Absolutely jaw dropping the mentality of these ‘militant non-violent protestors’.
Protesters anxiously awaiting the St. Louis grand jury decision relating to the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown have been training activists all weekend in preparation for the day the grand jury makes an announcement about whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for Brown’s death.
In a small room located on South Jefferson Avenue in a building used by IUOE Local 148, organizers like Rev. Osagyefo Sekou are instructing groups of individuals about tactics relating to resisting police commands during demonstrations. Sekou is a St. Louis native who grew up in the area but now lives in Massachusetts.
Topics covered by organizers like Sekou as well as Deray McKesson and others included decentralized protest actions, jail support, first aid, legal issues, as well as staying safe on the streets during demonstrations.
McKesson explains, “Today we’ll talk about what it means about decentralized actions. So one of the four parts of what we’re doing is we are not actually telling you where to go or what to do or anything to do with most of your actions. We have some central things planned, but the power of this movement has been with really strong decentralized actions.”
Sekou however, kicks off the training with audience responses to questions he asks.
Sekou says to the group, “Our task in part is, in addition to all the information is get a sense as to why we are here. We are part of the guiding principles for this movement. It’s militant non-violent civil disobedience. Can you please say that?”
Attendees respond, “militant non-violent civil disobedience.”
Sekou continues, “And we use the word ‘militant’ as opposed to the word ‘passive’ non-violent civil disobedience, because we are about a direct encounter with the state to create drama to show that we are willing to take a risk in confronting the state because of injustice. Right?”
Attendees reply, “Right.”
“We break unjust laws, because it’s the morally right thing to do. That’s why we do it. And there’s a tradition of that,” Sekou says to the group of mainly white attendees–many who are at least 50 years old.
“And militant non-violent civil disobedience gave us the 8 hour work day It gave us women’s right to vote. It gave us the possibility of me standing here in this room with you without the relative fear of arbitrary violent because this meeting would have been historically illegal 50 years ago. That’s what militant non-violent civil disobedience gave us. We are angry, but we will not allow the anger to have the last word,” says Sekou as the protesters-in-training answered him positively with rousing congregational “yeahs” after each sentence.