The Ferguson, MO riots have documented the increasingly militarized stance local police jurisdictions are using to keep order but also to suppress a free press and peaceful protesters. Foreign governments who are often criticized for their brutal crackdowns on their domestic populations have taken notice and are providing the US advice.
Ferguson incident becoming more popular than Earthquake in Iran, Tahrir Square protests
As an earthquake ravaged through Iran, injuring hundreds and causing significant property damage, the leading news story in state-run media was Ferguson, MO. Taking to Twitter, a social media platform banned for use by common Iranian citizens, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the US “the biggest violator of #HumanRights,” a report noted
In Egypt, protestors who published pictures of police abuses in Tahrir Square, now comment on US police repression. “We Used to report such pictures from #Egypt but now from #Ferguson #stlouis #MikeBrown,” tweeted activist @Ana_Mubasher.
“Nope, this is not in Egypt or Turkey. This is in the USA,” tweeted @TheBigPharaoh.
Many of the tweets, reported by the New York Times, came from areas such as the Gaza Strip and advised protesters on how to deal with tear gas and other methods of state security force suppression. “I got tips too! Watch the teargas being fired, its slow enough that u can jump upwind but if u turn ur back u could be hit in head #Ferguson,” tweeted Rana Nazzal, a Palestinian-Canadian activist in the West Bank.
Russia’s prime time coverage of Ferguson roits
In Russia, state media is devoting significant prime time coverage to the riots, characterizing the events as a “nationwide” phenomenon. Moscow’s deadly 2010 race riots and widespread allegations of police brutality aren’t mentioned, the report noted.
Both Russian and Chinese state-run media are using the protests to characterize the US as a “land of inequality.”
Noting the PR bonanza, Vox’s Max Fisher said “Senior staff at China’s foreign ministry popping champagne for the anti-American mileage they will get out of Ferguson crackdown. For years.”
China’s state-run media is promoting wall-to-wall reports from Ferguson. One biting commentary suggests “Ferguson riot reveals U.S. racial divide, human rights flaw,” and suggests that the US should focus on solving its domestic problems rather than pointing fingers at other human rights issues.
“China gets criticized so much by the West that when something like this happens, it’s convenient to offer a counter-criticism,” Ding Xueliang, an expert on Chinese politics at Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology, was quoted as saying.