Heal STL: Ferguson Nonprofit Braces for More Violence If Darren Wilson Isn't Indicted

Categories: Michael Brown

Photos by Lindsay Toler
Antonio French says there will be more violence if Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson isn't indicted. "That's predictable."
The nightly violent standoffs between police and protesters in Ferguson may have stopped, but the anger that fueled two weeks of unrest here -- anger at police, at elected officials, at oppression -- remains.

And if Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson isn't charged with a crime for shooting and killing unarmed teen Michael Brown, anger could again swell into chaos.

"If there isn't an indictment, we're going to see the same thing again," says Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who has emerged as one of the leaders behind the movement for change and peace in Ferguson. "That's predictable. It's going to get bad."

But this time, community leaders won't be caught off-guard and "flat-footed," as French says, by the anger. By the time the grand jury decides on Wilson's fate five or more weeks from now, things will be different.

That's where Heal STL comes in.

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Lawyer, NAACP Say Newly Released Recording Captures Audio of Michael Brown Shooting [UPDATE]

Categories: Michael Brown

Jessica Lussenhop
The site of the shooting on Canfield Drive.

Updated 8/28/14 12:50 p.m.: A statement from the makers of the app which recorded the original video say they have authenticated the tape. Click through for the full release.

A newly discovered snippet of video from an unnamed Canfield Green resident allegedly contains audio of the gunfire that killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. Much has been made already about the number of shots heard -- about ten or eleven -- and the pause between the volleys, though the tape has not yet been declared authentic by the FBI or the St. Louis County Police Department.

However, Adolphus Pruitt, president of the local St. Louis NAACP chapter, says he believes the audio is the real deal. He says his office has acted as a liaison between the witnesses who are afraid to come forward for fear of retribution and the FBI agents investigating the case. That's how he met the man who made the tape as well as his lawyer, Lopa Blumenthal.

"I met at the attorney's office, and they played it and gave us a copy of our records," Pruitt says. "I'm convinced."

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Sham Film Festival to Unleash Web's Best Short Parodies on St. Louis

Categories: Community, Movies

Courtesy of Matthew Newlin
A still from Little Man of Steel, which will be screened on October 24 during the Sham Film Festival.
In the past, the greatest film parodies were crafted by professionals. This is Spinal Tap, Airplane and The Naked Gun offered the highest-quality mockery money could buy, while sketch-comedy shows like SNL married production values with the funniest comedians in the world. Then the Internet came along, and parody videos exploded.

Matthew Newlin and John Reynolds want to celebrate those short-form parodies by putting them on a big screen. The two St. Louisans are organizing the first ever Sham Film Festival -- opening October 24 -- as a showcase for short-form film parodies that inhabit YouTube and sites like College Humor and Funny or Die.

"I kept seeing all these videos posted online, the fake movie trailers, the spoofs that people do themselves -- but they're excellent," says Newlin, 31, who came up with the idea for the festival about a year ago. "The quality and creativity and the originality is there, and these people are filmmakers that are not getting their due. Let's give them some attention."

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Petition Asks GoFundMe to Return Profits from Fundraisers for Officer Darren Wilson

Categories: Michael Brown

via GoFundMe
Officer Darren Wilson's second GoFundMe fundraising page.
Supporters of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who sparked weeks of unrest after he shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown, have raised so much money to support him that they had to open a second online fundraiser.

On the fundraising website GoFundMe, supporters needed just seventeen days to raise more than $420,000 for the officer, portrayed as either a hero or a monster in many of the reports and conversations around the country about Ferguson.

But a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the voice of black America is calling out the popular fundraising site for profiting off Wilson's fundraisers, saying the site is financially exploiting racial intolerance and murder.

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Even North Korea Says Police Shouldn't Have Suppressed Ferguson Protesters

Roman Harak via Flickr, cropped
When North Korea is calling your country "a graveyard of human rights," you know something's wrong.
North Korea loves to hate on the United States. The armistice that stopped the Korean War in 1953 never really ended it, and Kim Jong-un's propaganda machine churns out anti-American rhetoric like we're still knee-deep in bloody conflict.

So it's not surprising that the isolationist regime released its own statement criticizing how law enforcement handled the massive unrest that took over Ferguson after officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. Quite the opposite. The last few weeks have been a North Korean propaganda minister's wet dream.

But that doesn't make North Korea's statement on the brutal police response to Ferguson protesters any less unsettling.

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Archdiocese Asks St. Louis to Stop Ice Bucket Challenge Donations to ALS Association

theglobalpanorama on Flickr
The ice bucket challenge raises money for an organization the Archdiocese of St. Louis says it can't support.
Are you one of the countless philanthropists taking on the ice-bucket challenge and donating to the ALS Association? The Catholic Church says you're doing it wrong.

The St. Louis Archdiocese has released a statement urging Catholics to donate to a research organization that doesn't support embryonic stem cell research.

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Movie Marathon to Remember Robin Williams at the Luna Lounge Saturday

Categories: Movies

photo credit: BagoGames via photopin cc
Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It's 0600 hours. What does the "O" stand for? Oh my God, it's early!
It's been a rough couple weeks. We could all use a laugh.

Dana Bierman and Danni Eickenhorst want to help you out with that. This Saturday, August 30, the two die-hard Robin Williams fans are organizing a pajama party, happy hour and Robin Williams movie marathon at the Luna Lounge. The evening comes complete with a red carpet, popcorn and sturdy desk so you can proclaim all the "O Captain! My Captain!" soliloquies till your heart's content.

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Fall's Best Bets for Arts in St. Louis

Categories: Arts

Mark Andresen
Don't listen to the thermometer and its 90+ degree readings this week. Fall is right around the corner. Really! And so is another exciting season of St. Louis theater, gallery openings and other art happenings. Plan ahead with our annual Fall Arts Guide below...

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30 Years After Founding STL Shakespeare, Donna Northcott Takes a Curtain Call

Categories: Arts

Kim Carlson
Donna Northcott wanted to direct The Liar.

How could she not? David Ives' hysterical adaptation of Pierre Corneille's 1643 farce simply crackles with comedic wit. Written in 2010 The Liar not only offered Northcott an opportunity to direct a fresh new work, but it also afforded her theater company, St. Louis Shakespeare, the chance to produce a play that's all but unknown to local audiences.

Alas, she had to pass on directing The Liar, handing it instead to Suki Peters so she could concentrate on last month's season opener, Hamlet. After all, this season is a big one for Northcott, filled with personal and professional landmarks. Not only does it mark her company's 30th anniversary, but with the March 2015 production of a Sarah Whitney's specially commissioned version of the War of the Roses trilogy (Henry VI), Northcott will have overseen the completion of the entire Shakespeare canon, making it one of only seven troupes in America to have done so.

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Jon Stewart Talks Ferguson, Skewers Fox News Coverage of Michael Brown Shooting

The Daily Show
It's like the ice-bucket challenge, except you just get maced in the face.
The chaos has calmed in Ferguson, but the nationwide conversation about race and police mistreatment that Michael Brown's death sparked continues.

And now that Jon Stewart is back from vacation, he's diving in headfirst.

Stewart aims straight for a favorite target of his, FOX News, on Tuesday night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, watching apoplectically as the network's anchors struggle to understand why America has to talk about race at all in the wake of Brown's shooting.

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