We will not be silenced.

ACTIVISTS BLAST NYPD ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE

New York, NY — Activists issued a scathing statement this afternoon in response to recent attempts by the NYPD to silence the efforts of citizens seeking justice for victims of police violence.  The letter, drafted by Ferguson Action, and cosigned by over a dozen grassroots organizations takes aim at PBA president Patrick Lynch and Commissioner Bratton for their reckless attempts to conflate constitutionally protected protest activities with the tragic murders of officers Ramos and Liu:

“The events of this weekend are tragic.

“We renew our condolences to the families and friends of those injured and killed this weekend. As those who stand with the victims of police violence, we know all too well the deep sense of loss that a community feels when they lose a loved one. They are in our thoughts and prayers as we continue our movement for justice.

“This is not a time for political grandstanding and punditry. Unfortunately, we continue to see elected officials and police leadership twist this tragedy into an opportunity for them to silence the cries for justice from families who have lost their loved ones to police violence. Our families matter, too.

“Those exercising their First Amendment rights to secure a justice system that works for ALL are being thrown under the bus by police departments and their union leaders who want to skirt their responsibility to our communities.

“This weekend, Patrick Lynch used his role as the President of the largest police union in New York to essentially declare war on Black communities. This is unacceptable and should be condemned. Under his leadership, the police union has resisted nearly every positive criminal justice reform— including the end of discriminatory stop and frisk practices, protecting the Miranda rights of those arrested, and inviting community input in the creation of policies that govern the police.

“Commissioner Bratton must also immediately end his shameful attempts to use the deaths of these officers to attack democracy by advancing unfounded claims to connect this tragedy to protests. A troubled young man who began his day by attempting to kill his ex-partner, shot two officers and then killed himself has nothing to do with a broad non-violent movement for change. The NYPD is conveniently ignoring the facts surrounding this tragedy in order to score cheap political points.

“Commissioner Bratton and Patrick Lynch must immediately apologize to New Yorkers who desperately want change in the city. Mayor DeBlasio and other elected officials should condemn these opportunistic distractions that attempt to avoid meaningful reform.

“A concerted attempt to defame the millions who have acted on behalf of those lost to police violence proves that the NYPD leadership has no intention of creating any trust between this department and the communities they purport to serve.

“Our communities are in crisis. We’ve responded by meeting in our homes, offices, and schools— and walking out of them, with our hands up. Thousands of others have organized small actions that when woven together have tremendous impact. The problem isn’t the diverse voices that participate in dissent, a cornerstone of our democracy.

“The problem is a discriminatory pattern of police violence that continues unabated and that police brass don’t care to stop it.

“This movement was sparked by the grief that millions across the country have felt. Joining Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice are the thousands of lives lost in the last decade to police shootings. We are in the streets because we are fighting for the right to live our lives fully and with dignity, without the threat of unconstitutional police violence and repression.

“Our work continues and we invite those who stand on the side of justice to join us.”

Ferguson Action

Black Lives Matter

Brooklyn Movement Center

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

ColorofChange.org

Hands Up United

National Domestic Workers Alliance

Dignity & Power Now

Dream Defenders

Organization for Black Struggle

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

Concerned Citizens for Justice

PICO Network

Southerners on New Ground

TransAfrica

Project South

Audre Lorde Project

Hello Racism

Youth United for Change

Baltimore Algebra Project

Read original statement on FergusonAction.com.

 

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February 12, 2019

FFJ Advisor Discussion Series: Marisa Franco

Marisa Franco, FFJ Field Advisor and Director and Co-founder of of Mijente, a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building, speaks on the current political moment and how funders can contribute to movement work.

Tell us about the particular moment you are in with your work and place in the movement.

Entering into our fourth year, we are doing our best to be a vehicle to both respond to the real-time challenges our communities face and a place to find respite, connection, and replenished meaning. Given what the Latinx and Chicanx community faces, we’ve got to walk and chew gum at the same time (and hop on one leg, juggle, and balance something on our head!) but we believe that through the continued growth where organizers, healers, change-makers, designers, and disrupters feel Mijente is a place to meaningfully contribute to collective liberation means we are going in the right direction. It is my view that our most critical task at this time is growth and recruitment - millions of people are becoming exposed to the injustice and summarily wrong direction we are heading in - our organizations must be open and accessible entry points for people to contribute to moving us in the right direction.

How do you understand the political moment that we’re in? What do you think we need to do differently right now?

Ultimately I think that lots of what we reference as threats that are coming are largely here - crisis as a result of climate change is here, it’s being felt across the planet. The extreme backlash and attempt to re-entrench power due to demographic change is here, occurring in localities across the United States. Authoritarianism is a growing threat beyond Donald Trump and within the domestic United States. Given all of this, at the very least I think it’s critical we start to widen our panorama of political understanding to include outside of the United States and make the connections internationally. Rest assured, our adversaries are in coordination - we ignore our movement siblings and the struggle outside of the United States to our own detriment.

What should funders be understanding in this political moment? What should funders be doing to support organizations and movements?

What’s important to understand in this political moment is how the volatility impacts the plans, perspective, and morale of people in organizations and social movements. It has become more and more difficult to lay out plans that feel real given how normal it's become for so much to turn upside down pretty regularly. Some understanding and support of this from funders, particularly when it means proposed work is not carried out in the way it was initially described, is very helpful.

Continued support for rapid response tactics is critical, as well as funds that help convene key groups and/or leaders in this time goes a long way. In times like these, those that are able to adapt and move quickly are well positioned to make impactful changes. These folks have got to be able to do so with enough support and not too many hurdles, hoops, and paper to be able to move. So some of these existing practices around simplifying processes, making funds available for rapid response activities, and pop up convenings is something that has been helpful thus far and is important to continue.

December 10, 2018

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