The events in Ferguson, Missouri following the August 9 police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown mark a political turning point for the entire country.
In response to popular protests, the suburb of St. Louis was transformed into a war zone. SWAT teams decked out in battle fatigues descended on the city, wielding high-power shotguns and automatic rifles and driving armored vehicles. National Guard troops were deployed in response to peaceful protests. The governor declared a “state of emergency,” and basic democratic rights were effectively abolished.
The turning of Ferguson into an armed camp is not just about Ferguson. It is about the character of social and political relations in the United States as a whole. The enormous levels of social inequality, the ruthlessness of the financial aristocracy, the disintegration of American democracy—all have been exposed in the imposition of de facto martial law in an American city.
Since 2008, under the direction of the Obama administration, trillions of dollars have been transferred to the banks and Wall Street, while the vast majority of the population faces pervasive unemployment, declining wages and increasing debt.
At the same time, the corporate and financial elite that runs the country is engaged in unending war abroad, and in the process has built up a gigantic military-intelligence-police apparatus that acts as a law unto itself. Now, the war is coming home—the same methods of repression and violence employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the anti-democratic measures systematically built up using the pretext of the “war on terror,” are being used against social protest within the United States.
The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality have called this series of public meetings to review the social roots and political lessons of police violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
Additional meetings are being scheduled. If you would like to inquire about holding a meeting at your school or in your city, contact the SEP.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Tuesday, September 2, 5:00 pm
Delgado Community College
Student Life Center, “The Cove” meeting room on the first floor
San Diego, California
Tuesday, September 2, 5:30 pm
San Diego State University
Aztec Student Union, Metztli Room
Wednesday, September 3, 7:00 pm
Morehead State University
Rader Hall, Room 105
Thursday, September 4, 3:00 pm
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale
CC Building Rm. 208
8333 Little River Turnpike
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thursday, September 4, 7:00 pm
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Michigan League, Koessler Room
911 N. University
Thursday, September 4, 7:00 pm
University of California, Berkeley
Wheeler Hall Room 221
Tuesday, September 9, 7:00 pm
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (East Bank)
Amundson Hall Room 120
Chula Vista, California
Wednesday, September 10, 6:30 pm
Chula Vista Public Library-Civic Center Branch
Library Conference Room
365 F St.
Thursday, September 11, 6:00 pm
Marshall Student Center Room 2709
4202 East Fowler Ave
Los Angeles, California
Sunday, September 14, 3:00 pm
Carson Community Center Room 206
801 E. Carson St., Carson (across from Civic Plaza Drive)
New York, New York
Saturday, September 20, 2:30 pm
4402 23 St, Long Island City, Queens
E, G, 7 trains at Court Sqaure; N, Q trains at Queensboro Plaza; F train at 21 st. Queensbridge (8 minute subway ride from Grand Central)