This spring, the New York/New Jersey District of Freedom Road sponsored a forum entitled “Ferguson: The Movement So Far and Lessons for Coming Struggles.” The first speaker was our comrade, Montague Simmons, Chair of the legendary Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis. These five videos, roughly 5 minutes each, provide an inside and in depth look at what up to the Ferguson eruption and what has been happening since the murder of Mike Brown.
Montague Simmons tells how little the St. Louis area has changed since his childhood, explaining how it’s a long-term experimental laboratory in racial segregation.
The Organization for Black Struggle has been organizing around about police violence and other injustice in the Black community since 1980 and Montague Simmons talks about how the group was ready to move on August 10, 2014.
As the protests continue, Al Sharpton is deployed to quiet things down, leading to the first split in the united front and then the creation of a new coalition to support the young people in the streets and address policy questions.
Although local forces initially told outside folks not to come, some capable organizers came anyway and helped provide capacity for a quickly organized national action and local infrastructure.
Montague Simmons talks about conversations in St. Louis focused on how to go beyond reforming the police into a creating a transformative vision in which the community takes on many of the functions of the police.