White supremacy took our loved ones, but we are fighting back

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akainewhaven1.jpgHertencia Petersen, aunt of Akai Gurley
Marion Gray-Hopkins, mother of Gary Hopkins Jr.
zaquanna_albert.jpgZaqunna Albert with Delrawn Smalls
Jacqueline Minifield-Brown, mother of D’londre Minifield
Toni Taylor, mother of Cary Ball
Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr.
Ang Hicks, aunt of Shantel Davis 

We are writing today on behalf of many families who have lost loved ones to police violence, and are asking for our collective support to get them to the People’s Congress of Resistance.

In the last 10 days, we have witnessed an enormous outpouring of anti-racist protesters across the country standing in solidarity with Charlottesville, Virginia, and standing up to the white supremacists. Donald Trump’s refusal to outrightly condemn their murderous violence, and his defense of the Confederate monuments, has only strengthened the resolve of millions to build a powerful people’s movement against racism and fascism in the streets.

The People’s Congress of Resistance will bring together anti-racist organizers nationwide, from Black Lives Matter chapters to campus activists to families directly impacted by police terror. We need your help to get them there.

We already know the grim statistics. Every 28 hours a Black person is killed by a police officer, security guard or vigilante. Since 2005 there have been roughly 12,000 police murders, but less than 30 convictions of officers. That these murders are disproportionately of Black young people, many unarmed, is also a fact that permeates the consciousness and minds of every Black parent.

Reporters, activists, and community leaders often point to the resilience of these families in the face of such tragedies. After the cameras leave and the lights fade, it’s this resilience that continues the light the path to justice for thousands taking from us unjustly by police violence.

The energy that sustains the rallies, marches, testimony, vigils, discussions and other forms of resistance to police harassment, brutality and murder is driven by the steadfastness of those who have felt the loss of their loved ones the closest. That’s why the People’s Congress of Resistance spoke to many of us so strongly. It is a gathering of the grassroots resisters, a gathering of those doing the day-in and day-out organizing, often unheralded, many times in the most oppressed communities. That is the work we do too.

Fighting white supremacy means more than rejecting the explicit racists of the “alt-right” and the symbols of the Confederacy. It means showing solidarity with Black, Native and Latino freedom movements in their current battles against institutionalized discrimination and violence.

The police allowed the terrorists to roam free in this violent attack in Charlottesville. Instead, they are arresting and targeting those that have stood against them. The corporate-owned media has given the fascist and white supremacist movement a platform to project their ideas.  Now more than ever, we need to give “a voice and vision” to the revolution we need, as stated in the People’s Congress of Resistance manifesto.

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles and aunts of those brutalized and killed by police violence are ready to come to Howard University this September 16-17. They are ready to add their voices to the hundreds of others looking to create a real people's-led resistance.

Traveling to Washington, D.C., from around the country and staying two days has its costs. With your help we can defray those costs and bring the families' voices to the People's Congress of Resistance. We’ve already received a matching donation of up to $2,000! So if you donate now your contribution will go twice as far.

Together, we’ve stood up against the most powerful forces of the state countless times; now help us to bring these families to stand with other grassroots organizers as we build the resistance. Please donate now to help the families of the victims of police violence be present in the largest possible numbers, from the widest range of places, at the People’s Congress of Resistance this September.

In solidarity,

Kerbie Joseph
NYC organizer against police brutality

Eugene Puryear
Stop Police Terror Project in Washington, D.C.; Movement for Black Lives D.C Steering Committee

  on behalf of the People's Congress of Resistance and

Marion Gray-Hopkins, mother of Gary Hopkins Jr.
Hertencia Petersen, aunt of Akai Gurley
Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr.
Zaquanna Albert, girlfriend of Delrawn Smalls
Ang Hicks, aunt of Shantel Davis
Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis
Family of Cesar Cruz
Toni Taylor, mother of Cary Ball
Jacqueline Minifield-Brown, mother of D’londre Minifield

Did you miss the recent promo video for the People’s Congress? Check it out here.

Follow this link to register and find housing options here.