From The Guardian:
Ferguson protest leader Darren Seals shot and found dead in a burning carPeople like George Soros, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton meet the leaders of Black Lives Matter and instantly recognize them as LGBTQ Studies majors. So they figure, How much violence can a bunch of narcissistic homosexual pseudo-intellectuals cause? But what Soros, Obama, and Clinton didn’t realize was that down on the streets it’s very very different. So now we’re headed toward maybe a 1,000 incremental homicides since Ferguson.
Lois Beckett in New York @loisbeckett Thursday 8 September 2016 14.32 EDT
Ferguson protest leader Darren Seals was found dead early Tuesday morning in a car that had been set on fire. Seals had been shot, and St Louis County police said they were investigating his death as a homicide.
The 29-year-old’s death sent waves of shock and grief through the community of activists in Missouri who protested the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014.
“We have lost a great champion of civil rights in our community,” said Bassem Masri, a friend who had live-streamed the Ferguson protests, sometimes with Seals walking behind him to protect him as he filmed.
“He didn’t go out to the national level like many of the organizers. He stayed home and tried to fix Ferguson first,” said Keith Rose, another St Louis activist.
More than 100 people gathered Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil at the site where Seals’ body was found, friends said. Activists who attended the vigil said they were furious to find that police had not taped off the crime scene, and that there were still bullet casings on the ground they thought police should have collected as evidence.
… Local activists were also troubled by the parallels between Seals’ death and the 2014 murder of 20-year-old Deandre Joshua, who was shot and left in a burning car on the same night a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s death. In all, according to one activist’s count, five other men in the St Louis area have been shot and left in burning cars since 2014. …
Seals was a proudly local activist and a fierce critic of the national Black Lives Matter movement. He had argued that prominent Black Lives Matter leaders had hijacked the Ferguson protests and then failed to give enough back to the community that had catalyzed the movement. During a heated argument, he once hit Deray McKesson, one of the most nationally recognized movement activists.
As the principles of Black Lives Matter have gained increased national recognition from politicians, the White House and in the 2016 presidential campaign, some community activists still in Ferguson are struggling. Some have left town, and some have have trouble getting work because of their political activism, Bynes said….
Several activists said that some of Seals’ criticisms of the national movement resonated with them.
“We all kind of felt like we were kind of getting other people rich and getting other people fame for our oppression,” Masri said.
“We were left here to suffer from the systemic abuse from the police. And, like, I don’t care about credit, as long as the job gets done. But the thing is, the job hasn’t got done.”
The national movement’s current demands “are in a language that I don’t speak”, his friend and fellow activist Tory Russell said. “This movement jargon, this terminology, are not for working people. The movement is not geared towards working-class black people, and D Seals could always call that out.” …
The number of murders in St Louis has risen every year since 2013, a trend that started before Brown was killed and that a local criminologist concluded did not support the claims of a so-called “Ferguson Effect”.
While Chicago’s murder numbers more often make headlines, St Louis has the highest murder rate of any large American city, according to 2014 murder data, the most recent available from the FBI.
A total of 159 black men were murdered in St Louis last year. Seals had been part of the protests over Brown’s death from the very first day, fellow activists said, and he was a devoted and charismatic protest leader. …
Seals was a controversial figure in the police accountability movement. “He had and has a lot of views that many people regard to be sexist, misogynist and homophobic,” said Bynes, the protester and former committeewoman. “Many people felt like he spewed hate.”
In a Twitter post last year, Seals wrote: “#BlackLivesMatter is a gay/feminist movement not a black movement they are not ‘leaders’ they’re thieves who exploited the work of black ppl.”
The high-profile Black Lives Matter activists that Seals lambasted mourned his death via Twitter on Tuesday in restrained tones. Several of them referenced his death without using his name, a striking choice for members of a movement that uses “Say her name” and “Say his name” as rallying cries.