Photo of #Ferguson protesters at MORE office, Thursday, May 14, 2015.
#CutTheCheck. That’s the hashtag for Black activists demanding payment from white liberals for taking part in the months-long protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the police shooting death of unarmed Black teenaged criminal Michael Brown in a confrontation with white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last August.
Black activists held a sit-in at the office of MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) on Thursday to press their claim that groups led by whites have collected tens of thousands of dollars in donations off of the Black Lives Matter movement without paying the Black participants their fair share.
During the sit-in, one of the Black activists threatened the white representative for MORE, saying, “We gon’, we gonna just **** you up.” (Expletive deleted.)
— Search4Swag (@search4swag) May 14, 2015
In November, The Gateway Pundit reported MORE set up a ‘wedding registry’ on Amazon seeking donations to fund the Ferguson protests.
An excerpt from the appeal:
“…Jail Support is administered by MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment), a non-profit working on a variety of social-justice-related issues in the St. Louis area and throughout Missouri. (www.organizemo.org) You can make secure donations directly to the Jail Support Fund here:
https://secure.piryx.com/donate/mS25KFCe/MORE/mikebrown Any way you choose to support us will make a major difference to the people on the ground who are risking their freedom and safety by exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights to assembly and free speech. Thank You! #Ferguson”
Apparently much of the money raised by MORE didn’t reach the protesters.
Video clips of the sit-in were posted to Twitter by @Search4Swag
WCC hot seat pic.twitter.com/Uo65IC2Uuz
— Search4Swag (@search4swag) May 14, 2015
A statement was posted to Twitter on Friday by one of the Black groups that took part in the sit-in, MAU aka MillenialAU. MAU describes itself on its Twitter account as an “Activist collective for youth organization. Created by young, queer, Black women. Education, grassroots power & leadership”
Text of MAU statement:
“On May 14, 2015 many individuals and organizations of the protest movement that began in Ferguson, Missouri organized a sit-in in the office of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE). The demand was simple: Cut the checks.
“Early in the movement, non-profit organization MORE, formerly known as the St. Louis chapter of ACORN, and local St. Louis organization Organization for Black Struggle created a joint account in which national donors from all over the world have donated over $150,000 to sustain the movement. Since then, the poor black of this movement who served as cash generators to bring money into St. Louis have seen little to none of that money. Furthermore, since the influx of funding has started, poor black people continue to take to the streets all the while losing their homes, vehicles, ability to feed themselves and their families, and suffering from trauma and mental illness with no ability to afford quality mental health services. Questions have been raised as to how the movement is to sustain when white non-profits are hoarding monies collected of off (sic) black bodies? When we will (sic) hold the industry of black suffering accountable? The people of the community are fed up and the accountability begins here and now.
“This isn’t about MORE. This is about black lives in the Black Lives Matter movement who are literally broke and starving. There is an insidious strand of racism and white supremacy that exists in this movement and it is called the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. As a by-product, it provides decent salaries and comfort to many people who are not affected by the disparities that they are trying to address. This money is typically in the hands of white people who oversee the types of services that the non-profit provides, while having select token black people to spearhead the conversations within and to the community.
“We NEED to be thinking about justice for black people. This means white people must renounce their loyalty to the social normalcy that maintains white power and control. If black lives really matter, justice and self-determination for black people would mean the black community would control it’s (sic) own political and economic resources.
“It is asinine to believe that black people can continue to organize and take to the street when they can barely meet their basic needs. In St. Louis, organizers and protesters depleted $50,000 of the available funds and dispersed it among the people in the movement in no particular order. Jeff Ordower, executive director of MORE, stated that another $57,000 is expected in the next one to two weeks in which those funds will also be dispersed to the black people in the movement.
“Moving forward, we are building a board of accountability within this movement. We must funnel economic into this movement through the hands of black people who are fighting with and for black life. More on this board will be discussed as we develop.”
(Transcribed by Kristinn Taylor.)
Last month John Cardillo posted an exclusive report on the troubles surrounding the Ferguson protest fundraising machine.