Black lives matter. We should not have to say it, but clearly, we need to. Join us at the Millions March!
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man, was choked to death in Staten Island, New York, by police officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo did not loosen his chokehold, even after Mr. Garner voiced 11 times, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” Declared a homicide by the medical examiner, this murder took place in broad daylight and was captured on video, yet the Grand Jury still failed to indict the police officer.
This decision came only a week after the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of an unarmed Black teenager, Michael Brown.
The failure to deliver justice to the victims and families of these murders demonstrates what many of us know to be true: the U.S. justice system is broken and devalues Black lives.
The deaths of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown, along with those of so many other Black people, at the hands of police and vigilantes highlight the disproportionate state-sanctioned violence against the Black community. As we grieve for the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, we are urging our Asian and Pacific Islander community members to stand alongside the Black struggle for life and dignity.
APEN is an organization rooted locally in Oakland and Richmond, California. We are an organization of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, immigrants, and refugees. We fight inequality and build the power and leadership of our communities. We take to the streets and to the halls of power to reclaim our neighborhoods, our economy, our air, land, and water from the pollution of corporate control and Big Oil.
In our fight, we know there is no climate justice without racial justice.
We stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters because the fight against anti-black racism and state-sponsored violence against Black people is not their fight alone.
We echo the proclamations of our friends at the Southeast Asian Freedom Network:
“We will not remain calm. We will not believe that property is more valuable than life. We will not turn our heads as Black people are shot every 28 hours by police or vigilantes in this country. We will respect and follow the leadership of those most marginalized on the ground – Black youth, Black queer folk, Black trans folk, Black mothers, and Black sisters. We will be guided by those who have been in the streets for over 100 days using their voices and bodies to demand justice and dignity. It is nolonger enough to watch. We will roll up our sleeves, hit the streets, and do our part to make the world stop.”
Join us on Saturday, December 13th for the Millions March to support the Black community. Asian American activists and organizers will share a solidarity space keeping Black Lives Matter at the center. At 12:30 p.m., we will make posters and practice chants and songs at the Asian American Solidarity Meet-up, located at 654 13th St, Suite 2. Families and children are welcome. At 2 p.m., we will join the Millions March Oakland.