Thanks SURJ-a brief speech

This was delivered an Ally event sponsored by Standing Up for Racial Justice, Tucson.  This event was part of the National Call to Action on July 21st, 2016.  This event, Rally and Outreach in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, took place  at 5Pm in front of the Federal Courthouse @ 405 W. Congress–this is the site where the travesty of justice, Operation Streamline, takes place each week in Tucson.  

–liane, (@loquesera) August 2, 2016

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First, I want to say thank you.  Thank you to the organizers for gathering these voices in support of and in solidarity to say very clearly that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Today, in response to a call for Freedom Now:

A freedom from violence

A freedom from oppression

Freedom to be our full selves

A freedom to Love

We hear that call and Tucson Showed Up.

Here in this community we gather to collectively imagine a new and inevitable future where we are all safe and able to not only live but to thrive and say very clearly that Black Lives Matter.

Today, we recognize that the tradition of state sponsored violence against black men and boys extends from a national history that devalues life.  So, our collective advocacy and action is also a continuation of the struggle for self-determination, free from the tyranny of neglect and the cycle of state sponsored violence and willful indifference to the suffering of entire communities.

We, of the YWCA, have been working alongside and from the margins since 1889.  In this time, we have centered women and communities of color in the ongoing struggle to eliminate racism, empower women and the promotion of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.  We further understand that the pain, historical trauma and legacy of violence in our communities is not equally responded to, nor is it acknowledged by the leaders, judges, system or by our own communities at times.

How else is it possible that in the year since Sandra Bland’s death, 800 additional people have died in US Jails?

How else could it be that our carceral system can destroy the lives of 1-in-3 Black men, while simultaneously shattering and fragmenting the lives and well being of Black women and children?

We see that this structural and institutional racism is not discreet, rather it extends to all aspects of our lived experience from our national promise of the pursuit of happiness, to access to healthy food, green spaces for communities to gather and flourish, fertile soil, drinkable water, participation in the democratic process or the interaction with an ever increasingly militarized police presence here and on the border.  We see that the wheels of change must cover a vast and ever-shifting terrain.

So,  we all have work to do to ensure that our sisters and brothers of the black community as well as all of us who believe in freedom, have the ability to thrive.  We must all make daily interventions from asking questions and demanding answers of who in our communities get justice and who do not.

We must acknowledge that social justice is both a process and a goal.  But, that means that there are roles for all of us in developing a future that is equitable, safe and secure for all our community.

So, thank you for showing up here on the steps of Operation Streamline.  Thank you for showing up for each other and for a movement that battles the complex systems of oppression that we all carry to say Black Lives Matter.

Together, and only together, can we uncover truths, right wrongs and collectively build the future that we all deserve.

 

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Filed under Eliminating Racism, Justice

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