December 13, 2014 marked a pivotal day in the nation as over 50 thousand protestors from all over the country marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nations capital of Washington DC participating in the Justice4All March organized by Reverend Al Sharpton, founder of National Action Network. The protestors marched against police brutality, excessive force and for the safety and rights of black and brown men in communities across the country.
The Capitol is among the most symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met there for more than two centuries and it stands as a monument to the American people and their government. The Capitol is where Congress, as the legislative branch of the federal government, represents the American people and makes the nation’s laws which serve as the voice of the people.
So how ironic for the symbol of justice in American, The Capitol, to stand in the background of this monumental march for justice under construction and under going renovations. A true testament of the state of the justice system today, broken and in need of repairs.
Tens of thousands marched and millions watched across the world as protestors stood shoulder to shoulder both young and old, of all races, religions and ethnic backgrounds with one unified goal – to be heard as one nation in an uproar following the grand juries decisions not to press charges against the police officers in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri and the Eric Garner case in Staten Island, New York. The thousands of protestors were also marching for justice for all the black males and males of color all around the country who have recently lost their lives by the hands of police officers in their own communities.
The protestors chanted “No Justice, No Peace!’ “Hands Up Don’t Shoot!” and “We Can’t Breathe!” as the sea of signs cascaded down Pennsylvania Avenue like a strong wave for justice and then ebbed as the crowd dissipated that evening, but the outrage and fight for justice definitely did not diminish as protesting continued on through the night in cities all over the country.
And we must continue to protest each and everyday until those renovations to our justice system are complete and all human beings are treated equally and fairly in this country regardless of the color of their skin. We must not become weary. The crimes against these black males may not have happened in your community but if it happened in ANY community in America its wrong and it will inevitably affect you one day if we don’t unite together as one and fight for those changes in the policies and laws that govern us.
I paraphrase Brother James Baldwin in a letter he wrote to Angela Davis in 1970:
“We must fight for our rights in American society as it stands today for black people, we must treat Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and all others who have lost their lives as our own lives and render unpassable the symbolic corridor to the death chamber because understand one thing they came for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin in the morning and they will be coming for us tonight!”
If They Come In The Morning – by Angela Davis (and other political prisoners)