HR occupy/protest endeavors. We had a lot of visitors out there that day, and the rain started to sprinkle lightly. None of us thought much of it as we sat under the protection of donated canopy tents. The young men of Lost Voices started to hand out ponchos, and protect the essentials that had been collected. As  soon as preparation for the rain began, this crazy wind and sideways outpour of heavenly waters began to sickle through the occupy camp. The wind was so strong, I could barely hold on and cover  the kids around me…It was a mess!

At this time, the Lost Voices and the few people still visiting decided to commence a protest; despite the rain. I stayed with some of our visitors kids under the canopy, and watched our valiant young people take to the streets in a midday march. It was so beautiful to me, and I LOVED that the community members driving by were going crazy on their car horns in awe of the determination being shown for  THE CAUSE.

One of the little girls kept asking me if we could join them out in the rain. She was hungry to protest, and she understood why we were doing what we were doing…Never sleep on the understanding of a child! I couldn’t take her out in the gallon sized rain drops, but as soon as it diminished to a sprinkle, I personally took lil’ mama out to the corner to hold a sign and chant so she could get her protest on…I understand the feeling!

After the rain subsided, it was unseasonably comfortable for the first time since I had been in Ferguson.I really expected huge crowds out that evening for our nightly protest, but only a few who were not apart of the usual visitors or Lost Voices themselves came out. We had heard that someone had scheduled a march far away from the “ground zero area.” They didn’t even invite Lost Voices, and Lost Voices LIVE in the area that is most affected in this “situation”. This is the frustration I have felt with those who have discounted what Lost Voices have been doing; simply because they don’t come in a certain “package.” These are the same folks who want to come in with cameras and pretend like they organized them, when Lost Voices organized themselves! I don’t even claim to “organize” them, and I work with them directly.

The video will show you a few highlights from that day and evening.

DAY 5–FERGUSON— Reflections Before & After Michael Brown Jr. Homegoing

 

 

VIDEO :http://youtu.be/xP8Yw4owixU

Michael Brown Jr. don't shoot

I have come back to write this section 8 days after the event. Everything is seared in my memory, so please do not think that my recollection will diminish integrity. At that time, I had been up almost been for 5 days straight, and was unable to continue to blog and vlog right after the events occurred. Also, I went back and looked at some of my writing during those full action packed protest days, and you can definitely tell my writing and coherence was suffering. That is what I like about blogs & vlogs, you can really get an honest perspective…Being worn by police brutality, community actions, and nightly protests is the reality of the situation and of course that would come out in my writing.

The morning of the funeral for Michael Brown Jr. , I felt very somber and very mournful. As I was getting ready to meet up with my friend and pick up some of the youth, I kept thinking about how his brutal slaughter was getting the “sleep” out of a lot of peoples eyes. I also was sickened every time  I recalled comments online or on mainstream news, that tried to justify his slaying with ridiculous un-parallels. I had to push these thoughts aside, especially when I recalled the asinine comments of black people who have grown up in privilege, and have been guarded by status from the black experience. I prayed and I meditated…Not knowing what I should think about, as I prepared to make my way to this ceremony of goodbyes.

When we finally made it to the church where the Homegoing Service was to be held, we intrinsically joined a long line to gain entrance into the building. The atmosphere was somber, but not sad…There was a spirit of cooperation and love abounding from all who stood in line. A really nice lady behind me saw my tag was sticking out of my dress, and without thinking about it she fixed it for me…Also without thinking about it, I almost expected that she would do that for me; which seems to contradict the selfish society we live in  today. One thing is true, when it comes down to it, black people look out for each other because we know…Deep down…Even if we don’t want to admit it…We are fighting against and face the same hatred in this country! A bond that is loosed by comfort, but strengthened through adversity.Black people have always looked out for one another. Its a unspoken thing of not wanting to see someone like you fall or be messed up. This cooperative spirit always shines in moments like these, but then when we are comfortable, we forget what comes most natural to us…A reason we currently remain so divided instead of more united!

The ladies from Lost Voices who were with me were very quiet. One of the young ladies had gone to school with Mike Mike, and you could tell that she was in a state of surreal reality. Our Friend Mihn had come with us, and he brought these really cool postcards that he and artist friends in Kansas City had made for us. These postcards are addressed directly to the Governor; reprimanding him for the terrible leadership he has shown in this police brutality situation in Ferguson. As we were waiting, the ladies began to quietly connect with the community we were standing with; sharing the mission of Lost Voices.

