Grassroots Michael Brown and Eric Garner demonstrators blasted Al Sharpton’s corporatist National Action Network and the grievance “establishment” for profiting off the nationwide anti-police protests and unrest while silencing grassroots activists who had been on the ground since the beginning.
Organizers of Al Sharpton’s “Justice for All” march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday cut the microphone of Johnetta Elzie, who was reportedly “tear-gassed while protesting in Ferguson.” National Action Network organizers also cut the microphones of other activists who tried to speak onstage.
As Mashable noted, “After that, the dam broke, and young members of the movement railed against Sharpton’s ‘corporate’ approach to activism,” and there was an evident “lack of passion in the crowd at the Justice for All March.”
Activists wondered, “Why must Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson be master of ceremony on such occasions? Aren’t they now part of the establishment?”
Others blasted the “grassroots” march for having VIP sections and guests who received preferential treatment over the grassroots activists.
— ShordeeDooWhop (@Nettaaaaaaaa) December 14, 2014
Over the weekend, anti-police marches from Berkeley, California, to New York often turned violent, and officers were assaulted and taunted with chants like, “What do we want? Dead cops.”