The world waits with Ferguson residents as a Grand Jury announcement looms. Officer Darren Wilson is expected to walk free despite lingering questions about his use of deadly force against teen Mike Brown. Ahead of the Grand Jury verdict, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard. Thanks to friend of the site Rod Rohrich for sharing the live update page with me on Facebook.
Tensions were escalated when the Ku Klux Klan threatened Ferguson protesters with violence if they assembled after the Grand Jury announcement. Although opinions vary on the membership and abilities of the modern KKK, the hate group has been highly visible recently in media. Whether the group is a true threat or not, statements regarding violence against Ferguson protesters is serious.
Online hacktivist group Anonymous took the threats serious enough to mount a cyberwar against the KKK on several fronts. Key KKK websites have been knocked down, and at least one social media page operated by KKK members was taken over by Anonymous. Anonymous seized control of the KKK’s most popular twitter account. The online hacktivists issued a statement emphasizing that although they support freedom of speech, they will not tolerate threats of physical violence against peaceful protesters who have already endured enough brutality.
Freedom of assembly should be protected at all costs. Protesters should not have to defend themselves against an absurdly heavy handed paramilitary police response, and a noted US hate group. The threats by the KKK become more serious when you stop to wonder how many KKK members are intertwined with police departments, the National Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security. Nonetheless, Ferguson protesters remain unified in their desire to push ahead and confront what many see as a long pattern of racist and violent policing in the US.