After a little while, we were quickly ushered into the church. We came early enough to be seated inside, which kinda surprised me because we were running later than we had planned. Even though this was a really big edifice, the family of Mike brown had 600 family members who had to be seated, so most of the lower level seating was reserved for their entrance. When I first sat down, I saw our beloved Mike Brown, the one we are fighting to get justice for, lying in the front of the alter area surrounded by pictures, flowers, and mementos. It was truly overwhelming to me, and I could tell my girls were overwhelmed that this could even happen…His casket, was of course, closed.

Beautiful gospel music that was both timely and appropriate for the occasion was playing over a serious sound system. Gospel favorites like “I shall wear A Crown” & “How excellent is your name” effectively set the mood, and the desired requested atmosphere by the family. The service was to start at 10AM, but since we were asked to turn off our phones upon entering, I am not certain as to whether everything started on time or not. However, we were there at least an hour early.

On thing that annoyed the crap out of me was the “dignitaries.” When people sent from the white house, and other “important” people came in, they did not enter in a spirit of honoring Mike Brown. I saw a few of the white house delegation taking selfies near Mike Brown’s Casket. They were not right on the casket, but took pictures with others smiling so the casket would of course be in the shot. I was sitting there hoping they would just go away. I was glad the family had not entered yet, because I cannot imagine how they would have felt if in their darkest hour, they had to watch people taking selfies at their sons homegoing…DEATH TO THE SELFIE in these circumstances!

When it was finally time to start, and all the clergy had taken their places, the Missouri Collaborative Choir ( I forget the official name, but basically that is what they are) started to sing many of the songs we had been hearing over the sound system; while we were waiting for the commencement of the service. They sounded really good…Amazing actually. The pastor of the hosting church started to give directions about what we were to do when the family began to enter. We were of course to stand when they started to come, but could sit down as needed since it was such a large family. A long trail of church nurses, something very organic to the Baptist Church, lined both sides of the isle. Their job, comfort and protect, as is the tradition  in the black church experience in America. The family, I believe, are COGIC but this Baptist Church we were in offered it services, buildings, ect…Everyone was working together…Putting denomination aside to pay tribute to a bright light that was snuffed out way too soon.

What can be said about the grief of parents who lost their son in such a violent way? What can be said about a community mourning, and fed up with the injustices perpetrated against it and all black people living in these Divided States of America? I do not have these words…I will not diminish the experience of his parents, family, & community by “describing” pain…It is indescribable!

Hearing from a family member who knew Mike best, was the highlight of the speakers in my humble opinion. Mike was described as an amazing young man who had come into knowing God, and was very passionate about this knowledge. They said the day he died, he had been witnessing to others about Jesus and about how he came to take the Bible seriously. His family members also described his prophetic experience of seeing bloody white sheets on several occasions; thinking it was for the family member now speaking at his funeral. He even warned people that  he thought this family member who was speaking on his character at his own funeral was not going to make it. Little did he know, that he was prophesying about his on death. Everyone, including the young lady with me described Mike Brown as a big teddy bear, who was very mature. The family member that spoke about Mike Mike also said he had been saying for a while that he felt everyone was going to know his name one day…Mike, the day has come!

I would be remised of truth to not mention my non-favorites who popped up to get their shine, as Al Sharpton so pointedly addressed during his eulogy. Sharpton talked about how so many dignitaries, famous clergy, and civil rights organizers were fighting about who would get to speak and get their 5 minutes of “fame” at Mike Brown’s Funeral… Sickening isn’t? I was so glad he addressed this, because people want to come after me for calling out fake clergy and leaders. *Shrugs*…I guess the highest bidder won, because as things were wrapping up, T.D. Jakes and the preacher who said ” these hoes ain’t loyal” in the pulpit in times previous ( I don’t know his name) must have won the clergy popularity contest and got to get in a  5 minute prayer…I couldn’t even participate. LOL…I am not moved by how well a person speaks, but how rightly they lead others back to the CREATOR, if they live in adherence to the principles of their particular faith, and how they  deal with their mistakes! We all make them, but what do you do after the mistake is made shows heart, purpose, and intention! Anyone that knows me knows that I am called to call out foolishness…Why? So we can become better. If your leadership is a hot mess…everyone else will follow suit…Message!

After the Homegoing Celebration, The ladies of Lost Voices reached out to the community who were outside the church. The media swooped in on them from all over the world, and I was having a hard time making sure they were not interviewing with the wrong people. I am a mother hen, and as an adviser to the group, it is my job to make sure their message is not twisted, or that people with ulterior motives don’t come in to beguile them. A very hard job at times.

