The grand jury decisions not in indict the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner are simultaneously shocking and predictable. The ugly reality is that police routinely murder Black and Brown people across the U.S.–and across the world. The number of people killed by police last year in the U.S. was the highest number in 20 years, according to the FBI.
On July 17, Eric Garner – an unarmed black male – was choked to death on video camera by Officer Pantaleo in Staten Island. On November 20, Akai Gurley – an unarmed black man – was murdered in the stairwell of Brooklyn’s Pink Houses. He sat bleeding out for several minutes while the officer who shot him texted with his union representative. Tamir Rice was shot and killed by officers in Cleveland, despite the fact that he was a 12 year-old boy with a toy gun handed to him by a friend. None of these officers – nor Darren Wilson, Mike Brown’s killer – have even been disciplined.
Recent events in Mexico parralel what’s going on in the U.S. On the evening of September 26, students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa were on their way to protest discriminatory educational funding and hiring at an event in Iguala. En route, the students were stopped and chased by police, shot at, rounded up, and kidnapped. Months later, they have not been found. What has been found however is a horrific story of collaboration between government officials and narco gangs to squash political dissent and cover it up.
As a result, tens of thousands in Mexico and the United States are marching in the streets and public plazas, speaking out against police violence.
Come to a discussion of the roots of the rebellion in Ferguson and the role of racism and police violence in communities of color in the U.S. While Ayotzinapa might appear distant to many in the US, the struggle in Mexico brings many of the same questions to the mainstream: Whose interests do the police act on? Why are police and government immune to discipline? How has America’s militarized “war on drugs” helped to create a brutal and interlocking system of poverty, migration, and violence? It is not enough to hang our heads and renounce the actions of these governments; we must also ask difficult questions, make uncompromising demands, and build a genuine movement for justice and equality across all borders.
Hector Rivera (via skype from Mexico City)
Friday, Dec. 12 @ 7:00pm
Queens Pride House
76-11 37th Avenue 2nd Fl.
Jackson Heights, Queens
For nearby childcare, email us at westernqueensISO@gmail.com