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All lives cannot matter until Black Lives Matter

Tribuno Del Pueblo  |  Issue: July 2020
El Machete Cartoon

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Despite the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, people around the country have mobilized to protest the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. What started off as peaceful protests escalated to uprisings around the nation and international protests.

George Floyd’s death is not an isolated event but rather it is another tragedy as a result of white supremacy embedded into the United States.

People are not only mourning his death, but they are also enraged over the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless other victims of police brutality.

People across the country have seen peaceful protesters march but they have also seen cop cars burning and looting. Corporate media have villainized protesters and instead have shown videos and pictures of cops kneeling down in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

This performative “act of solidarity” is nothing but propaganda. In several cities, those same officers would minutes later beat and gas protesters. The use of tear gas was declared a war crime in the Geneva Protocol of 1925, yet the United States has used it on its own citizens.

Rubber bullets might also sound like they are less harmful, but they have seriously injured protesters. Officers were also seen placing their knees on the necks of protesters despite the fact that the same method killed George Floyd.

This is not a matter of a few bad cops but rather a whole system designed to detain and punish. The police originated as slave patrols and have been called to protect property more than the people.

The violence that has occurred throughout the nation is not just something police departments are involved with. Customs and Border Patrol got involved in Minneapolis when they flew a Predator B drone around the city. The National Guard was also activated in several states.

Mayors have turned their backs on people by not only allowing all of this to happen to peaceful protesters but also by imposing curfews and shutting off public transportation. This is state violence.

During a global pandemic, the government has abandoned the people. While we are told there is not enough personal protective equipment for medical workers, there seems to be enough to arm thousands of police officers in expensive riot gear.

With unemployment at an alarming rate, public officials have done little to nothing to make sure the people have enough food to eat, secure housing, and healthcare. Although schools are underfunded, there seems to be enough money for the police force. George Floyd’s death was not an isolated incident.

The rage felt across the country has been building up as a result of hundreds of years of systemic racism, economic oppression, and exploitation. It is time that we demand the police to be abolished and to push for funding to be allocated to community resources like education, healthcare, housing, etc.

All lives cannot matter until Black Lives Matter.


young women at BLM protest

Teens organize BLM protests
by Alex
Meet Jade Fuller, Emma Rose Smith, Kennedy Green, Nya Collins, Mikayla Smith, and Zee Thomas (as seen left to right in the photo). These young women, aged 14 through 16, organized a recent Nashville protest that drew at least 10,000 people.
“Although it can be hard to see that teens can do something, we just showed you yesterday that teens can do something,” Fuller said.
“It’s very important that we had this protest so like us as a next generation could use our voices to tell people that we are going to make a change,” Thomas said.
“I’m happy that people are starting to open their eyes and realize that there is a problem with the system,” Green said. “That the system is built for the oppression of minorities, and I’m proud to see that many people want justice.”
“You need to join, you need to speak out against it, even if you feel uncomfortable, because this is how we make change, and it’s not going to come alone,” Emma Rose Smith said.
This group says this isn’t the last you’ll hear from them, as they plan to hold more peaceful protests and demonstrations in the future. You can keep up with their group, called Teens For Equality, by following their Instagram page: @teens.4.equality
PHOTO: Kathleen Serie

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