I have 100% faith  in GOD and the coming of MESSIAH again, and though HE may tarry…I will wait for HIM.I am led to know that Mike Brown’s death though brutal, tragic, and disrespectful…Served a great purpose in awakening Black Folks who have been “sleeping in” and not getting to work “on-time”. I KNOW he is resting in power & peace until the appointed time…He is not really dead or gone! His transition on this end was brutal, but he is at peace, which means we can’t have peace, until we fight for what he was sacrificed for…Until we rise up and not allow injustice of any kind to be perpetuated in this earth without fighting against it. We may not win certain battles…but we will win the war if we endure! We may not see a change around us immediately or ever in this current order of things, but we will see a change in US, if we do what is righteous…Perhaps that is the plan of the ONE WHO SEES, blessed be HE! Definitely something to pause and calmly meditate on.

 

DAY 4-FERGUSON—The Youth name themselves LOST VOICES…MAMA T Speaks…

lost voices

 

VIDEO:http://youtu.be/8YZnSNkoEWA

 

Today was a very chill day. To prepare the atmosphere for Mike Brown’s funeral, the family asked us not to protest on Monday, but to come back full blast on Tuesday. Protest leaders decided we would start Mike Brown’s “silence period” Sunday evening…So I just chilled with my youth in the Protest area they had been occupying. In this video, You will hear more from the youth who have now named themselves Lost Voices. The real Freeway Rick Ross, not the rapper but the other famous one, came out to visit the youth tonight. He made some big promises to Lost Voices, which I think he was very serious about. He is supposed to help them start their non-profit using his attorney.He had a radio interview that was supposed to be about himself, that he used to divert attention to Lost Voices…Very cool!

Suddenly, I noticed an older woman sitting with the youth. Her name is Mama T, and she has been an activist for over half a century. She marched with Dr. King, and even initiated protests and demonstrations in Georgia. She has been an activist, missionary, and prayer warrior ever since that time. The youth didn’t know they were sitting with “civil rights royalty.” At 75 years old, she felt the HOLY SPIRIT told her to come to Ferguson. She said that she came to be with them, because she felt that the police wouldn’t mess with them with her there. She sat out with them all day, and slept out with them as well. She is an awesome woman for coming all the way from Chicago, and she is awesome for being willing to brave the horrid humidity.

DAY 3-Ferguson &surrounding area cops ATTACK!!!!! 8/23-24/2014

before the protst...after the protest

before the protest…after the protest

Here is the video though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVYc06MP-pE

This is a blog I had to come back and write in its entirety several days after the fact. Don’t worry, everything that occurred that night is written indelibly upon my brain.

I remember that Shabbat…Ironically, I was not in a state to truly rest, as is my custom. I was exhausted, yet way too anxious and wired to pay much attention to the rest my body, mind, and soul demanded of me. During the day, there was a big rally happening where Mike Brown’s Parents as well as Trayvon Martin’s Parents would be speaking. I was way too tired to go, and I know that is bad since I was in Ferguson to cover all the things the mainstream media was refusing to cover. They held the event far away from the “ground zero” area, which is what most of us had come to refer  the area on W. Florissent as…The area where most of the protest and unrest were occurring.

A photographer friend that was privy to the goings-on at the rally said it was a big “family day” type of event. Many spoke about injustice, and the steps we as a national community must take to make sure that the world knows Black Lives Matter. One pertinent detail communicated at this event that I did not attend; was a  request that  Michael Brown’s Father presented to the crowd. He requested that the word be spread that on Monday, the day of the funeral, he would want us to halt protests and have a day of silence and rest in honor of his viciously slain son.

Around 7pm, a friend in the independent press called, and asked if I wanted a ride to our nightly protest…I got ready, and we made our descent to the main event area. As a side note, some of you may wonder why the main protests are always at night…The main reason is because of the heat and humidity. The humidity was still just as potent at night, but at least the sun wasn’t beating down as heavy. Trust me, that humidity was really thick! Everyone was soaked with their own sweat within minutes of stepping outside…That’s just the reality!

I had a weird feeling about this particular night…I was still feeling compelled to go, but had an unregistered knowing/ feeling something wasn’t quite right. When we finally arrived on the scene, things were odd…Odd because we knew that a influx of folks from all over the country were coming to stand in solidarity with us, yet there was no SEEN police presence. I knew this was a trick…I just knew it! Everyone was being peaceful, and their was an eerie “calm before the storm” mist in the air.

I saw my usual crew of protesters start up, so I went to join them. I was having a good time, but all of a sudden found myself in the midst of these anarchists who were carrying the American Flag backwards. I looked to my left and then to my right, and realized I didn’t know who I was standing around. I went to  have a seat for a while, and gather my surroundings. I don’t know how I had gotten separated from the main group. It was as if they disappeared into then air. I took the time to watch and observe everyone else in their  small protest groups. Their was a group who had come from all over the USA, who brought a lot of energy and small sermonettes about police brutality. I saw all these organizers from all over the USA, who never joined in on  the protesting, but instead just watched, gawked, frowned, & what not. These are the  usual happenings before we got down to the main events every night.

