In a video released Sunday, the hacktivist group Anonymous announced Operation Ferguson, stemming from the fatal shooting of unarmed Missouri teenager Mike Brown over the weekend. Demands detailed in the video and a press release include the passage of "Mike Brown's law" and no further "abuse" from police officers. Meanwhile, protests spring up in the surrounding areas.
Mike Brown, 18, was shot several times by police on Saturday after he allegedly struggled with an officer for his gun. The Los Angeles Times reported that the FBI plans to launch an investigation into the shooting, separate from local officials. As police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson tried to suppress protests, which resulted in the arrest of 32 people for assault, burglary, or theft, Anonymous promised protection and encouraged residents to continue in the video.
To the good people of Ferguson, take heart - and take your streets. You are not alone, we will support you in every way possible. Occupy every square inch of your city. Demand justice, staying silent today could result in the death of your kid tomorrow.
On Sunday, a website, Twitter account, and press release for Operation Ferguson hit the web along with the video. @OpFerguson has already been suspended by Twitter once, according to account, but has since been reinstated. There is also support swelling from the hashtag #OpFerguson.Anonymous has a history of executing cyber attacks to seek justice for marginalized victims. This time, according to the group, the cops have gone too far. The police allegedly sealed roads into the suburb, which Anonymous says was an attempt to keep protesters out.
Now, the group is meeting egregious action by aiming beyond their own vigilante hacking and asking for long-term solutions.
For this reason Anonymous will not be satisfied this time, as we have in the past - with simply obtaining justice for this young man and his family. Anonymous demands that the Congressional Representatives and Senators from Missouri introduce legislation entitled "Mike Brown's Law" that will set strict national standards for police conduct and misbehavior in the USA.
But that doesn't mean there won't be the classic Anonymous attacks. The group promised to leak personal information about every member of the Ferguson Police Department if they "abuse, harass - or harm" the protestors in any way. And reports that Ferguson city emails are down are perhaps Anonymous' more gentle way of showing they are ready to make good on that promise.