It’s not ‘try to get justice’ no more; we WILL get justice

On Aug. 9, 2014, Mike Brown was murdered by a Ferguson, Missouri, cop, and Josh Williams, age 18 like Mike, hit town and found his calling, leading protests against police terror. Up to that time, the best publicized such protests had followed the BART cop murder of Oscar Grant, when Oakland exploded into protest after protest until they got as close to justice as they could. Ferguson youth dramatically expanded on that model, filling the streets every night for months confronting militarized police. Many Ferguson youth leaders have since died mysteriously and Josh got an eight-year sentence. Here he leads a protest chant on Sept. 26, 2014. – Photo: Danny Wicentowski

by Josh Williams

On Sunday, June 30, 2019, we was on lockdown most of the day because of three inmate drug overdoses. Guys, I want to say this: When my feet first touched down in the streets of Ferguson, I felt connected suddenly, because I felt the pain of the people out there. I felt what was going on with them, and I did not want to leave. Even if I did want to leave, I couldn’t – my body wouldn’t let me. Not only my body, but my mind.

I was then rooted in Ferguson. In the movement. In that moment, let me tell you, it was so powerful that if you didn’t feel nothing, it was something wrong with you.

Fast forward to Dec. 8, 2014, and the protests and meetings still drew crowds. Here, at the second meeting of the Ferguson Commission, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson is stared down and recorded by Josh Williams. – Photo: David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

So after three days of being out there I got connected with a group called the Lost Voices. They became my family. Before I went to Ferguson, I was still trying to find my calling and trying to find myself, but after a year of being exposed to what the cops was doing to young people, and not only my young people but people period, I found myself and I found my calling. And that calling is to be a help to people. To stand with my people in their time of need.

“When my feet first touched down in the streets of Ferguson, I felt connected, because I felt the pain of the people out there.”

Josh Williams

When the cops are tearing them down, I will be there to help build them up again. When the cops kill my people, I will be there to help get justice. It’s not “try to get justice” no more; it’s we will get justice and there’s not a cop in the world who will stop us.

It’s time we stand our ground. It’s time we defend our people against this bitchass system they call “fair,” because all they doing is trying to get money. On they police car it says “protect and serve,” and that is a damn lie. What that mean is the law protects them and the courthouse serves them with a free walk away from murder.

So to the cops of St. Louis and around the world, we tell you to cut the bullshit because we on to your game, and I say you will not kill anybody else. You will see my face on the front line every time, and if that makes you want to kill me, then do it. We all got to die one day.

To the COs of these prisons who treat my inmates poorly: I see you. It will stop. You will no longer treat us any fucking way you want to.

Josh Williams traveled around the country, meeting activists – some as famous as Cornel West – speaking, strategizing and organizing. But in 2015 he was sentenced to eight years, the prosecutor having asked the judge to make an example of him. It’s the longest sentence by far given to any protester, and, as another activist, Kayla Reed, tweeted, it’s “more time in prison than any of the killer cops.” Voters defeated that prosecutor’s bid for re-election last year. Support for Josh remains high. – Photo: Danny Wicentowski

To the warden I say, get off your ass and get your fucking staff together and prison together. You got COs running around like fucking animals. Train your pets, because how they treat us is unacceptable. We won’t allow this type of behavior to go on any longer. They are not my parents. They will respect me or they have no respect coming from me.

For my people out there: Keep fighting the good fight as I fight from the inside. Love you guys.

#FreeJosh

Send our brother some love and light: Joshua Williams, 1292002, Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, 18701 Old Highway 66, Pacific, MO 63069. Learn more about Josh at https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/08/13/after-3-years-in-prison-josh-williams-dreams-of-returning-to-the-protest.