5 Ways You Can Help Ferguson, Its Protesters, and Mike Brown’s Family

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been more or less glued to your computer or tablet device over the last nine days, trying to keep on top of what’s going down in Ferguson, Missouri. Since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, the city has descended into a cycle of upheaval. So what can you do to support Ferguson?

The unfolding situation has led to a deep sense of helplessness for many people — sympathetic observers of the plight of the Ferguson protesters, unsure what they can do to help. And indeed, it’s hard to know exactly how to lend your support — is there some place to donate? Some cause to get behind? A hashtag to Tweet? 

At the end of the day, if the St. Louis-area forces descending on Ferguson aren’t proactive in addressing the outcry for justice, tensions are likely to remain high. Luckily, there are some things you can lend your name to, or some ways to contribute a little cash that can make a difference. Here are a handful of examples.

The Change.org Petition on Police Misconduct

This has been swirling around since pretty early in the Ferguson fracas, launched by Los Angeles-based Shaun King, who’s been a tireless presence on social media throughout the protests. It currently has over 200,000 signatures, which is a healthy total, but far short of its goal of one million. 

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether the petition’s call is worth supporting, I’ll say this much: The ideas contained make a lot of sense to me, and I think it’s worth the consideration of anyone concerned with police violence and misconduct, especially against minority populations. Its provisions are stated as follows:

1. The shooting and killing of an unarmed citizen who does not have an outstanding warrant for a violent crime should be a federal offense.

2. Choke holds and chest compressions by police (what the coroner lists as the official cause of death for Eric Garner) should be federally banned.

3. All police officers must wear forward-facing body cameras while on duty. They cost just $99 and are having a significant, positive impact in several cities around the United States and the world.

4. Suspensions for violations of any of the above offenses should be UNPAID.

5. Convictions for the above offenses should have their own set of mandatory minimum penalties. The men who killed Diallo, Bell, Grant, Carter, Garner, and others all walk free while over 1,000,000 non violent offenders are currently incarcerated in American prisons.

Not too bad, huh?

 Feeding the Children of Ferguson

The children of Ferguson haven’t been shielded from the destabilizing impacts of the protests and police response. That was laid especially bare on Sunday, by images of a teargas-stricken child that lit up social media — in his post-curfew press conference, Capt. Ron Johnson wholly sidestepped a question on underage teargas victims.

While you may not be able to help as much as you’d like, there’s one easy way to make your dollars felt — donate to help keep the kids fed. As the effort’s creator Julianna Mendelsohn explains, the upheaval has resulted in public school cancellations, which leaves those kids who rely on their school lunches high and dry.

When I found out school had been canceled for several days as a result of the civil unrest, I immediately became worried for the students in households with food instability. Many children in the US eat their only meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, at school. With school out, kids are undoubtedly going hungry. ALL OF THIS MONEY WILL GO TO FEED KIDS IN FERGUSON. … Regardless of your opinion on the civil unrest in Ferguson, there is no need for innocent children to go hungry because of it.

The campaign has generated greater than $50,000 in donations to the Greater St. Louis Area Food Bank so far.

Donate Directly to the Brown Family

You can also decide to give some dollars directly to the grieving family that Michael Brown left behind. A GoFundMe page has been launched by the family’s legal representation, from the office of attorney Benjamin Crump, whose name you may recognize — he also represented the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin last year. What will the money go towards?

The funds collected here will be used by the Brown family to cover funeral and burial expenses, travel and living expenses of the parents as they seek justice for their son, Michael Brown, Jr. 

Becoming embroiled in a full-time, high-profile controversial incident like this isn’t easy on its own, much less when you’ve also had your son taken from you. The page has already netted greater than $67,000 for the Brown family in just four days, rapidly approaching its total goal of $80,000.

 Support On-The-Ground Legal Observers

The folks with the National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG) have been maintaining a presence on the ground, offering legal support and oversight, but such a job is neither safe nor free — they’re accepting donations to keep a presence in Ferguson. 

Having legal observers on the ground is pretty important in the interests of justice, as chaotic as the nights in Ferguson have routinely become. Any violations of protesters’ rights could easily go overlooked if there aren’t dedicated people following the action.

Support Independent Media Reporting

Some news junkies across the country have been dubious, to say the least, of some of the reporting coming out of the Ferguson area. This is understandable, given the tack the police have taken with journalists and protesters, and the manner in which they released troubling surveillance footage of Brown while withholding almost all information about his actual shooting.

