teargas_ferguson

The acts of police brutality against Black people in recent weeks, in particular the shootings of Michael Brown and John Crawford in Missouri and Ohio and the homicide of Eric Garner in New York, bring us to outrage and indignation. The staff of Apogee stand behind the idea that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, as they seek to make sense of Michael Brown’s pointless death, and raise their voices against the ongoing, systematic oppression of Black and Brown bodies in America. We stand with them as they continue to rightfully protest in Missouri, and we witness with the rest of the world, including Amnesty International, as community members, protestors, and journalists suffer a disproportionate, violent response.  We will raise our voices too in New York on August 23rd to take a stand against the repeated abuse of police power in America, the militarization of the people meant to protect us, and the victim-blaming that is a double injustice against the murdered.

We are thankful for the strong activist networks in this country, which mainstream media often leads us to believe do not exist. We encourage you to follow mobilizers The Dream Defenders and the National Action Network, and activists like Anonymous, Feminista Jones and Avis Jones DeWeever, who provide insight and tools for this fight. We encourage you to speak with one another about your experience of this injustice, to turn off the news, and talk to your friends, family and neighbors and reconnect with the power of community. We encourage you to write, and to send us your thoughts, poems, stories, and essay responses. We offer this space as a platform for your words.

It should not take rubber bullets, tear gas, and the silencing of the press before proper attention is paid to the killing of innocent people. It should not take more deaths. The time to act is now. In the words of Martin Luther King, “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” No matter our race, we are all impacted by this injustice. No matter our background, we all have the capacity, strength and humanity to protest. As Antonio Hairston stated at a vigil in New York City last week, “we must fight this battle. We must not let hatred consume us. If hatred consumes you, you have already lost.” We will fight peacefully, but we will continue to fight.

Further readings:

Timeline of acts of police brutality, Twitter.

Democracy Now: “A Human Rights Crisis”

The Nation, “The Death of Michael Brown and the Search for Justice in Black America

 

Please email written work for our blog to editors@apogeejournal.org. All work received will be considered for publication.

 

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