Ferguson Jail Support Guidelines and Legal Collective Info
(Updated July 12, 2015)
WHO WE ARE:
We are an organization of activists, organizers and volunteers, many without formal legal backgrounds, combating the prison industrial complex and the criminalization of asserting first amendment rights. We advocate for change on both the municipal and state-wide levels through education, accessibility, solidarity, and empowerment. In the short term, we help people navigate the legal system as it exists today, but over the long term we are working to dismantle a system that was created to exploit and oppress marginalized communities.
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) is hiring!
Position Announcement: Just Transition/Climate Justice Organizer
MORE is a five-year old organization that has traditionally worked at the intersection of economic, climate and racial justice. MORE is a multi-racial organization of low- and moderate-income people building power to fight back against capitalism and create the just, sustainable world in which we want to live. MORE comes out of a long tradition of community organizing that works to develop leadership and spokespeople out of low-income communities and communities of color. MORE has traditionally worked on campaigns fighting home foreclosures and challenging corporate tax breaks. Recently more has taken up significant work around decarceration and abolishing the St. Louis municipal court system, and creating a local solidarity economy table. Since the murder of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, MORE has also been active in supporting the movement led by young Black people on the streets of Ferguson by setting up the St. Louis Legal Collective, hosting direct action trainings and other various pieces of movement support.
Climate justice work has been a very important part of MORE since its founding. St. Louis is the...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 8, 2015
MORE's Statement in Response to Peabody Energy's Announcement of Corporate Layoffs
Today, Peabody Energy announced that it is laying off around 250 employees from its St. Louis corporate office. In response, Madeline Buthod, a member of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment and a St. Louis Public School parent, released the following statement:
In 2010, Peabody received tax breaks on $61 million of purchases to keep their 500 corporate jobs downtown. The City of St. Louis said that this tax package was a worthy investment, worth the $2 million taken away from the St. Louis Public Schools to pay for Peabody's new CEO office and corporate gym. Now that these jobs have disappeared, what will happen to Peabody's giant tax breaks? Will the City of St. Louis finally hold a corporation accountable and demand that Peabody begin to pay the taxes it should for the next 5 years? Will the St. Louis Development Corporation use its authority to clawback money owed by Peabody so that students in the St. Louis Public Schools can get money back for more textbooks and smaller class sizes?...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MORE's Statement on Passage of SB 5: A Huge Step Forward for Justice!
We would like to commend the legislators who took a step in the right direction today, and stood with fellow Missourians in the search for justice in the region and the abolition of predatory municipal courts and their practices. We urge the Governor to sign this bill as soon as possible. For low income people in the region, these are vital changes. The most important issues are the ending of jail time for unpaid traffic tickets, the cap in court costs at $300, and the rules on conflict of interest for judges.
Tymon Reed, someone who was recently incarcerated for traffic tickets in Velda City said, “This is a wonderful step forward for justice in this region.”
Sean Bailey, who has been in and out of jail for years because of traffic tickets he has been unable to pay commented, “It's about time that jail time is eliminated for municipal changes. This will have a huge impact on my day to day life. I just got a new job, and now I won't have to worry about losing it over sitting in...
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...