FOSTER CITY, Calif.,–Today, over 100 Stanford University students and community members have shut down the San Mateo-Hayward bridge in response to Ferguson/St. Louis organizers’ call for intense, sustained, direct action. We will hold the bridge for 28 minutes, 28 minutes because every 28 hours a Black person is killed by a police officer or vigilante. We align ourselves with the Ferguson Action demands (http://fergusonaction.com/demands/), including the demilitarization of local law enforcement and the repurposing of law enforcement funds to support community-based alternatives to incarceration. This is in defense of ALL black lives. We stand with Black men and women. We act when Black Queer and Trans lives are threatened. We defend the rights of our Black family when we are poor, disabled and incarcerated. In honor of Martin Luther King’s legacy, we will place ourselves and our bodies in direct opposition to the racist, oppressive system that has exploited, destroyed, and profited off Black and Brown lives from the moment of this country’s inception. In commemoration of his legacy, we will continue his fight, and reclaim this day.
Dr. King’s legacy has been manipulated, manipulated to make us forget that systemic racism is alive and well. We will not forget. It’s been doctored to make us forget that the constant assault and harassment of Black bodies is intentional. We will not forget. When you took him from us, he was working to expose the international nature of oppression. In your softened renderings of him, his reminders about the interconnectedness of various struggles is often forgotten. We will not forget. From Ferguson, to Palestine, to Mexico, the state violence and racism that our state enacts and supports against Black people within our borders and marginalized communities domestically and around the world can no longer be tolerated. We reclaim King’s memory, because we know that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We know that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” We cannot sit idly by.
Today, we act in solidarity with the people of Ferguson. We will disrupt your afternoon commute, as King disrupted the peace for those privileged enough to live unscathed by the status quo, because the daily loss of Black life to police and state violence can no longer be tolerated. We will inconvenience you, because normalcy is deadly to the Black and Brown people of this nation. Because silence is deadly to the people of Mexico, and the people of Palestine. Here in the heart of Silicon Valley we cannot sit in our comfort and acquiesce to this system. Black lives matter. They mattered when Dr. King was among us, and they matter now. The fight for the dignity of Black life is as necessary today as it has always been. And from Ferguson to Silicon Valley, it is a battle we must continue to fight.
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice”–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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