Supporting independent media is a worthy cause in this regard, if you have any concerns about establishment bias in reporting from major outlets. You may not, to be fair, but many people (myself included, in the interests of full disclosure) do. 

Berkeley-based independent black media outlet This Week in Blackness is a prominent example — founder Elon James White and company reported from Ferguson late last week, and the situation has remained so severe that they’re headed back out there Monday. 

*This article was published last month. Please reblog with tips and updates.

In the first four months of 2014

An 8-year-old boy was beaten to death by his father,

A 14-year-old was strangled to death and stuffed under a bed,

Two 16-year-olds were shot to death,

Three 18-year-olds were stabbed to death, dismembered or shot,

Two 18-year-olds were murdered with no details being reported,

An 18-year-old suffered two violent attacks by a mob and survived,

36 people shot,

14 stabbed multiple times,

11 beaten to death,

3 burned to death,

3 dismembered or mutilated,

2 strangled,

1 hanged,

1 had her throat cut and was stoned to death

Why?

The people weren’t the gender their sexual organs dictated

This is 2014. Why is there so much hate based around genitalia?

Okay I worried that there is little speculation of the ISIS crisis in the Middle East here on tumblr. So I have decided that I’m going to make a post about. This may be a bit biased, and Aussie-centric but I think it’s important to know how my country is affected from this as well.

Warning: violence, death, blood, and gruesome stuff will be mentioned.

So, What is ISIS?

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is a group of extremists, created by Al-Qaeda. The group has been around for about 10 years, but only recently they have proven to be a real threat, due to the atrocities they are committing. This group has grabbed attention of governments and superpowers, such as the US, however it was only very recent the people in power have come to a realisation that something must be done.

Okay, but what has ISIS exactly done to grab attention?

For the past couple of years, ISIS has taken over Iraqi and Syrian land, in attempt to establish a caliphate within these nations, but predominantly Iraq. In recent months, ISIS has been taking over Yazidi villages in Iraq, and demanding the people to convert or face execution, which is often public. ISIS has publicly executed Yazidi men, women, and even children - only to then post such brutal crimes onto social media for the world to see. ISIS has also been taking Yazidi women and turning them into Jihadi brides. They have also beheaded westerner’s, including an American journalist and a British aid worker. With the be-heading of Westerner’s, Obama and other political figures have declared ISIS as a global threat.

We can just send in some troops, right?

It’s not so simple to send in troops. Though, the US and Australia have been working together to aid the Yazidi population who have fled from the genocide, Obama doesn’t want to send in troops into Iraq, as they have dispatched the last of the men in 2011. Australia is sending 600 aid troops to the country, but so far it is believed that there will be no official military action, only humanitarian and protection. The US have been airstriking territories ISIS have occupied, but it has only slowed the group down. Iraq also don’t want the US in the country. Iran is taking military action, but it will take more than Iran to bring the group to an official stop.

How does this group affect my country?

Many Westerner’s, particularly in Australia, have been leaving their countries to join ISIS. Others have been funding the group and some are even planning on committing terrorist acts in countries outside of the Middle East. Most of you may not be aware, but Australia is (for the first time) on a terrorist high level. This means that a terrorist act is likely to occur. Why is this important to know? With the G20 Summit being held in Australia in November, police and ASIO have been very cautious about this. We have at least 150 Australian’s currently in the Middle East, fighting alongside ISIS. Not only this, but we have at least 60 jihads and terrorists who are connected to ISIS in Australia. Today (18.9.14) we had anti-terrorist raids throughout Sydney and Brisbane. At least 15 arrests have been made, and one of the men is facing charges for planning terrorists acts; with plans to kidnap a random person down the streets of Sydney, be-head them in a busy public center, and wrap their remains in an ISIS flag - while recording to post on social media. They had actually found a sword during these raids, and this plan was to happen at any given moment.

Why is this important to know?

To put it simply, people are dying. An extremist group is trying to rise to power, with intentions to convert anyone to Islam, or face execution. This is a disgrace to Muslims across the world, as their religion is being an excuse to commit genocide. It is real and happening right now, and it needs attention.

