On Wednesday, a collective of activist organizations in Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Washington DC, protested police unions, especially the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which they claim protects police officers who kill unarmed black people.
The organizations involved in the mass protest movement include Black Lives Matter, the Black Youth Project 100, Million Hoodies, Project South, Blackout Collective, St. Louis Action Council, Organization for Black Struggle, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and the Movement for Black Lives as parts of the #FreedomNow campaign. The campaign will have two days of action (July 20th and 21st) all over the nation.
The #FreedomNow campaign supports divestment of public funds from police officers to needs in the black community. The campaign also seeks to take back control of the narrative of the Black Lives Matter movement after the deaths of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge by black men, both of whom were veterans of the US military. The groups are aware that media and pundits have painted the movement as somehow responsible for these deaths, yet they emphasize that their resistance is against state violence.
The campaign asserts that there is a national public outpouring from citizens and government when police officers are murdered, as well as attempts to put additional laws in place to protect officers. The organizations involved seek the same national outrage and legal protection for black lives.
Yesterday, members of the Black Youth Project 100 in Chicago protested at Homan Square, a known site of extrajudicial procedures where Chicago police routinely violate defendants’ rights to a lawyer and subject them to torture. In New York City and Washington, DC, activists protested at the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and FOP offices, respectively. Some of the actions were specific to particular cities and police departments, such as protests in Detroit on behalf of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a seven year old girl who was killed by police in 2011.
Actions will continue today all over the nation. Those interested in participating can find an action in their city here.
Photo Credits: The Advocate, from @BYP_100 on Twitter