So wait, does this actually mean it’s time for peace?
Each evening, hundreds gather along West Florissant in what has become the most visible and perilous ritual of this St. Louis suburb’s days of frustration following Brown’s death. Dozens have been arrested, many injured by tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets fired by a police force dressed in riot gear and armed with assault rifles.
But the demonstrators are as diverse as their grievances — and in their methods of addressing them.
Some of the men are from the area — Ferguson or surrounding towns also defined in part by the gulf separating the mostly white law enforcement agencies from a mistrusting African American public. Many others — it is hard to quantify the percentage — have arrived by bus and by car from Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn and elsewhere.
They will not give their names. But their leaders say they are ready to fight, some with guns in their hands. “This is not the time for no peace,” said one man, a 27-year-old who made the trip here from Chicago.
Ironically, it’s much safer in Ferguson than it is in Obama’s hometown. Meanwhile, the media who outnumber these thugs don’t seem to mention these indelicate facts:
Police on the streets Monday night said some of those wearing red bandannas are members of the Bloods gang.
The militants are one faction of many that have filled Ferguson’s streets each evening since Brown, walking unarmed between a convenience store and his grandmother’s apartment at midday on a Saturday, was shot at least six times and died.
There is a group of “peaceful protesters” that congregates around the QuikTrip, which was looted and burned during the first night of protest. Another gathers near the Ferguson police station. A third, more scattered faction uses the social-media community Black Twitter to organize demonstrators.
“People have been tweeting, ‘We are ready to die tonight,’ ” said Mary Pat Hector, a national youth organizer with the Rev. Al Sharpton’s national action network. “It is a trending topic.”
So if they’re ready to die we don’t want to hear any whining if they do.