Danny Katch (for socialistworker.org) listens to activists around the country to see where the discussion about what’s next for the movement is headed, and what that means for the struggle.
THE MURDER of Mike Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, last August–as horrific as it was–is far from unique. More than 150 years after the end of the Civil War and 50 years after the high point of the civil rights struggle, legalized lynching is still sickeningly familiar in Black communities around the country.
But what happened after Mike Brown’s murder–the reason we instantly remember his name today–has reshaped U.S. politics. The mobilization of Black St. Louis to demand justice–day after day and night after night, for weeks on end–in the face of the violence of a militarized police force sent the message that the police murder of unarmed Black youth would no longer be business as usual.
Even after the daily protests ebbed and the television cameras left Ferguson, the organizing continued among a dedicated and growing core of anti-racist activists. That set the stage for the even bigger eruption of protest after Brown’s murderer, officer Darren Wilson, was allowed to walk free by a grand jury. When another killer cop–caught on videotape murdering Eric Garner in New York City–went free a little over a week later, the new BlackLivesMatter movement went national for good. [Read more…]