Young black organizers, who have been working with members of the Ferguson community to formulate calls for action in response to the police shooting that killed Mike Brown, announced a set of demands they would like to see fulfilled in the aftermath. This set of demands represents what the community will be fighting for in the days and weeks after Brown is buried at his funeral on Monday.
The set of demands are all local to Ferguson. They were presented by Tef Poe, Taurean Russell, and Jeffrey Hill—all people from the community who have held multiple meetings with residents and local groups over the past weeks.
The organizers are mobilizing around the banner of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” which has become a popular empowering slogan because, according to eyewitness accounts, Brown put his hands up to signal to the officer that he had no gun and meant no harm.
This is the list of demands:
1. Swift and impartial investigation by the Department of Justice into the Michael Brown shooting and an expanded Department of Justice investigation into the patterns of civil rights violations by police across North St. Louis County.
2. Immediate arrest of Darren Wilson
3. County prosecutor Robert McCulloch stand down and allow a Special Prosecutor to be appointed.
4. Fire Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson
5. Accountability for police practices and policies, including effective civilian review regarding shootings and allegations of misconduct
6. “Immediate” de-escalation of militarized policing of protestors to protect constitutional rights
7. Immediate release of individuals who have participated in protests and exercised their right to assemble and protest.
The organizers were asked what would happen if they did not achieve these demands. Obviously, they would keep fighting, even if they failed initially to make gains. These are the demands, which people will be able to organize around and begin to grow a movement in the aftermath of the police killing Mike Brown.
It gives people, particularly young residents, a direction to channel their anger.
Poe announced there is a call to schools across the country to hold walkouts on Monday in support of this movement for accountability and justice in Ferguson. In the spirit of the 1960s, the organizers expect people to respond to the call and take action.
These are the national demands:
1. Obama to come to Ferguson to meet with the people whose human rights have been violated by aggressive and militarized policing, including the family of the victim–Michael Brown
2. Eric Holder to use the full resources and power of the Department of Justice to implement a nationwide investigation of systemic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities
3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities by requiring front facing cameras in police departments with records of racial disparities in stops, arrests, killings, and excessive force complaints
4. Immediate suspension without pay of law enforcement officers that have used or approved excessive use of force. Additionally, their personal information and policing history should be made available to the public
*More from these organizers, including video of them speaking, soon.