Monday, December 15, 2014

This is A Movement, Not A Moment

The Washington Post reports that:
WASHINGTON — Demonstrators nationwide protesting the fatal shootings of unarmed black men killed by police chanted “I can’t breathe!” ‘’Hands up, don’t shoot!” and waved signs that read “Black lives matter!” as family members of three victims packed a stage in front of the U.S. Capitol, urging thousands of supportive marchers to keep pressing for changes to the criminal justice system.

The march in Washington on Saturday — attended by family members for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who were killed by police in recent months, and Amadou Diallo, who was fatally shot by police more than 15 years ago — coincided with nationwide demonstrations that spanned from iconic Fifth Avenue in New York to the streets of San Francisco and the steps of the Boston Statehouse. Most were peaceful protests, although about two dozen people were arrested in the Massachusetts capital for disorderly conduct.

“My husband was a quiet man, but he’s making a lot of noise right now,” said Washington protest marcher Esaw Garner, widow of Eric Garner, 43, who died in July after being put in a chokehold by New York City police during an arrest for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

“His voice will be heard. I have five children in this world and we are fighting not just for him but for everybody’s future, for everybody’s past, for everybody’s present, and we need to make it strong.”

Nationally, chanting demonstrators also staged “die-ins” as they lay down across intersections and in one city briefly scuffled with police blocking an onramp to a highway.
For coverage of the entire March, visit

Battle tested civil rights veterans like Rev. Al Sharpton are still on the front lines of the struggle.  Also, there is a new vanguard of young people who are no longer waiting for saviors and leaders. They are seizing the time and organically developing their own organizations and leadership.  In cities around the country, young people of all races are marching in the streets and engaging in acts of defiance and civil disobediance. Despite the passage of time, the call for justice remains strong. This is a movement, not a moment.

We should be inspired by their courageous example. The time for spectators and armchair revolutionaries is over. Tweets, hashtags, blogs and Facebooks statuses are good, but they are no substitute for real grassroots activism. We will must get involved in the struggle. Justice for Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and everyone else!

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