Ferguson: Police Draw Guns on Rosa Clemente, Talib & Others

This is a harrowing account from Rosa Clemente who is down in Ferguson with a group of folks who she names in her Dispatches about what went down last night.. It’s important to compare her account with what’s being hailed in corporate media as some sort of major turning point…This sounds like a turning point in the wrong direction.. keep in mind about who is mouth piecing for the police.. Davey D

Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente

An hour ago, Jessica Care Moore, Talib Kweli, folks from the Fellowship of Reconcillation, Philip Agnew of Dream Defenders, Bgyrl ForLife, Malik Rhasaan from Occupy the Hood and Trymaine Lee from MSNBC and many others were chased like animals by the cops.

We ran to get away and were surrounded on a small path on bridge, surrounded by all types of police and told to lie down and put our hands up. We complied and we were told if we did not stop moving we would be shot. We were breathing. The young brother lying on my feet as I was holding him was not able to control his breathing he said “I’m choking” the cop told him to stop or he would shoot him.

I told him “try not to move, just lay still I got you.” The gun was at his chest. I looked at the cop and said “please, he is not doing anything”

I tried to record but the cop had his finger on the trigger. I could feel Talib’s hand on my back and Jessica behind me.

Ferguson ProtestsWe laid there until one Black officer said “Let them go, we got who we wanted.” In all my life I have never been so terrified. The young brother Devin said thank you I think you saved my life. What is going down here in#ferguson in all my years of activism, organizing, I have never seen.

This is a war zone, a military occupation and our children are the cannon fodder. P.S. The white boy who threw the water bottle a big fuck you, I am sure you were an agent provocateur. But for the police to act this way, they are itching to kill more of us. P.S. Women are also brutalized and terrorized by the police, at the end all of us are Black and Brown and animals to them.

Ferguson Dispatch #1

Ferguson ProtestsLet me state from the beginning: nothing provoked this, the first hour we were there, we walked, talked to folks, people were moving as they were told they had to and chanting. I saw Amy Goodman, Trymaine Lee, who I talked to for a while. He was the last person I talked to before police vamped. Right before I had talked to clergy, at one point their was a prayer vigil, I observed and did not join that as the police seemed to get very agitated because people were still protesting.

I was staying observant. Talib and Jessica were in a circle with young people who began to notice who they were and I truly believed there was about to be a cypher. I kept my eye on the crew we were with; the amount of police officers was just as many as protestors. I then saw people from Amnesty International, many who I know as I used to work there. We were talking, building; they told me we would see you tomorrow.

As soon as they left I stepped to Talib and said something is about to go down. I felt something shift, as a long time activist against police brutality I have been trained by elders and my organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to be alert, stay focused.

I saw them raising their batons and getting in formation. As I was finishing talking to Trymaine, we saw a water bottle, plastic water bottle being thrown, people kind of looked up, turned back to what they were doing talking etc.…and the next thing police came at us like charging bulls, weapons drawn, screaming, causing mass confusion “leave the area now!” “Don’t move!”

At the moment Jessica Talib and I grabbed hands and ran. As we were running the police came from all directions and locked us down. The threats, their eyes, postures, weaponry says it all, we have the power, we don’t care how many cameras there are we will never have to be held accountable. This is one of account of a small group of us. If young people of color did not know where they stood, they surely know now and they told us as much.

Ferguson protestsThese young people were tired, but they were still determined. They were deflated but not defeated. They were longing for direction and leadership that is def not coming from the older generation. They are acquiring knowledge in this moment and are awake. They were expressing their frustrations with so called leadership, the honest truth is I saw many older people of color, talking with, shaking and laughing with the police. They also seemed to be angry with the older people, yelling at them, telling them to go home, they young people replied we are home.

Many of the male so called leadership were as Malcolm eloquently wrote, acting truly like house Negroes, the were not being subversive to the slave master, but being obedient to the new slave master. This might not be the most eloquent, succinct 500 word essay, but on da real: The moment I saw that rifle pointed at Devin, the young men who was right next to me, and I looked into this white bald headed man, and I saw his eyes, I feared the moment that so many young Black and Latino, Latina men and women face, potential death and all I could think about is my daughter hugging me telling me “be careful Mommy, the police hurt women too.”

That split second you think it is over is the most harrowing, terrifying. I thought I was prepared, and I was to a certain extent, but nothing can ever prepare you for that and that fact is that none of us should ever have to prepare for it. Devin and his boys got to go home tonight. They got to go home tonight. I hope they always get to go home.

Ferguson Dispatch #2





  1. I’m really sorry you/y’ALL had to go through that yet I’m happy you/y’ALL survived and can tell the story. The beast has fallen and these current events are merely its attempt to survive. We must know that this whole Ferguson thing is an attempt to cause us to result to violence so the beast can create National Martial Law. We need strategic non-violence more than ever NOW. We also need to remember that there is a higher authority that these so-called authorities must answer to. My name is Tawa, I send prayers of love and healing to you.

  2. ALL must sign this petition and spread it everywhere! Congressman Hank Johnson is pushing to STOP the Militarization of the Police:

    EVERYONE needs to be involved. STOP THE TYRANNY!

  3. DeevieDev says:

    Malik Rhasaan right?

  4. Thank You

  5. Susan Leslie-Pritchard says:

    I am a 57 year old white woman spiritual activist. I cringed when I saw live footage on Vice News of older African American leaders telling the young people to be I quote ‘as obedient as possible to the police.’ I understand that comes from a world of experience that I don’t have for survival. At the same time my heart was so gladdened seeing the young people chanting “We’re young, we’re strong, we’re staying out here all night long.” It’s a new day and some new leadership is required that also brings along the older folks. I think what is needed is some very visible civil disobedience in the face of this police corraling and moving people, picking off individuals, and exuding intimidation. Let 100 young people refuse to move with their hands up and have hundreds of elders there supporting them and bearing witness. Have the clergy bless them for their non-violent moral high ground resistance. There is no way the police should be allowed to take the offensive in this situation. They should be massively shamed for their behavior. The young people of Ferguson have got the whole world watching. Let’s support them.

  6. Just remember that you have a daughter. In all of your passion for justice, remember she needs you here.

  7. This brings back nightmares of the first march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 and how we felt upon seeing the photos of that day. It catalyzed many [white] folks to join our Black brothers and sisters. Hard to believe nothing has changed in all these years. Scary

  8. G Ventura says:

    A daytime organized march with a route, leadership and purpose would not generate this type if reaction

    An unruly, discordant mob in the middle of the night serves what point or purpose?

    It seems these “protestors” are accomplishing nothing but protesting for protestings sake.

    The police and government needs to be held to account, however, it seems the methods of those who are “protesting” are not productive to their cause…


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