I was talking to a group of people, and all was peaceful in the streets. All of a sudden, we noticed that the police presence began to trickle in. They came in a very low key way…As if they were trying to sneak up on us. Everyone continued to talk amongst themselves, or speak on police brutality in various little groups throughout the strip. As I was mid-sentence, I saw these cops off to my right…They had on tan uniforms, which I was informed meant they were county cops. They were, as a group, putting their hands on their holsters and talking amongst themselves. I indiscriminately  brought attention to what I was seeing to the people I was around. As soon as the folks around me peeped what was going on, the cops started to move in on us. They started to break up our groups, and push us around. They had these really intimidating looks on their faces and one female cop tried to get in my face, which was impossible because I am 5’9″ aand she was about 5’0″.

A guy in the crowd got nervous and began to run. About 20 cops pounced on him and beat the crap out of him. I was taping during the time, but so many people got in front of me, I couldn’t really get the camera in there. At this time my fear was truly heightened. I watched these police of all these various municipalities began to close in on us. The mainstream media says that the protesters are out of hand, and the cops come in to control…But just like I had watched on independent live  streams, it was the cops who provoked violence, and no one was being violent back. I knew this was true, but to experience these demons, folks call cops, pounce on us for no other reason than retaliation… It was sickening.

Retaliation ? Yes, retaliation…This was pay back because the night previous we had an awesome march and demonstration that was so inspiring and so peaceful. We trekked almost 4 miles to the police station chanting freedom and resistance all the way. In solidarity, everyone in the community honked their horns and came out their house to cheer us on. We governed ourselves, and didn’t allow anyone from our group to break any rules that we imposed upon ourselves for our collective protection. When we got to the police station, we protested peacefully, and the cops hated that. This is why they came to try and agitate violence this Saturday night. They needed a different narrative in the media , that helps their case that Ferguson community members are violent, which again is NOT true!

So, their was this guy across the street playing his music really loud. The song he  happened to be blasting was  “F the police”. I am sure this was purposeful, but can you truly blame this attitude…The police, with the backing of the national guard, had been allowed to make war on a community. Let me side note to the looting I am sure you closet neo-Nazi’s in training want to be the focus, and explanation to the militarization of the police in Ferguson. After being in the community, I learned from talking to people who live in the area that the looters came from outside Ferguson for the most part. Also, many community members tried to protect local businesses, but the mainstream media loved to spin the angle that Ferguson residents were tearing up Ferguson. After working hard with the Ferguson Community, I have seen they are one of the most loving communities I have ever encountered. The Ferguson Community has been very helpful to a group of youth I advise called Lost Voices, who are trying to stand up and make a change through ACTION. Everyday, so many in the community bring them so many things so they can continue their 24-hr occupy protest…So don’t tell me this community does not love each other!

Now back to this particular night. After getting pushed around by the police, I put on my gas mask, as did others who had them because the cops were getting really rowdy. They were walking in big groups…Mixing uniforms and BADGELESS. Apparently, being badgeless is a legal tactic. I was watching absolute mayhem all around me, and my heart was beating faster than I can ever recall it doing before. Their were so many people gathered together to peacefully protest, and their were so many cops harassing us; it was crazy. A dude I know in mainstream media let me know that the cops had their face recognition software out so that they could see who had warrants, thereby making  random arrests. If it hadn’t actually happened, I would not have believed him.

Unfortunately, homeboy was more than right…They started to arrest random folks, one of whom was the guy playing the loud music. This caused a lot of raucous. The out of town protesters got really rowdy, because they didn’t know our “self governing rules.” Mind you, they didn’t do anything wrong or illegal, but when things are heightened, we protesters who had been around a while knew not to antagonize the police. The out-of-towner’s didn’t get the dynamics, and the danger.Folks who had been around a while, had to get on them, because they almost got us gassed. The police were opening vans and prepping the gas guns.

My video coverage was sporadic, because the cops kept getting in my face. Also, we noticed that the cops had surrounded us from the back. This is classic, “your about to get gassed and have no where to run”, tactics that the cops often used previous. The cops then started to tell us they were going to check credentials of media. They were saying if you didn’t have an official media card, you couldn’t record what was happening. How convenient, try to shut up the voices that will tell the truth about what your doing. I was tweeting out to the twitter-verse at this time, and so many people  started tweeting me my rights and the laws and many encouraging words. I really appreciated twitter, very much, for the first time ever. I was scared to film, but I did so anyway. It isn’t a steven spielberg production, but you get to see what is really going on.

After doing some really good interviews with locals that you will see on the above video, my friend made me leave with him to get out of harms way. When we left, things were still heightened. He was afraid we would be blocked in, which would be a nightmare. It was a crazy, crazy night.