St. Louis-area resident Carolyn Colburn opened her front door two nights ago and had a bulletin from the City of Berkeley fall at her feet.
“The grand jury decision regarding the Ferguson police officer shooting of Michael Brown is expected this month — rumored as the middle of November, possibly this week,” warned the “News Alert” from town officials.
“It is important that we all plan ahead in the event that conditions warrant each of us to stay at or very close to our homes for several days,” stated the flier, which Berkeley distributed to 3,000 homes this week.
Berkeley, a bedroom community with 9,000 residents, borders Ferguson, where the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9 triggered protests and riots and sparked a nationwide debate on race, policing and justice.
With few businesses in Berkeley, residents like Colburn do their shopping in neighboring Ferguson.
“It is very sad that we have to live in this fear,” Colburn told Yahoo News by email.
No date has been set for the grand jury’s ruling, but St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch has said he expects an announcement in mid- to late November.
Three months ago, 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death led to protests in which demonstrators burned down a gas station, looted liquor stores and clashed violently with police officers.
For the past month, law enforcement leaks to reporters have suggested that a grand jury will not indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson for killing Brown.
If that turns out to be the case, Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins told Yahoo News, “it’s possible” the second round of protests will be worse than the first.
“There has been a three-month anger setting up,” said Hoskins, 76. “We get the feeling that there might be something destructive occur. I don’t want my residents waking up one morning not knowing what to do.”
So earlier this week, the city of Berkeley began putting tip sheets with safety advice on the doors of every home.
In addition to suggesting that residents stock up on food, water, gas, medications and other supplies, the advisory says to have contingency plans for picking up children from school and taking care of the elderly.
“Travel to them may not be possible for a few days,” the alert states. “You may want to consider temporarily moving them in with you or others who can assure that their needs are met.”
Hoskins said feedback on the town’s decision has been mostly positive.
“You’ll always have two or three saying you’re creating an alarm that may be unnecessary, and we understand that,” he said.
Berkeley City Hall is four miles from the street where the deadly altercation between the officer and teen took place.
“I never thought that the incident that occurred in August would ever happen in our community,” Hoskins, a Berkeley resident for nearly 50 years, said of the shooting and aftermath. “I was under the impression that everybody had proper training for those types of situations.”
The bulletin suggests that residents load up on nonperishable supplies, especially since it’s unknown whether Ferguson’s stores will remain open.
“That’s the closest community that we go to, so we are just taking it safe,” Hoskins said.
Colburn was in Ferguson on Wednesday evening and said many businesses have already begun boarding up windows.
“Aggression and unrest are definitely rising,” she said. “I am worried about my son not being able to come home for Thanksgiving break.”
McCulloch, the prosecutor, has said claims of an announcement date or time should be ignored. But Hoskins said he is too close to the situation, with too much at stake, to remain idle.
“It seems to be narrowed down to between now and Monday,” the mayor said. “If anything spills over into our community, then I’ll declare an emergency and we will do certain other things to protect our residents.”
Osbourne’s statement addressing critics appeared on Billboard.com. Citing the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, the director reveals he’s actually well aware of US government ties to Nazism, 9/11 and the Army’s secretive MK Ultra mind-control research program, and says in reality he was trying to help wake the public up.
“The reason I’m not apologizing is because neither I nor the video are anti-semitic. I can’t be sorry for something I’m being falsely accused of. The video represents Young Money as a generic totalitarian regime, which takes images and symbols from several countries and time periods, one of which is Nazism. As an artist I have two voids to fill. First, meeting the demands of the client and two, creatively applying my own voice where I can. The Young Money team came to me with a set of parameters in which they exactly stated — something black and white, dark, ominous, with hints of imagery like Sin City or Metalocalypse
As far as applying Nazi imagery, 100% me. Whether it was interpreted that way to their team, I have no idea. Not once did we ever sit in the same room, nor did they ask if I applied a deeper hidden meaning. I simply send them the video and they reject, approve, or ask for changes.
I made this creative decision to show the juxtaposition of the most iconic form of totalitarianism and ways it still exists today, specifically in politics, the military-industrial complex, censorship, and intense monitoring and tracking of our citizens. It has nothing to do with glorifying Hitler or the Holocaust. People think it’s trivializing the Holocaust because the song talks about sex, but I have no control over the lyrical content. I had an opportunity and an outlet, which I knew would reach millions of people, and wanted to make a statement. The term New World Order isn’t just an edgy pop culture reference. It is very real and was a term used by president George H.W. Bush, ironically 10 years to the day before 9/11.
We have a government that tracks us, monitors us, has programs dedicated to controlling our minds and testing diseases on us, and no one asks any questions. People aren’t privy to things like MK Ultra, the School of the Americas, the fact that the Bush family owned Securacom, which was in charge of security for the World Trade Center, Dulles Airport, and United Airlines. The fact that in every recent war, the opposition leader has worked for the CIA. I’m not saying I know all the facts, but do people really think there isn’t more to the story? Look up from your smartphone and smell the fuckin’ roses, I’m trying to help you! People vilify artists for using this type of imagery in their work as if they’re part of the 1% club. Believe me, any artist who has brain cells know they’re not in the club. In my opinion it’s not glorification, it’s a subliminal warning because you can’t openly say these kinds of things. Me? I don’t give a shit. I have no corporate interests, PR team, or image to maintain.
My comment about the First Amendment was in regard to people demanding the video be removed, not their interpretation of the video, which I welcome openly, whether positive or negative, because that’s the point of art.”
Apparently it is now “anti-semitic” to show how American culture has descended into fascism.
Silver screen star Charlie Chapman also mocked Hitler and lampooned Nazism in his 1940 film entitled “The Great Dictator,” where he satirized how absurd the whole Nazi party and movement were.