NEW YORK: From 92-year-old Pearlie Golden, killed in Atlanta, to seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, killed in Detroit, Michigan, police violence has impacted and continues to impact the lives of black women and girls, as well as queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people. It is time, says AF3IRM NYC and the Sister Circle Collective, to pay attention.
Under the hashtag #feministsonthemove, the two organizations are inviting women, queer, trans, and genderqueer folk, as well as allies, to help create a strong woman’s contingent for the 13th December Million People March against police brutality. Participants are asked to gather at Washington Square North/5th Avenue at 1 pm. We are asking anyone who would like to join to wear purple as a sign of unity in this struggle.
“The message is simple: state violence directly affects black women and girls, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people. The violence against black women and girls, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people, has been persistent and ranges from physical mauling to sexual assault. It is time to acknowledge this and add it to our understanding of state violence and police brutality,” said Olivia Canlas of AF3IRM NYC.
“We cannot change what we do not name. The violence against black women and girls, including queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people, has been with us for as long as such violence was inflicted upon black men. It is as significant an aspect of state violence and police brutality,” said Lanai Daniels of Sister Circle Collective.
Police brutality against black women, girls , queer, trans and gender nonconforming people occurs in practically all states of the United States. Yvette Smith, 47, was killed in Texas; Nizah Moore, 34, was killed in Philadelphia; Miriam Carey, 34, was killed in Washington, DC; Rekia Boyd, 22, was killed in Chicago; Kayla Moore, 42, was killed in Berkeley, California; Tarika Wilson, 26, was killed in Ohio; Alberta Spruill, 57, was killed in New York as was Shereese Frances, 30. We seek to call their names on the streets and the names of many others who have been murdered by law enforcement.
The intent in calling attention to the constant police violence against black women, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people is to be inclusive, not divisive. It is to acknowledge the black women leadership of this movement, the anti-black racism prevalent in many communities of color and to show solidarity across racial and ethnic lines and the intersections we hold as women, girls, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people. Importantly, it is to recognize that minority communities, especially the Black community, is systematically targeted as a whole, but that there are special actions directed against black women and girls, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people in particular.
One such case involved Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma police officer, who has been charged with sexually assaulting seven African-American women. He is also accused of burglary and felonious stalking. He is currently out on bail.
“When we say #blacklivesmatter, that includes black women’s lives, black girls’ lives and the lives of black queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people. State violence, as manifested by police brutality, is not piecemeal,” said Veronica Agard of Sister Circle Collective.
The women’s contingent is both an expression of active participation in the opposition to the murder of black men and a statement of protest against state violence inflicted upon black women, girls, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people.
www.af3irm.org; [email protected]
CALL TO ACTION – VIDEO MESSAGES