Response to Protests
Our youth-led movement in 2014 Ferguson and the militarized push back of state violence put us at the center of nationwide efforts to force police accountability and ultimately to question whether we can move to a world without police at all.
We lived through the blatant repression of rights in fighting for justice for Mike Brown, and then again when the protests erupted in 2017 around the acquittal of Jason Stockley. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed as a result of Stockley.
5-17-18 — "Police officers and their political allies have tried to respond to this upsurge of attention to and protest by claiming that there is a 'war on cops,' that being a cop is more dangerous than ever, and that such protesters are putting police officers’ lives at risk (rather than vice versa), and that criticism of police is leading to a surge in crime. All of this has been disproved by statistics."
Six Years After Arrest by SLMPD, Protestor Will Get $100k Settlement
5-1-18 — During the May, 2012, Occupy Midwest (OMW) gathering, protestors were beaten for violating a curfew order. Then Captain Jerry Leyshock led the charge. Leyshock was promoted to Major a year later and now holds the rank of Deputy Chief Lt. Col.*
Scott O’Rourke was one of those protestors. His “suit, filed in 2016by the ArchCity Defenders law firm, claimed that police pepper sprayed and arrested [him] during a May 24, 2012, Occupy St. Louis protest. His nose was broken and his face was permanently damaged by an officer in a police interrogation room after his arrest, and police then fabricated evidence to cover up the beating, the suit claimed.”
Missouri Senate Bill 579
Missouri Senate Bill 579 (SB 579) mandates individuals convicted
of certain offenses against police officers and other first responders are ineligible for bail, probation, or parole.
Individuals convicted of resisting or interfering with arrest are also ineligible for probation or parole in certain circumstances.
For SB 579 Background & Talking Points click here.
Police have responded to police accountability protests both
nationally and locally with an ever increasing military presence.
There has been repeated abuse of the “unlawful assembly” law, disbursing demonstrations and teargassing demonstrators without justification which prompted the ACLU of Missouri to file a lawsuit on Sept. 22, 2017 that resulted in an injunction.
2-16-18 — “Standing Rock protesters were also subjected to a wide-ranging surveillance effort underwritten by Energy Transfer Partners. For months, according to reporting by The Intercept, local and federal law enforcement worked alongside a private security firm called TigerSwan, which Energy Transfer Partners hired to collect information about Standing Rock participants and supportive groups.”
The introduction and passage of these bills to criminalize dissent is occurring simultaneously with the labelling of protestors as “black identify extremists” and “with the language of the War on Terror.”
US Protest Law Tracker: Blue Lives Matter Laws
In November of 2016, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) created the US Protest Law Tracker to follow initiatives at the state and federal level that restrict the right to protest. This site is updated regularly.
The "Race Papers"
On March 19, 2018, the Color of Change and the Center for Constitutional Rights “filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release the contents of the agency’s blacked-out memo referred to in government documents as the ‘Race Paper.’”
“Advocates argue that the existence of the ‘Race Paper'...confirms the targeted surveillance that many Black activists and organizers around the country have reported, and raises alarming questions about the agency’s approach to Black people engaging in protected First Amendment activity.”
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#CriminalizingDissent #RacePapers #CoIntelPro #Surveillance