It’s like déjà vu. We saw it happen in Watts in 1965, Chicago in 1968, Miami in 1980, and in LA in 1992. The people of Ferguson were fed up with continuous terrorization, brutalization, and overall systemic oppression and rose up in righteous rebellion against the power structure. For every action, there is a reaction. What happened in Ferguson was a reaction, to the oppressive actions of police and state.
For weeks all eyes were fixed upon the town of Ferguson, MO. The media frenzy was high as the enemy scrambled to suppress the mass of uncompromising people demanding justice for Mike Brown. The oppressor used every trick in the book, from putting a Black man “in charge” to calling in so-called Black leaders to pacify the people. The enemy even turned the town of Ferguson into a literal warzone where people on the ground had to engage in a revolutionary struggle to preserve their humanity.
Around the country people had their false-sense of comfort shaken again by what happened to Mike Brown and the vicious attack on the people of Ferguson. Rallies, vigils, and protests spread like wildfires through Amerikkka and around the globe. Social media timelines were filled with #DontShoot and #HandsUp pics. Celebrities, dignitaries, and even the President commented on Ferguson. However in spite of this humungous response from the people, we still haven’t even received an arrest for Darren Wilson. Now the hype has begun to die down, and many people are slowly going to back to sleep. Where did we go wrong?
Every time we have a sensationalized injustice, we get mad, we protest, we wait on justice, and eventually we go back to sleep. Why does this happen? It happens because we are mobilized but not organized. History can’t be repeated, but errors can be. We have continued to make the error of mobilizing around issues, and not organizing against the system. In order to be productive in a liberation struggle the difference between mobilization and organization must be understood. Mobilization is temporary, while organization is constant. Organization is proactive, calculated, and uncompromising. Mobilization is reactionary, compromising, and often non-specifically center around action.
It’s easy to mobilize people these days, especially during sensationalized events as the murder of Mike Brown. After a while, it even became trendy to respond to Ferguson. This is not to discredit anyone’s contribution, because trendy or not, it showed solidarity with Ferguson and raised awareness. However trendy consciousness and mobilization will not get us the liberation and power we so desperately seek. Power only comes from the organized masses. We have seen time and time again how unsuccessful mobilization alone is when it comes to improving our condition.
Mobilization at its best leads to reform, and reform is not going to solve our problems. The only way oppressed people will achieve liberation in this land is through revolution. Revolution takes organization, without organization it’s just a mobilized unproductive reaction that is bound to fail.