Ferguson October: Thousands Gather for Marches, Speeches, and Civil Disobedience Around St. Louis

At #MoralMonday and other "Ferguson October" events a diverse group is coming together to march, chant, sing, pray, and practice civil disobedience.


Luke Rudkowski/Twitter

People from around the country are gathered in St. Louis for "Ferguson October", a weekend meant to reenergize attention around the August 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson and the militarized-police response to subsequent protests and media attention. Since Brown was killed, two more young black men—Kajieme Powell, 25, in late August and Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, last week—have been fatally shot by St. Louis-area police officers, further fueling this budding crucible of a new civil rights movement. 

Today was designated #MoralMonday. After gathering at Ferguson's Wellspring Church for prayer and training, demonstrators marched to the Ferguson police station, where clergy stood toe-to-toe with cops in riot gear and offered to take their confessions. Some held up mirrors and suggested police "look at yourselves." 

Craig Cheatham/Twitter

"This is what theology looks like," chanted clergy members. Others sang "We Shall Overcome." Several clergy members were arrested and taken away by police, as was Dr. Cornel West—who told a crowd on Sunday night that he had come to Ferguson "to go to jail", not give a speech. 

"Power concedes nothing without a demand," states the #MoralMonday event page. "On Monday, we're taking our cue from the fearless activists in North Carolina who … kicked off the Moral Mondays movement for progressive change by engaging in civil disobedience every week, reminding all of us that these actions have been a part of every major movement for change."

Ferguson October events kicked off Friday with a march on the St. Louis District Attorney's office and a panel discussion on militarization and surveillance at the Dar Aljalal Islamic Center. On Saturday, a morning march ended at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis, where activists spoke before a large and diverse crowd. That evening, protesters marched from the street where Brown was shot to the Ferguson police station, led by a car covered in memorial messages for Brown: 

On Sunday, musicians played in Ferguson throughout the afternoon and 17 were arrested in a sit-in outside a St. Louis QuickTrip. That night brought "an evening of reflection and resistance" which included speeches from St. Louis rapper and activist Tef Poe, Central Reform Congregation Rabbi Susan Talve, and Christian author/publisher Rev. Jim Wallis, along with a keynote address from West. 

Feminist Bully/Twitter

Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce wrote of a palpable generational divide at Sunday night's activities, with a "raucous" crowd "heckling the president of the NAACP and successfully demanding that young demonstrators get a place on stage": 

Moments earlier, the president of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, Cornell William Brooks, gave a fiery speech in which he said, "Oh say, can you see Ferguson, Mo., transformed?" Tepid applause greeted that line, and a man in the crowd began to shout: "Go to Canfield (he apartment complex near where Brown was shot) with that! We got revolutionaries out here [on the streets] starving!"

Poe told the crowd: "This ain't your grandparents' civil rights movement."

With all due respect, it actually sounds a lot like our parents' and grandparents' civil rights movement to me. We are seeing marches and chants, sit-ins and protest music. We are seeing people people of different races finally start paying attention to problems that have long been plaguing black communities. We are seeing the potential for new political coalitions. We are seeing justified anger, inspiring optimism and resilience, calls to pray, calls to arms, calls for policy reform. We are watching radicals, populists, wonks, artists, clergy, media, academics, and ordinary citizens sort out how and where they fit into the scheme of reform and resistance. 

Ferguson October/Twitter


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  1. Didn’t Rand Paul go there recently? I mean Furguson. I heard something about
    that a couple of weeks ago, then never heard anymore about it.

    1. Yes, he went there last week for a dialogue with Ferguson community leaders and NAACP reps about reforming police tactics and preventing shit like that from happening again. He got some positive coverage in Politico and Time.

  2. “clergy stood toe-to-toe with cops in riot gear and offered to take their confessions”

    Please tell me no Catholic clergy were involved. Please tell me no Catholic priest dared drag this sacrament into the mire of politics. And were they “offering” to take these confessions in public?

    I’m tired of Catholic priests Cleveland-Brownsing me all the time.

    1. Try living near Chicago – google “Chicago Father Pfleger”.

      I am glad I am a Protestant…

      1. I’ve been Googling…found no evidence of Catholic priests calling on cops to confess.

        Feel free to show me contrary evidence.

        And thank you for reminding me of Fr. Pfleger 🙁

    2. I’m tired of Catholic priests Cleveland-Brownsing me all the time.

      It is a simple matter of size, Eddie. The larger an organization becomes, the more likely it is that it will draw those on the extremes. You really can’t have an group of millions and not expect some bad players.

      It shows the beauty of Protestantism. If your conscience tells you that women wearing pants is a sin, you can always find a church that believes as you do, or start your own, and remain a Christian.

      Schism is literally the market at work in religion.

