Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has been at the center of a media hailstorm this past weekend. The NFL quarterback decided to take a stand – well, take a seat – against police brutality in America by not standing up for the National Anthem during a preseason football game.
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.
This week’s killings of police officers were horrible. No one deserves to die, that much we all know and believe. Although the first thing people wish to do is find someone to blame for this senseless killing, we must not let our pain get the better of us. Black Lives Matter protestors and people who stand against police brutality are not responsible for the attacks on the police in Dallas.
The NFL Draft had only taken place in New York City for 50 years before relocating to Chicago in 2015. After the events huge success, the city got a chance to repeat it this year and welcomed heaps of tourists and media. With this level of attention, a group of Chicago organizers took the opportunity to speak out against problems in the city’s infrastructure.
The 17 demonstrators, all women according to the Chicago Sun-Times, wrapped themselves in chains and walked across Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s downtown where they stopped traffic on Saturday. They were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic.
Last week, more than 100 Baltimore City school students walked out of classes to protest standardized tests. According to CBS, students have grown frustrated with the PARCC tests that they’re required to take.
The students had previously met with school officials to protest the test, which they feel doesn’t cover anything that they’re taught and is unfair.
Sexual assault on college campuses is a rampant issue across the country. But the way these issues are handled on campus – by school officials, faculty and students, alike – is just as concerning.
After a Howard University student came out on social media and said she was raped by another student, students took to Twitter and scheduled a public protest where they would stand around a dorm and chant “No means No!”
Coalitions of young people from activist organizations like Assata’s Daughters, BYP100, and Black Lives Matter, Chicago have been demonstrating against Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez for years now. Their efforts reached a fever pitch in the weeks following the November 2015 release of footage of the murder of LaQuan McDonald on October 20, 2014. Their concerns were stemming from the facts that it took Alvarez over a year to release the footage after she grossly mishandled the case from its start.
Civilian protesting has a long history in this country. From early European ethnic minorities in the meat factories and steel mills, to Japanese blue-collar workers fighting back against internment, to current actions to preserve and fund Black futures, public demonstrations against oppressive institutions have been a sign of solidarity with minoritized groups around the world for generations. But, then, there are other times where protests are held to marginalize already oppressed groups or to diminish the quality of life for those whose civil rights are often ignored and undermined. These past few weeks, we have seen just that happen with protests by mostly Asian Americans who demand “justice for Peter Liang,” the ex-officer who was convicted of manslaughter for killing a young Black man named Akai Gurley in November 2014.
Twelve protesters were arrested Tuesday (Feb. 16) morning after protests stopped traffic in downtown Chicago. The protest was led by Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) and spoke out against raids targeting undocumented families in the region.
According to ABC7, the group managed to block traffic on Congress Parkway for more than an hour, starting at 8 a.m. They were specifically protesting the Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Office.
Demonstrators sat on top of ladders, linked their arms and chained themselves together as they chanted “Unafraid, unafraid.”
Last week, mainstream news outlets erupted with stories about student protests at the University of Missouri. The University was founded in 1839 but didn’t admit Black students until 1950 when the University was “fully integrated.” Today, the roughly 35,000 students have found themselves at the center of a major push for cultural and administrative change on campus following reports of racism toward Black students on the main, predominantly white Columbia campus. Here are some of th key facts you need to know.