People Protest In St. Louis, Labor Protest In France And A Few Questions


Incidents in St. Louis in the US are not exception in US social scene. Labor regularly protests against anti-labor measures in France.

People gathered near the courthouse in St. Louis to protest a court ruling on September 15. Hundreds of people took part in the massive protest.

At night, protesters blocked highways, damaged public and private property, broke windows, threw rocks at the mayor’s house and threw bricks at police officers, police used tear gas aimed at protesters, thirteen people were arrested, and three police officers were injured.

An Associated Press report said: some demonstrators were seen openly carrying rifles on the streets, which is legal in Missouri, but there have been no reports of weapons being fired.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson found police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. The protest was in public reaction after St. Louis Circuit Judge’s finding.

On December 20, 2011, the then-police officer shot 24-year-old Lamar Smith five times after a high-speed chase and crash.

At one stage of the protest, police declared a protest gathering an “unlawful assembly”, and tweeted: “those refusing to leave are subject to arrest”.

Less than 20 minutes after the tweet police used tear gas.

Video from the protests showed demonstrators marched while chanting: “no justice, no peace” and “if you kill our kids, we’ll kill your economy”.

Earlier, police said the protests have been “for the most part” nonviolent.

“This not-guilty verdict of a police officer who violently killed a citizen is another slap in the face to the black community in St. Louis,” Missouri state Rep. Michael Butler said in a statement. “And a shot in the heart to the family of the victim,” he said of Smith.

“This system and all the politicians calling for peace are ignoring the pain this verdict causes our communities,” Butler added. “We will be nonviolent but we will not settle on peace. No justice. No peace.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a statement: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Anthony Lamar Smith, our police, judge, prosecutor, our citizens who find no comfort or justice, and everyone involved in this difficult case.”

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’s statement said he understood the verdict is painful for many St. Louisans.

Mackenzie Marks of St. Louis said: “They boxed us in and started peppy spraying us.” She washed her eyes after being pepper sprayed.

Stockley’s defense attorneys argued that the then-officer acted “reasonably” in self-defense in killing a drug suspect he believed was reaching for a hidden gun.

Prosecutors alleged that Stockley planted a .38-caliber revolver in Smith’s Buick after he shot him.

The verdict said: The court “is simply not firmly convinced of [Stockley’s] guilt.” Because prosecutors “failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that [Stockley’s] use of deadly force was not justified in self-defense,” the court could not address lesser charges of homicide, including involuntary manslaughter.

In France, protesters against president Emmanuel Macron’s proposed liberalization of labor laws were on the streets in cities on September 12, 2017.

The protest halted traffic as it moved through the streets. In response to anarchists’ activities including breaking of windows police fired tear gas.

The countrywide protest march was participated by a few hundred-thousand, between 223,000 and 400,000.

Now, the questions:

  1. Has any country expressed its intention to interfere in these countries referring to the incidents?
  2. Has any foreign ministry spokesperson from any country issued any statement on these incidents?
  3. How the empire reacted to incidents of violence on city streets in the name of protest in Venezuela?
  4. What was the number and frequency of those reactions?
  5. How a few legislators in the empire reacted and what were their suggestions?
  6. How the “all-correct, entirely-ethical, fully-credible” mainstream media (MSM) reported the Venezuela-incidents?

Answers to question numbers 1 and 2: No country and no spokesperson. These are internal affairs of respective countries. There’s no scope for interference.

Answers to question numbers 3, 4 and 5: Reports of the MSM of the period provide the relevant information, which show the level of external interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. There were provocations and instigations in the reactions by the empire and a few of its political leaders.

Answer to the question number 6: The famous MSM carry the answer as its reports on Venezuela:

  1. Were indefinite/unspecified, imbalanced, slanted and provocative.
  2. In most cases, were not carrying statement of the other side related to the reported incident.

For example, how many MSM-reports mentioned

  1. Number of Venezuela-cities/towns experiencing opposition “protests”, which were actually violent acts that regularly trespassed constitutional/legal limits?
  2. Number of similar acts going around the capital city – Caracas, and their locations – the rich-neighborhoods?
  3. Number of “participants” and opposition leaders in these acts?
  4. The violent activities, many of which were fatal, and included arson, use of lethal arms including petrol bombs the opposition activists were resorting to?
  5. Source of the opposition activists’ fund and tools/material for violent acts?
  6. Political and economic activities, initiatives and opinions of and debate among pro-people activists and organizations around the country including the rural areas?
  7. Incidents and number of pro-people activists assassinated by rightists in Venezuela?

Answer to the questions show the quality of the MSM’s reports on Venezuela. It was mostly baseless, partial, biased, distorted, unreliable, and provoking imperialist intervention. It was raising “humanitarian” issues to pave path for imperialist intervention. Two questions will support the assertion: Where are the follow up stories now? Where have gone the “hungry and angry” people, “submerging and collapsing” economy, opposition with an “overwhelming” support as the MSM were reporting only weeks ago? Now-a-days, the MSM loaded heavily with “humanitarian” tears forget to report its friend – the opposition.

Similar more questions concerning media-practice are there, which are not raised here. And, Venezuela is not a single case. It happens in cases of Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other countries, in cases of organizations standing against imperialism, and organizations losing its leaders and activists to assassinations by rightists.

This type of reporting by the MSM is neither new nor followed only in case of the countries mentioned above. The same practice the MSM resorted to in the case of Libya while members of special forces from at least two imperialist powers clandestinely entered the country and were training anti-Gadhafi forces, in the case of air-transporting of mercenaries from Libya to Syria, in the recent case of alleged helicopter-lifting of a group of field commanders of a force propagated as enemy-in-combat, in the recent case of helicopter dropping of boxes of ammunition and arms along a part of China’s border, in the case of Indonesia while Suharto was driving his dictatorial rule and his cohorts were looting the economy, in the case of the Philippines while Marcos was running his steam roller of dictatorial rule, in the case of Shah in Iran, and in many other cases.

It doesn’t happen only in countries under grip/assault of imperialism. In the US, the MSM failed most of the time to report surveys that showed Bernie was leading than Hillary, and failed to report nomination process manipulations against Bernie by the Hillary camp.

What happens with this sort of journalism that the MSM resorts to? The MSM, considered prestigious by its fans, looses credibility. Today, it’s assumed that a vast majority of its audience have least trust on the MSM. A number of surveys found this fact during the recently concluded US presidential election process.

This is the MSM. Its credibility is gradually going down. Its stories of humanitarian situation are less credible to that part of its audience, which has already experienced its propaganda. Any politically aware member among its audience will try to locate imperialist interest/motive/plan/machination whenever the member comes across the MSM-humanitarian stories.

Farooque Chowdhury, writing from Dhaka, has not authored/edited any book in English other than Micro Credit, Myth Manufactured (ed.), The Age of Crisis and What Next, The Great Financial Crisis (ed.), and he doesn’t operate any blog/web site.



Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News