Why You Should Join Us at the Movement for Black Lives Convening

via St. Louis American

This nation is facing a crisis that it refuses to address. State sponsored violence is responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown Jr, Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and many more.  Every 28 hours an unarmed black person is murdered under suspicious circumstances by the police. These shootings are rarely investigated and even less likely to lead to charges against the officers. Communities in Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington DC have joined Ferguson in declaring that enough is enough! We demand that officers be held to the same level of accountability that we hold everyday citizens. The sworn duty of the police is to protect and serve our communities, not to inflict terror. After nearly a year of protests, neither state nor federal governments have made any transformative changes to police practices.  

Ferguson sparked a national movement for Black Lives. Now it’s up to all of us to see it through. In order to win, we must stand in solidarity with each other because state-sponsored violence continues to threaten Black communities across the country everyday. And even though we participate in multiracial coalitions, we must recognize the value of creating and maintaining all-Black spaces. It’s crucial that Black people at the center of this movement come together and push it forward.

This is why the Organization for Black Struggle has joined with other national grassroots organizations to host the National Convening for Black Lives. On July 24-26, over a thousand Black freedom fighters from across the nation will gather in Cleveland, OH to map the next chapter in the struggle for black liberation. The convening will be a space to develop a collective mission and coordinate across the nation. It is clear that we cannot depend on the federal government to act decisively and implement sweeping national reforms. Rather, we have to come together and organize our own response to this national crisis. We’ve done it in the past with the Colored National Conventions of the 1800s, the Black Power Conference of the 1960s and the Gary National Black Political Convention in 1972. Each of these conventions made it clear that resistance and direct action are required when government fails to take care of the needs of Black people.

As we approach the one year commemoration of the killing of Mike Brown Jr., we are reminded of how much more work must be done. As we watch churches go up in flames in the south we are reminded that there is no place for us to seek refuge. As we mourn the lives of those lost in the Charleston massacre, we are reminded of why we must fight.

This movement cannot stop! Our movement will not stop! We must create the change that we want to see. But we need you to join us.

Stand with us as we renew our commitment to justice.  Stand with us as we transform policing in this country and assert our right to live free from fear. Every day, our children, our parents, and our grandparents get harassed, humiliated, abused, and killed by police. With each violent killing, the urgency of this movement hits closer to home. Every injustice demands that we rise up and answer the call. If we want this to stop, then we must build power in and for Black communities. We encourage all Black people to take part in this historic moment. Help us create a future that is safe for all Black families. Join us in Cleveland! For Mike Brown and Rekia Boyd, for Eric Garner and Walter Scott, for little Tamir Rice and Aiyana Jones--Join us in Cleveland!