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Protests For Racial Justice: Community Organizers Share Stories From The Ground

Demonstrators raise their fists in a sign of solidarity while protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while while being arrested and pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, at the  Colorado State Capital in Denver, Colorado on June 3, 2020. (Jason Connolly/AFP)
Demonstrators raise their fists in a sign of solidarity while protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while while being arrested and pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, at the Colorado State Capital in Denver, Colorado on June 3, 2020. (Jason Connolly/AFP)

Protests over racism and police brutality continue to grip the country. We hear the stories of organizers on the ground.

Guests

Kwame Rose, social activist, artist and organizer in Baltimore. ( @kwamerose)

Tay Anderson, community organizer in Denver. Member of the Denver School Board. ( @TayAndersonCO)

Ianne Fields Stewart, actress and founder of The Okra Project, a grassroots organization that provides meals and resources to black trans people. ( @FreeActorvist)

Oluchi Omeoga, co-founder of Black Visions Collective, a black, queer and trans led organization fighting for the rights, resources and dignity of black people in Minnesota. ( @BlackVisionsMN)

Jack Beatty, On Point’s news analyst. ( @JackBeattyNPR)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: “ Colorado’s youngest black elected official is now the face of Denver’s protests” — “Tay Anderson stood on North Broadway in the heart of downtown Denver, hundreds of protesters milling around him. SWAT officers pulled up, got out of their cars, gripping paintball and tear-gas guns, and tried to herd the crowd back onto the sidewalk.”

Baltimore Sun: “ Five years after Freddie Gray, Kwame Rose among those who helped quell protest violence in Baltimore” — “The entire day of protest in Baltimore had been peaceful. As other cities burned every night, thousands in a city everyone expected to blow up again were rallying against police brutality and racism in expressions that were often deeply painful but measured, sometimes even joyous. Organizers wanted to keep it that way.”

CityLab: “ Why Baltimore’s Protests Are So Peaceful” — “On Monday in Baltimore, Brandon Scott witnessed something that amazed him: members of the Baltimore Police Department taking a symbolic knee in sympathy with a cheering crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators in front of City Hall.”

Vox: Decades of tensions between Minneapolis police and Black communities have led to this moment” — “Before there was George Floyd, there was Philando Castile, shot by a police officer while being pulled over during a traffic stop. There was Jamar Clark, shot by police who responded to a paramedic call. Christopher Burns was strangled when two officers used a chokehold, and David Smith was restrained by police officers before he died of asphyxiation. These were all Black people killed by police officers in or near Minneapolis.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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