The Oath Keepers, an anti-government, conservative organization composed of former military personnel, police and first responders, showed up unannounced at the protest marking the one-year anniversary of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.

The Washington Post’s Abby Phillip described the scene:

Members of the group arrived on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson in the early morning as protests wound down just before 2 a.m.

The small group of men — dressed in military-style camouflage and bullet-proof vests, and armed with long guns — initially startled protesters, some of whom asked the Oath Keepers to leave. But they insisted that they were “on their side,” and had arrived to protect protesters from police, who stood standing watching in riot gear across the street. They said Missouri law permitted them to openly carry legally owned weapons.

When the Oath Keepers crossed to the same side of the street where police stood, protesters followed. But police didn’t react to their presence.

The complacency shown by the police to a group of heavily armed white men inserting themselves into the midst of the protest raises the question: Has anything really changed in Ferguson?

Read more here.

–Posted by Clara Romeo

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