      1. Again, I don’t know if any of these “clergy” were Catholic. I haven’t been able to find any evidence that they were.

        I can’t say for sure, but I suspect these clergy asking for confessions are Protestant clergy who are not in the habit of hearing confessions from their own, but are using this confession thing as a media opportunity.

  3. But, but, but… Brown was a thug and attacked a brave police officer and shoplifted and threw a gang sign in a Facebook photo and was far scarier in other photos than the news used so it was definitely OK for him to be shot and left to decompose in the street like a run over squirrel because negroes.

    1. Nutra-Sweet, I think that you are mixing blame, here.

      I do not think that the majority of people who support the police in this instance do so because Brown was brown. They are knee jerk cop felators, not so much racists. The fucking scum protesting here, like Cornell West, claim it was solely because of Brown’s brownness, and forget the real issue of overall police evil.

      Unless these people had something to say when Kelley Thomas was murdered by the police, they are simply race baiting and can go fuck themselves.

      1. Sure, sure… But the people I’m parodying don’t want to have that discussion. They want to make the victim a legitimate target. And they can go fuck themselves with rabid back-hoe.

        1. Brown was a “victim” only because he was a violent, stupid thug who lost a confrontation with a policeman. Only a violent, stupid thug would rob a store, walk down the middle of the street holding the loot, and then get into a confrontation with a cop who told him to get on the sidewalk. He’s just another Darwin Award winner, not some innocent victim.

          And now Vonderrit Myers: a gangster with a record shoots at police with a stolen gun, gets killed, and I’m supposed to be upset over “police brutality” or “racism”? Haha, no.

          There are certainly real cases of police brutality and racism, but to me neither of these look like it so far. These are just incidents that ideologues can jump on and try to cram them into neat little boxes to make their point.

          1. Case in point.

          2. More to the point. This Darwin fellow seems to kill more people then the police. Can we get him arrested?

    2. Try this simple test: Punch a cop, run away, then turn and run toward him. If you get shot we know this whole thing isn’t about “racism”.

  4. “Today was designated #MoralMonday”

    but Columbus day is when i celebrate how the white man brought civilization to the savages?

    no fair

  5. If we are going to protest the injustice of police brutality, can’t we pick someone less shitbaggy than Mike Brown? If we are going to promote the racial inequality meme, and if the victim must be black then there are literally thousands of better cases out there to base the protest upon. But no, they pick a dude who strongarms little Indian convenience store clerks.

    1. And in the case of Vonderrit Myers, a gangster with a record who shoots at police with a stolen gun.

    2. What I don’t get is where police militarization falls into this.

      Police are always going to shoot a 300 lb guy who attacks them.

      Police are always going to shoot a guy shooting at them.

      Police are always going to be deployed to try to stop riots. When they stood down that one night, because of all those complaints, 60 businesses were looted.

      Protest all the unnecessary SWAT raids. That’s where the police militarization really is.

  6. The deification of these thugs Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin shows the increasing Horst Wesselization of our sick society. Those schvartzas are thugs or thug wannabes. Just as the violent thug Horst Wessel was deified with the famous Horst Wessel Lied, so these violent clowns are also. One was high on poor man’s PCP and the “gentle giant” assaulted a cop.

    There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.

  7. The Legacy of Barrack Hussein Obama is wide and far reaching. For America he has given Ebola to the people! Many claims are made that you cant catch it unless you bath in secretions of the ill! They have no clue. Obama has shipped the infected from one place to another with hope his job is done! Barrack Hussein Obama has put Americans at each others throats. American cities have been stoked with hate ready to burn once again with hopes his work is done! He has freed the terrorists to do their bidding still is work is not done! The mockery of the American religions are in full swing, so fine to chop the heads of the infidels but as America bleeds and crys and wails to the Lord God Almighty I say to you all Praise the good as well as the evil for it is sent by God to a world that is lost.

  8. The Black Guerrilla Family lost two future members in these tragedies. That is what we really should be concerned about.

  9. Just stop with these “too close to call” incidents as the cause du jour. Trayvon Martin beat a man’s head into the pavement and got killed when the victim exercised self-defense. Michael Brown was shot minutes after a strong arm robbery for Swisher Sweets. The other guy in St. Louis was killed after shooting at an officer 3 times. Under these scenarios, I will at least let the investigation finish into what happened before making a judgment call, which is more than I can say for the holier-than-thou crowds filling Ferguson, and who want a result without any fact-finding being complete.

  10. These professional provocateurs are tiresome.

    When the Civil War they for which they are agitating begins, it is my sincere hope they keep presenting themselves as massed targets in town squares.

  11. “crucible of a new civil rights movement”

    Uh hmmm, a movement that goes against everything the original “I have a dream” movement of the 60’s gained. A movement to wash away the fact that the root problem is a lack of character on certain individuals actions and an attempt to place the blame on those of ‘color’ the other than black color specifically.

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