A coalition of young multi-racial activists led by Black organizers in New York has called for a Millions March to take place on Saturday, December 13, gathering in Washington Square Park at 2 PM. The mass rally will take place in Manhattan; tens of thousands have already confirmed their attendance on Facebook.
The organizers hope millions of people will go peacefully into the streets all over the country to disrupt business as usual, express their anger, and demand justice for victims of police violence and institutionalized racism. Lead organizer Synead Nichols: “We want people to shut down their cities for justice. We are continuing where the freedom fighters of the Civil Rights Movement left off. We are a new generation of young multiracial activists willing to take up the torch and we’re not going to stand for this anymore.”
New Yorkers expressed their outrage in protests last week, upon receiving news that the NYPD officer who strangled Eric Garner to death on camera would not be indicted. Thousands protested across the country, determined to show that the lack of accountability for police who kill unarmed Black people will no longer be tolerated.
The recent killings highlighted in the media belong to a pattern of state-sanctioned violence against Black people dating back further than Jim Crow. Anyone who believes in justice, equality, and the value of human life has a responsibility to stand up and say “no” to the senseless killing of Black people and the impunity of police who kill.
The grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer responsible for strangling Eric Garner to death came on the heels of the same outcome for Darren Wilson, who killed Mike Brown in Ferguson. The grand jury decisions lead to a sustained wave of protests; and the organizers of the Millions March want to keep that wave going, taking another step forward with acts of mass civil disobedience. Lead organizer Che Brandes Tuka: “We don’t care if Police Commissioner Bratton thinks our protests will just peter out. We don’t care if it will cost the city business. We won’t stop until we get justice for Mike Brown. We won’t stop until we get justice for Eric Garner. We won’t stop until all Black lives matter!”
Organizers are calling December 13th, 2014, a Day of Anger because it is a time for people to come together as a community to grieve, express pain and outrage, and begin the process of healing. This movement is grounded in principles of love, respect for human life, and a unifying belief that, together, we can transform our future.
The organizers respectfully ask that media be mindful of their peaceful message. Lead organizer Umaara Elliott: “It’s open season on Black people now. Systemic, overt, and covert racism, is claiming American lives at an unacceptable rate. So we demand that action be taken at every level of government to ensure that these racist killings by the police cease.” The organizers stand in solidarity with activists from Ferguson, Mo., and share their desire for an end to all forms of discrimination and police brutality, achieve full employment, decent housing, an end to the School to Prison Pipeline, quality education, freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the Prison Industrial Complex.
As the initiative has gained momentum in the previous week, the unaffiliated organizers who started the Facebook event for Millions March have teamed up with other unaffiliated organizers including: Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter, Mobilizing Our Voices Everywhere (M.O.V.E.), The Rockaway Youth Task Force, Whose Streets Media, D•fī Creative Agency, Hour by Hour, several Black fraternal organizations, individual trade union organizers, ISO, ANSWER and other progressive organizations.