A coalition of young activists led by Black organizers in New York has called for a Millions March to take place on Saturday, December 13, gathering in Washington Square Park at 2 p.m. The mass rally will take place in Manhattan; tens of thousands have already confirmed their attendance on Facebook.
The organizers hope millions of people will go peacefully into the streets all over the country to disrupt business as usual, express their anger, and demand justice for victims of police violence and institutionalized racism.
Lead organizer Synead Nichols said: “We want people to shut down their cities for justice. We are continuing where the freedom fighters of the Civil Rights Movement left off. We are a new generation of young multiracial activists willing to take up the torch and we’re not going to stand for this anymore.”
New Yorkers expressed their outrage in protests last week, upon receiving news that the NYPD officer who strangled Eric Garner to death on camera would not be indicted. Thousands protested across the country, determined to show that the lack of accountability for police who kill unarmed Black people will no longer be tolerated.
The recent killings highlighted in the media belong to a pattern of state-sanctioned violence against Black people dating back further than Jim Crow. Anyone who believes in justice, equality, and the value of human life has a responsibility to stand up and say “no” to the senseless killing of Black people and the impunity of police who kill.
The grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer responsible for strangling Eric Garner to death came on the heels of the same outcome for Darren Wilson, who killed Mike Brown in Ferguson. The grand jury decisions lead to a sustained wave of protests; and the organizers of the Millions March want to keep that wave going, taking another step forward with acts of mass civil disobedience.
Lead organizer Che BrandesTuka said: “We don’t care if Police Commissioner Bratton thinks our protests will just peter out. We don’t care if it will cost the city business. We won’t stop until we get justice for Mike Brown. We won’t stop until we get justice for Eric Garner. We won’t stop until all Black lives matter!”
Organizers are calling December 13th, 2014, a Day of Anger because it is a time for people to come together as a community to grieve, express pain and outrage, and begin the process of healing. This movement is grounded in principles of love, respect for human life, and a unifying belief that, together, we can transform our future.
Some of the recent police brutality protests have been marred by the violent actions of a handful of people. Much of the attention has been focused on those few people rather than on the nonviolent majority. The organizers respectfully ask that media be mindful of their peaceful message.
Lead organizer Umaara Elliott said: “It’s open season on Black people now. Systemic, overt, and covert racism, is claiming American lives at an unacceptable rate. So we demand that action be taken at every level of government to ensure that these racist killings by the police cease.”
The organizers stand in solidarity with activists from Ferguson, Mo., and share their desire for an end to all forms of discrimination and police brutality, achieve full employment, decent housing, an end to the School to Prison Pipeline, quality education, freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the Prison Industrial Complex.
As the initiative has gained momentum in the previous week, the unaffiliated organizers who started the Facebook event for Millions March have teamed up with other unaffiliated organizers including: Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter, Mobilizing Our Voices Everywhere (M.O.V.E.), The Rockaway Youth Task Force, Whose Streets Media, D•fī Creative Agency, Hour by Hour, several Black fraternal organizations, individual trade union organizers, ISO, ANSWER and other progressive organizations.
THE INDICTMENT OF DANIEL PANTALEO
THE CREATION OF AN INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE TO HANDLE CASES OF POLICE MISCONDUCT AND USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE
RELEASE OF THE NAMES OF OFFICERS INVOLVED IN FATAL SHOOTINGS WITHIN 48 HOURS OF THE INCIDENT
CREATON OF A STATEWIDE OVERSIGHT AGENCY FOR MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS
STATEWIDE POLICY TO NOT HIRE POLICE WHO HAVE BEEN FIRED WITH CAUSE OR DEEMED UNFIT FOR DUTY IN ONE JURISDICTION BY ANY OTHER DEPARTMENT IN THE STATE
We Want an End to all Forms of Discrimination and the Full Recognition of our Human Rights
The United States Government must acknowledge and address the structural violence and institutional discrimination that continues to imprison our communities either in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. We want the United States Government to recognize the full spectrum of our human rights and its obligations under international law.
We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And the Murder Of Black, Brown & All Oppressed People
Every 28 hours a black person in the United States is killed by someone employed or protected by the government of the United States. Other communities are also criminalized, targeted, attacked and brutalized. We want an immediate end to state sanctioned violence against our communities.
We Want Full Employment For Our People
Every individual has the human right to employment and a living wage. Inability to access employment and fair pay continues to marginalize our communities, ready us for imprisonment, and deny us of our right to a life with dignity.
We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings
Our communities have a human right to access quality housing that protects our families and allows for our children to be free from harm.
We Want an End to the School to Prison Pipeline & Quality Education for All
We want an end to policies that criminalize our young people as well as discriminatory discipline practices that bar access to quality education. Furthermore, we want all children to be able to access free, quality education. Including free or affordable public university.
We Want Freedom from Mass Incarceration and an End to the Prison Industrial Complex
We want an end to the over policing and surveillance of our communities. This will hasten an end to the criminalization of black and brown people and hyper incarceration everywhere. Policing in the United States has historically helped to enforce racist laws, policies and norms. The result is a massive prison industrial complex built on the warehousing of black people. We call for the cessation of mass incarceration and the eradication of the prison industrial complex all together. In its place we will address harm and conflict in our communities through community based, restorative solutions.