Ferguson Police have dogs and shotguns. The unarmed crowd is raising their hands.
For anyone not following the Mike Brown story on Twitter: a 17 year old black boy named Mike Brown, who was supposed to start college tomorrow, was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri by police while jaywalking. He was unarmed. He was shot 9 times.
Initial media reports claimed that an 18 year old black man had been shot and killed while fleeing police after shoplifting.
People in the neighborhood, including members of Mike Brown’s family, came out of their homes and began to protest, shouting “no justice, no peace,” and keeping their hands in the air.
Media reports claimed that a violent mob quickly formed around the shooting location shouting “kill the police.”
Spread this. Tell the truth about what happened to this boy. Tell the truth about what is happening NOW. The police and the mainstream media is painting him as a criminal, and his community as a violent mob.
SPREAD THIS. Don’t let them lie.
Gentrifiers focus on aesthetics, not people. Because people, to them, are aesthetics.
Proponents of gentrification will vouch for its benevolence by noting it “cleaned up the neighbourhood”. This is often code for a literal white-washing. The problems that existed in the neighbourhood - poverty, lack of opportunity, struggling populations denied city services - did not go away. They were simply priced out to a new location.
That new location is often an impoverished suburb, which lacks the glamour to make it the object of future renewal efforts. There is no history to attract preservationists because there is nothing in poor suburbs viewed as worth preserving, including the futures of the people forced to live in them. This is blight without beauty, ruin without romance: payday loan stores, dollar stores, unassuming homes and unpaid bills. In the suburbs, poverty looks banal and is overlooked.
In cities, gentrifiers have the political clout - and accompanying racial privilege - to reallocate resources and repair infrastructure. The neighbourhood is “cleaned up” through the removal of its residents. Gentrifiers can then bask in “urban life” - the storied history, the selective nostalgia, the carefully sprinkled grit - while avoiding responsibility to those they displaced.