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.

I just signed a petition to The Utah State House, The Utah State Senate, and Governor Gary Herbert: Several days ago, a 22-year-old black man, Darrien Hunt, was shot multiple times in the back while running from Saratoga Springs, Utah, police officers. He was carrying a fake sword, so was, essentially, unarmed. He might as well have been carrying a stick. The officers, armed with ambiguous information, guns, AND Tasers, still shot and killed him. The details are sketchy. They have not provided answers to the family OR the community. The attorney general’s office is reportedly investigating. It is TIME for change. This is a racist crime. Children of color are a huge minority in this state and in real danger. We are calling for a citizen review board and for reform in police officer hiring and training.

We the people ask that all charges are dismissed until there is a thorough investigation. David Bryant should not be thrown in jail for being falsely accused….

I had to take a moment and post this here. I’m not sure who has seen this video/read about the story but it really hurts my heart. I’m guess the father was receiving texts from his sons mother before he arrived at her house.  Well the video recorded him searching outside of her house by the trash cans and he found his son in a carrier with bruises and bleeding. He starts crying instantly and knocking on her door. I guess he kicks the door in and starts saying to the mother “You hit my son what’s wrong with you are you crazy?!?!?” She eventually replies “I don’t care, I told you to get him…I don’t care I’ll f’n kill him too”. He records everything I guess he starts throwing stuff around her house and while she’s yelling get out of my house u can hear them going back and forth with words. WELL now the police have believed HER and there’s a warrant out for HIS arrest. He did NOTHING but kick the door in and threw a few things around and threw her wig in the toilet. Please sign this petition if you have a heart.

Hey guys,

A racist exhibition is being shown in London on the 23rd to the 27th of September called “The Human Zoo”. Here’s a section written by the petition’s founder:

"This piece of work by Brett Bailey has been toured around Europe sparking protests and outrage by anti-racism campaigners. Now it is coming to London, and I’m calling on the Barbican not to display it.

I’m a Black African mother from Birmingham. I campaign and work with my community to try to breakdown the stereotypes that black people have to struggle against in society on a daily basis. I want my children to grow up in a world where the barbaric things that happened to their ancestors are a thing of the past. We have come a long way since the days of the grotesque human zoo - we should not be taking steps back now.

If Brett Bailey is trying to make a point about slavery this is not the way to do it. The irony gets lost and it’s not long before the people behind the cage begin to feel like animals trapped in a zoo. One of the actors in his piece said “How do you know we are not entertaining people the same way the human zoos did?”

Bailey himself sounds unsure as to the impact of this work. In an interview with the Guardian he says: “For all I know, I could look back at Exhibit B in 10 years and say, ‘Oh my God, I am doing exactly what they are accusing me of.”

Please join me in calling on the Barbican to withdraw the racist Exhibition “Exhibit B- The Human Zoo” from showing at the Barbican”

Here are some links and videos for more information:

Reparationist, Jurisconsult, dynamic community advocate and radio Broadcaster Esther Stanford-Xosei speaks about why this exhibition is inherently racist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PWjgsOU0JY

The petition’s founder Sara Myers talks about why she started the petition in the first place and is planning a protest in front of the Barbican: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuQxdZy33oQ

Here’s an informative article on the history of Human Zoos for a historical background: http://www.popularresistance.org/deep-racism-the-forgotten-history-of-human-zoos/

It would be amazing if you all can put this onto Twitter and bring awareness with the hashtag #stopthehumanzoo or #boycottthehumanzoo

Please even if you live in another country please can you sign this petition and get rid of another branch of 21st century racism. Here’s the link to the petition: http://www.change.org/p/withdraw-the-racist-exhibition-exhibition-b-the-human-zoo

As Martin Luther King Jr says “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

I love good police officers. I have them in my immediate family. Like all civil servants they are underpaid and under-resourced for a difficult job.

However, a long and completely avoidable history of violence by police officers has killed too many innocent civilians, caused a destructive level of mistrust in the community, and is causing a rising tide of anger, frustration, and despair among millions of good people.

This petition is for Amadou Diallo - shot at 41 times. An innocent, hardworking man simply reaching for his wallet, Diallo should be alive today.

This petition is for Sean Bell - shot at over 50 times and killed on his wedding day. 

This petition is for Oscar Grant - handcuffed with his hands behind his back for breaking a fight on the subway - Oscar was shot in the back and killed by a police officer while sitting down.

This petition is for Chavis Carter - arrested for marijuana, searched, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, and put into the back of a police car. Chavis is then said to have somehow killed himself with a gun. 

This petition is for Wendell Allen - just 20 years old - police busted into a house and shot him in the heart - killing him. He wasn’t who they were looking for.

This petition is for Eric Garner - choked to death on YouTube for the entire world to see. While the coroner has deemed his death a homicide, we must change the laws to prevent this from ever happening again.

