Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, all of which he could have survived, including the terrible bullet to his eye, save for the likely final fatal wound, a shot through his skull originating from the top of his head penetrating down to his chin. This final kill shot is consistent with witnesses’ accounts that Brown was trying to surrender when he was murdered in cold blood.
The police would not allow anyone to go to Brown’s aid for the five hours they left his body on the street, so even if Officer Darren Wilson hadn’t already executed him – for the crime of being black while walking on the street – Brown would likely have died from his wounds because of the barred medical aid.
Immediately upon seeing the footage of the highly militarized St. Louis police (and other agencies’) violent crackdown on the people’s protests, Palestinians and others in the Middle East and particularly in Gaza and the West Bank, recognized the face of oppressors’ repression and sent messages of solidarity, including advice about how to handle tear gas.
Solidarity with #Ferguson. Remember to not touch your face when teargassed or put water on it. Instead use milk or coke!
— مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) August 14, 2014
There are not just the physical similarities of the tear gas, bullets, and the face-offs between oppressors and the oppressed. There are also some very specific connections. Here is the beginning of an article by Rania Khalek on August 15, 2014:
Since the killing of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police in Missouri last weekend, the people of Ferguson have been subjected to a military-style crackdown by a squadron of local police departments dressed like combat soldiers. This has prompted residents to liken the conditions on the ground in Ferguson to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.
And who can blame them?
The dystopian scenes of paramilitary units in camouflage rampaging through the streets of Ferguson, pointing assault rifles at unarmed residents and launching tear gas into people’s front yards from behind armored personnel carriers (APCs), could easily be mistaken for a Tuesday afternoon in the occupied West Bank.
And it’s no coincidence.
At least two of the four law enforcement agencies that were deployed in Ferguson up until Thursday evening — the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Police Department — received training from Israeli security forces in recent years.
Repression is the system’s main answer to dissent and demands for justice. Then there is all the dissembling. Those like Rev. Al Sharpton who advise people to answer by “voting” might stop and ask themselves if voting in an African-American president has done any damn thing to change the conditions for black and brown people in America. It certainly hasn’t done anything to change the victims of US missiles from the air through drones and other vehicles of death and injury. While the POTUS pretends to feel pained by the fate of Michael Brown and others like him, his being African-American himself does not change who he sides with in this. After all, isn’t Darren Wilson doing on a small scale exactly what his Commander in Chief does every week when he orders more death from above and sends more money, arms, and political cover to Israel to do likewise?
— Rana Nazzal (@zaytouni_rana) August 14, 2014
Dennis Loo is a member of the Steering Committee of World Can’t Wait. This article originally appeared on dennisloo.com on August 17, 2014.