I’d love for this to be reblogged and spread around, and if I have any misinformation, I deeply apologise and feel free to correct me. This is a serious and major threat that needs to be spoken about. I hope this post was useful and you may have learnt something new.

Sources:

http://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2014/08/what_is_isis_and_why_should_we.html

http://www.vox.com/cards/things-about-isis-you-need-to-know/isis-goal-theocracy

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/friend-flees-horror-isis

http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_09_17/Iraq-Obama-doesn-t-want-a-ground-war-in-the-Middle-East-1058/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/police-swoop-on-sydney-brisbane-homes-in-terror-raids/story-e6frg6nf-1227062160671?nk=5b2fe09fa0b7682d619cd52592fa423c

https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/25037909/arrests-made-in-counterterror-raids-in-sydneys-northwest/

More articles:

http://news.oneindia.in/feature/what-does-islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis-want-in-iraq-1468356.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/middle-east-live/2014/jun/30/isis-declares-caliphate-in-iraq-and-syria-live-updates

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/the-iraq-isis-conflict-in-maps-photos-and-video.html?_r=0

24.4

I lick my lips,
taste your lies.
Why did you believe,
getting this close would be wise?

I told you to run,
told you to hide,
I promised you wouldn’t enjoy
seeing my true side.

And yet here we are,
surrounded by decay.
You wouldn’t listen,
so it was your turn to pay.

Six feet under,
buried in your shame.
Hope you learned your lesson,
at least I adored this game.

My grin is big,
my joy without fail.
Maybe next time you won’t forget
to never cross my path again.

View On WordPress

So…
My sister’s ex boyfriend went crazy and tried to kill her and my 3 year old nephew.
He shot at her multiple times.
She had to tell her son to run and get help.
And neighbor came after hearing gunshots and fought off the ex.
In self-defense, the neighbor shot the ex boyfriend in the chest.
My sister (because she’s not a hateful person) tried to save her ex’s life… he died in her arms.

I do t know how to feel because I can’t fully fathom how she feels. I’m glad they’re safe and not hurt but, I wish they didn’t have to go through that.
And even though I know it’s not about me, I too am angry and upset.
I have no one to vent to.

This is why I don’t like guns… they always seem to make their way into the hands of the wrong person.
And yes, the ex did have a licence to carry one.

anonymous said:

Do you have a trans!Stiles tag? I looked through your tag list and didn't see one.

All That’s Best of Dark and Bright (complete | 28,180 | Rated PG-13)

It’s not a gender identity crisis if you’ve known all along what the problem is. If you’ve been purposely trying to ignore it since you were old enough to consciously make that choice.

But what happens after that, when you finally learn how to let go?

Forty Six and 2 (series: 9 works | complete | 30,390 | Rated E)

Stiles has come to the realization that he’s going to need to tell the pack that he’s transgender before they find out on their own. He’s only ever told one person before, and he’s still thankful Scott was a true best friend. He only hopes the others take his news as well.

Know That You’re Whole (complete | 42,005 | Rated PG-13)

“Stiles. You’re trans. I’m a werewolf. We’re both a little fucked and you’re right, it is scary. But we’re also both a hell of a lot more than that.”

Stiles hoped that life at college would be better for him. And mostly he was right. Sure, Jackson is a douche, but he still has Scott as well as some new friends. There’s also Derek Hale, who seems to be majoring in brooding with a minor in lurking and may or may not be a werewolf.

The Heart Remains The Same (complete | 28,797 | Rated PG-13)

When Stiles left for college, he already knew the truth… Stiles wasn’t a ‘he’ at all. Dropped into a new, exciting, liberating level of freedom that came with going to college somewhere without anyone who knew her, Stiles began to explore her true self and began her quest to become the girl she knew she had always been. Her fears of everyone’s reactions back home led to skipping the first holiday… and then a second. And then the next.

Two and a half years after leaving Beacon Hills - two and a half years spent living an entire new life as a trans!woman - a call in the night forces Stiles to go back to Beacon Hills to face the people she had left and the friends she had abandoned.

“Stiles… it’s your dad.”

Some Elated Revelation (complete | 20,670 | Rated PG-13)

Because, see, that’s the thing.

Stiles wasn’t a girl.

Or, well, she was. But she was a boy. Only she wasn’t.

It’s complicated.

[Trans!Stiles, mid-season two, canon compliant.]

please check the tags/notes before reading!

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