On my last post ‘Signs of the Season to and from the United States of What the F*ck’, toward the end of the comment thread we’d been discussing a Daily Beast article ‘Friends In High Places: City Hall’s Favorite Protesters’, introducing ‘the leaders’ of the supposedly leaderless NYC protests, including political insiders, business moguls, including Russell Simmons, and other celebrities who make up the Justice League NYC on comment #88. Sorry, folks; the young folks want to guide the movement.
I’d additionally openly wondered how Al Sharpton’s #MillionMarchDC, which may have been the spearhead of the other parallel actions today, would factor in, as I’d seem some rather determined expressions of disaffection aimed his way from the Ferguson protestors on the ground. DeRay McKesson had asked how 15,000 people could possibly make community with one another, which is one of the key reasons that the folks in Ferguson have been at this for some 126 days or so now. He’s often said that like any family, they do have rows now and again, but that it all comes back to: Love and dedication. They risk harm from the cops every time they go out, and the risk is even stronger as they engage in civil disobedience. Some say that the calculated risks during protests is what shows the greater world…how serious an issue is to participants.
But still, after expressing reservations about the Reverend, and questioning the strategy of moving police killing and brutality protests to the two huge cities, it seems that both Nettaaaa and DeRay McKesson got to DeeCee and headed to the big event…
Yall. I want to shut this down NOW before it even gets started. /hashtag/DCFerguson?src=hash
This is some shit
I could cry right now. I can’t believe this shit. #Ferguson
It would have been good if the Ferguson kids had read Margaret Kimberly’s ‘Don’t March with Sharpton’ before they made their decision to go; they may have stayed for the scheduled events in Ferguson. At the very least they would have guessed that ‘an Al Sharpton march’ would likely be ‘very corporate’.
From Kimberly, a few bits (with typos):
‘The Reverend Al Sharpton is King Rat. That simple fact must never be forgotten, particularly in this moment of organized resistance to police violence. Black Agenda Report did not bestow that moniker on Sharpton for the purpose of amusement. He is a dangerous man who has shrewdly placed himself in a position to act as a supposed power broker on behalf of black people. Instead he actively works against the interests of the masses of people whose aspirations he claims to represent.
In the past ten years, Sharpton has taken money from Republican operative Roger Stone, accompanied Newt Gingrich on a public campaign for school privatization and still manages to appear as spokesperson for black families struggling for justice for victims of police brutality. Sharpton adroitly plays both sides. He parlays his image as the go-to-guy for black people and has credibility he doesn’t deserve. He is now a de faPlaceholder teaserPlaceholder bodycto White House staffer, so it is odd that his organization, the National Action Network, will lead a national march against police violence in Washington on December 13th.
The real reason he is leading this march is to contain black anger and to keep it from spilling outside of proscribed channels of official authority. That is Sharpton’s hustle in a nutshell. His job is to keep black people in line while making it appear that he is leading a popular movement. The subterfuge makes this march in particular a grotesque mockery.
Political wheeling and dealing are inherently incompatible with movement politics. Just two months ago, Sharpton held a lavish birthday party replete with testimonials from politicians and sponsorships from AT&T, Forest City Ratner realty, GE Asset Management, and Walmart among others. The gentrifiers, displacers and political crooks all kissed Sharpton’s ring and that is bad news indeed.’
There’s a bit more, but the birthday party photos and kudos are almost too much to bear. Spike Lee? I’ll never see you the same again!
(The rest is at My.firedoglake.com)