This petition is for these men, and for many other unarmed men and women who have been killed by the police. It is unacceptable for the police to serve as JUDGE, JURY, and EXECUTIONER. The recent murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford this past month at the hands of police have so inflamed communities across the country that we believe we are reaching a tipping point of anger.

It is our hope to channel this collective anger into effective policy solutions that will not only make life safer for citizens, but will restore confidence in police, and bring hope to hopeless families and communities devastated by these egregious acts of violence.

Our 5 Policy Solutions Are 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 signficant, 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.

These federal actions are in the best interest of our country. We will direct our anger, our dollars, our votes, and our voice to seeing them happen all across the country. 

SIGN THE PETITION

cursedcamper:

porcelain-horse-horselain:

Sign the petition and spread this!

Anyone else having difficulty signing this? for some reason every petition related to police brutality/ michael brown and ferguson is stating there is an error and i can’t sign…

I made this post even though I couldn’t sign, because darkness760 asked me to boost this petition. I thought perhaps the only reason I was getting the error was because I am on a mobile device, and I figured I could just sign later… But yeah, it seems a lot of people are getting this message: “An error has occurred Sorry, there is a technical problem and this petition cannot be signed right now. Please try again in a few minutes. If you receive this error repeatedly, you may contact We The People to report the problem.” If this is an attempt to suppress this petition, it’s pathetic. These petitions don’t become law when signed enough. When they get enough signatures, all it means is that the Whitehouse website will make a statement in response. It’s very cowardly that apparently making a statement on something important like this is so outrageously out of the question that they have to rig the website to avoid it. Meanwhile, that fucking “haha lol Death Star” petition was allowed to run and even that got a response.
4

Hello fellow people of Tumblr. Yesterday, in downtown Vancouver, Canada a statue of Satan with an erect penis was found downtown. The city had it removed later that day. However, many people in our city would like to have it put back in its rightful place. This statue is simply a piece of art that should be admired. Although it is controversial, I think it should remain. Children need to stop being so sheltered. Allowing youngsters to be exposed to controversial content at a young age allows them to form opinions. It stops these same topics from later becoming taboo. Yes, the statue has an erection. But penises are just a natural part of the human body. Half of us have them.

If you would like to read more about the statue and see more pictures, you can do that here: http://www.straight.com/blogra/724646/satan-statue-porn-star-penis-taken-down-city-vancouver

And if you would like to sign this petition, it would be greatly appreciated:https://www.change.org/p/the-city-of-vancouver-bring-the-giant-satan-with-an-erection-statue-back-to-east-vancouver?recruiter=115318175&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive

PLEASE REBLOG THIS!

In Bay Village, Ohio, a group of high school students tricked their 14-year-old autistic classmate into doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead of filling the bucket with ice water they filled it with feces, urine, spit and cigarette butts and dumped the bucket from a roof onto the special needs teen.

Okay so I don’t usually post stuff like this but I feel like this is an exception.
This sickens me to no end. The fact that these kids are getting away with this is even worse. They have taken a wonderful challenge and turned it into something horrible, a cruel trick to play on an innocent classmate just because he was different than what they’re used to.
This hits very close to home for me because i have had many friends who were (and still are) bullied because of autism, and while I don’t keep in touch with many of them any more, I know countless other people who are being bullied by their classmates just because they’re a bit different. I was bullied myself because people thought I was depressed (people would offer me knives during school, discuss how many times i cut myself in a day, talk about how my family probably doesn’t love me enough, etc.) And I know that we don’t deserve to be treated this way. Nobody deserves this (unless you’re the assholes that dumped the bucket on this kid).
Please, please if you have the time, sign this petition.

Watch on ktheegreat.tumblr.com

“In Bay Village, Ohio, a group of high school students tricked their 14-year-old autistic classmate into doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead of filling the bucket with ice water they filled it with feces, urine, spit and cigarette butts and dumped the bucked from a roof onto the special needs teen. 

This is a horrific act of degradation and violence.  It is so harmful and hurtful to that young man and his family and also to the people who know about this.  Not only did this group of people damage such a wonderful fundraiser, but they exploited it and this young man past the point of redemption.  

This was so premeditated, that it is sickening.

Thankfully, through the internet and social media, we can make others aware of this heinous crime, and hopefully put a stop to any (if not all) of these atrocities that are happening in our back yards to our family, friends and neighbors. But more importantly put a stop to and defend those who cannot defend themselves.

These criminals have hit the heart of all that we hold dear.  Disabled children are often picked on and bullied.  But these people obviously set this poor boy up for something that not only could make him extremely ill, but has also humiliated humanity and those who just want to help.”

Sign the petition
https://www.change.org/p/timothy-j-mcginty-prosecute-students-who-covered-autistic-boy-with-feces-and-urine?alert_id=jDcWWbmKLo_mQUH1KAVwukjkP1ulLXzcpqj9Eq%2BNFwLWiBmqdxu%2BoI%3D&utm_campaign=134165&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

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