We share in the grief and anger over the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis, yet another execution of an unarmed black man. This time it happened in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses and recorded for all to see. It exemplified the institutional racism embedded in police culture and our criminal justice system that enables police officers to commit acts of violence against black and brown people with the expectation that they will not be held accountable. But they must.
Our multi-racial, multicultural Lower East Side community stands in solidarity with protesters who are calling for our elected officials, judicial system and policy makers to confront our nation’s history of white supremacy and structural racism in order to create systemic change so that all of us can live without fear.
After a week of protest that have included provocations by police and property damage by some protesters, let’s not let the conversation be diverted from the root causes of this uprising. We all need to be allies in the call for justice. We need to listen to our black and brown neighbors when they speak of the fear they live with every day. Let us all work for a more just society, for accountability of law enforcement officers who profile and brutalize people of color, as well as peaceful protesters and members of the press, as we have seen in recent days.
The Cooper Square Committee has worked for decades to protect the right of poor and working class people of all races to remain in our changing community. Our community is part of, allied with, and has benefitted from Black communities’ struggles for freedom in this country. We will continue to build solidarity among people of all races, religions, genders, and immigration status to fight for social and economic injustice. We join in affirming that Black Lives Matter!