PHILADELPHIA–We are unsurprised to see the double standards set by both the media and the Philadelphia Police in how they regard riots over sporting events versus protests against racial injustice. It is nothing new to us that hordes of predominantly white fans setting fires, flipping over cars, and destroying property are viewed as “rowdy” and engaged by police in a non-threatening manner, while crowds of predominantly Black and Brown people blocking traffic or even holding candle light vigils to protest state violence against Black and Brown people are met with scores of hostile police and viewed as “violent.”
We support the direct action by the Black Visions Collective, BLM Minneapolis, BYP 100, and the Movement for Black Lives. Their action highlights how events like the Super Bowl often have unnoticed but intended consequences of endangering communities of color by ramping up policing and funneling militarized equipment into local police departments.
We also lift up the memory of Trayvon Martin, who would have been 23 years old today, were he not murdered for simply daring to be visible in his own neighborhood. His murder and the killings of so many of our Black and Brown siblings have been the catalyst for this new resurgence of resistance in the Movement for Black Lives. Today, we join A Million Hoodies for Justice in encouraging people to share their experiences or expectations of life at 23 with the hashtag #LifeAt23 to honor Trayvon.
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