The St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown serves as a call to action for young Black people across America.
We are forced to contend with a culture of anti-Blackness enforced by government agencies. This anti-Black culture manifests itself in the warehousing of Black people in this nation's prisons. It manifests itself in the closing of public schools. It manifests itself in the killing of Black people who span many identities, including men and boys, women and girls and LGBTQ people nationwide.
Mike Brown will never start college. He will never again get to make his mother laugh or his father proud. Mike Brown's family works to carve solace from this senseless tragedy.
A Black person in America is killed by a police officer or a person protected by the state every 28 hours. We take action in the name of ending anti-Black police-state violence and ask that you join us in nonviolent direct action wherever you are in the world.
On Tuesday, Nov. 25, BYP100's Chicago chapter held a local action and joined a vigil at the Chicago Police Headquarters. (For Chicago actions, contact Camesha Jones, 240-533-2876, firstname.lastname@example.org.) BYP100's Washington, D.C., chapter began a 28-hour occupation of multiple locations throughout the city, starting at 8:28 a.m. at the D.C. Police Department Headquarters. These actions were held in protest of police brutality and a lack of police accountability and transparency. (For D.C. info, contact Devin Barrington-Ward, 202-701-9439 email@example.com.)
On Sunday, Nov. 30, in New Orleans, the NOLA chapter of the BYP100 hosted a solidarity rally addressing the impact of state-sanctioned police violence in the Black community from Ferguson to New Orleans. We gathered at Lee Circle (which we claimed as "Brown Circle") at 12 (noon) the Sunday after the verdict (which reinforces the culture of racism and impunity that U.S. police forces operate under that allowed Wilson to feel like he could kill Mike Brown that day and continues to allow a Black person to be killed by police or state-protected persons every 28 hours!) The rally featured speakers, performances from local art-based activists and follow-up information for local organizing against police brutality. (For New Orleans information, contact Christine "Cfreedom" Brown, 504-595-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
If you are not able to participate in BYP100 actions, there are other ways to advocate:
- Organize a local meeting in your city to develop a citizens' police review board. Review the Agenda to Keep Us Safe (p. 22) for resources on creating a citizens' police review board.
- Organize a nonviolent direct action targeting the city's top government office and demand that the mayor, city council and police chief formally sign on to and support the Agenda to Keep Us Safe.
- Hold a scheduled meeting with newly elected or reelected officials to discuss additional policy to be implemented and work on the Agenda to Keep Us Safe.
Now, almost three years after the killing of Trayvon Martin and almost a year and a half after the not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, we find ourselves again facing an unjust scenario. Join us as we stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, the family of Michael Brown and the many other Black women, men and children who have unjustly died as a result of police brutality.
Learn more about local BYP100 ACTIONS here.
BYP100 was organically formed as 100 Black organizers from across the nation responded to the not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, the killer of unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin.