Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) are pleased to offer travel funding for individuals and grassroots groups that are working to advocate for police accountability and Black lives. A fixed sum of $20,000 has been set aside for this initiative. Applications are fulfilled on a 1st come, 1st served basis until the fixed sum is exhausted. In your application, please honor the guiding principle that your funded work/travel be collaborative and shared out to as many people as possible.
Travel funding is available for Individuals ($300), Groups of 3+ ppl ($1000), and Large Collaborations of 6+ ($2000) to take trips that directly help attendees advocate for police accountability and Black lives. Applications must be submitted 2 wks before your departure date.
In order to be fully transparent in this process, OBS and MORE will list the names and travel objectives of all the funding recipients. We also commit to facilitating as many projects as possible, as...
On August 12th, Esrail Britton, a nineteen-year-old St. Louis native, was in Ferguson protesting Mike Brown's murder. At about 1am that morning, Esrail was shot by a St. Louis County police officer three times. The officer claimed Esrail pointed a gun at him from five feet away; a gun with none of Esrail's DNA or fingerprints was recovered far from the scene. Esrail was charged and released from jail on no bond; his judge determined that he was not in any way a threat to society and his health condition was so critical that the jail could not provide the care he needed. However, upon his release, the St. Louis County Police Union mounted an aggressive media campaign, saying they were "disgusted" with Esrail's release.
A few weeks later, Esrail was put back in jail with a $200,000 cash-only bond. He has now been in jail for more than five months, has not been receiving proper medical care, and cannot move the shoulder in which he was shot, because he has not been allowed to attend physical therapy.
Earlier this week, Esrail's lawyer got his bond reduced to...
This was an exciting week for the legal collective. See below for updates.
This Tuesday evening, we had our second meeting of arrestees to organize, build community and support one another. There were about 40 arrestees present at the meeting. We formed working groups, including:
- Shut down the workhouse
- Abolish municipal courts and bench warrants
- Monthly support group for arrestees facing felonies
- Drop the charges for protesters
- Know Your Rights training/political education
Our goal is to organize with arrestees so that we are not only supporting them as they navigate the criminal “justice” system, but also organize to fundamentally change that racist system. These working groups will be meeting over the next couple of weeks. Our next all-arrestee meeting will be the first Tuesday in March, location TBD. If you are interested in joining any of these groups (even if you were not arrested in the protests), please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2015
Media Contacts: Julia Ho, 806-535-4768 and Jeff Ordower, 314-267-4664
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) calls for abolition of racist municipal courts, moratorium on municipal bench warrants
Community group pressures County Exec Steve Stenger to take a stand on municipal court reform
St. Louis County--This afternoon, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) held a press conference in front of County Executive Steve Stenger’s office to release their study, “Transforming St. Louis County’s Racist Municipal Courts” and call on Stenger to take a stance on the issue of municipal court reform. In the wake of Ferguson,the St. Louis County municipal courts emerged as a prime example of entrenched, structural racism in the region. MORE called on County Executive Steve Stenger to use all powers at his disposal to correct the injustice and predatory of racism of the municipal courts.
In 2015, we’ll be sending out weekly updates about the work we’re doing. The St. Louis Legal Collective formed spontaneously in response to the Mike Brown protests to provide accessible, democratic and accountable legal support to people fighting for social justice in St. Louis City and County. We currently have 15 core collective members and work with over 100 other movement volunteers. We are regular people (not lawyers) who refuse to allow the legal system to separate and silence us. To get involved email email@example.com.
As mass arrests have decreased the focus of our work has shifted from primarily providing protest support (24/7 hotline, tracking people through the system, dispatching lawyers for jail visits, coordinating with arrestees friends and family, posting bail, dealing with warrants, giving rides home from jail, etc.) to helping people fight their court cases. We’ve scaled back the jail support hotline hours to Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30am - 1pm - is this correct. However if you’re planning an action and you’d like to arrange jail support we’re still here for you! If possible please give us at least two days notice and email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the jail support hotline (314-862-2249) during our regular hours.