This weekend, cities across the United States erupted in protest to demand justice for the racist murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black Americans.
The Legal Service Staff Association, UAW 2320, stands with black communities resisting oppression and demanding justice. We stand with black communities who time and again find themselves the victims of racial terrorism at the hands of police departments, state agencies and institutions, and white people. We stand with our black members and clients, for whom the simple act of leaving home means facing physical harm, or worse, death, at the hands of the NYPD.
The past several weeks have reinforced what we all know to be true. For black people, simple tasks many take for granted – leaving home, birding, jogging, walking to the store, even sitting in one’s own living room – come with the risk of being murdered. For generations, black people have demanded justice only to be met with disbelief, rejection, and, on occasion, slow progress. Peaceful protests, like a football player taking a knee, are condemned. Eyewitness snuff films of police killing black children and adults are shared on social media but nothing changes. Is it any wonder that people all over the country are taking to the streets and saying “No More!”
The police are an occupying army, inciting violence, patrolling black neighborhoods like their slave patrol predecessors in the antebellum south. We demand that these forces be stopped: defund the police and invest that money in black communities.
Defunding the police and investing in the communities they’ve terrorized is only one step in the fight for liberation. White people must confront how they benefit from and perpetuate white supremacy. We must work tirelessly to destroy the racist laws and institutions that drive systemic oppression and violence at every level. We must make it clear in word and action that Black Lives Matter.