We are both deeply saddened and enraged by persistent police violence towards communities of color. Knowing that a disproportionate percent of victims of police violence are men of color with disabilities, we believe it is our duty to stand in solidarity with the black community, and other marginalized communities, and to take action—through peaceful protest, policy change, and community care—to stop these killings and to invest our tax dollars into building up our communities, rather than terrorizing them.
On the note of peaceful protest, we’d like to invite you to Black Disabled Lives Matter, a protest and march being planned by local disability justice activists to lift up the experiences of people facing discrimination, harassment and violence due to their race and their disability.
Protest & (half mile) March
Monday, June 15th
@ The Spirit of Detroit Plaza (Woodward & Jefferson)
Wear a Mask. Prepare to socially distance (like for real).
We deliberated a lot before deciding to plan this event together. Many of us- most of us, in fact- despite very much wanting to participate in protests over the last 2 weeks have been staying home because of COVID. We know that members of our community are at greater risk. We also know that when we all take responsibility for safety by socially distancing, wearing masks and staying home, we are contributing to community safety and therefore helping mitigate risk for those who are immunocompromised. As a disability organization, we take these responsibilities very seriously.
Ultimately, the violence enacted on black and brown members of our community called us and partners, like Warriors on Wheels and Collective 4 Disability Justice, to move forward with a plan to publicly, collectively, and in-person register our grief and rage. We understand that not everyone will agree with this decision and we respect those who decide to stay home. For those of you who do decide to join us Monday afternoon, please know that we are working hard to create a safe and accessible event.
Most events like this are not accessible and most have not been socially distant. We ask all of you to commit to taking precautions, including wearing a mask, socially distancing at the event, and staying home (and watching the livestream!) if you are sick or have been around someone who is sick. We will have ASL interpreters at the event, as well as designated wheelchair parking. Additional accommodations can be requested by emailing us directly.
We shouldn’t have to leave our homes to protest during a pandemic, but the crisis of systemic racism and resultant police brutality is too dire to ignore any longer. Millions are taking to the streets. We will be among them.
Let’s take this from rebellion to revolution.
In love & power,
Teddy, Jeffrey & Dessa