Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A convergence begins on the roots of injustice

Parallels between the situation in Ferguson, where Mike Brown, an unarmed black man, was gunned down by an increasingly militarized police and the violence occurring in Gaza are being drawn on the protest line. This is not because the issues are blurring or the focus is shifting but because protesters are beginning to contest the root causes of such oppression:

The militarized police state and racist oppression.

I saw more evidence of this as I stood with hotel workers as they picketed the Providence Hilton and Providence Renaissance hotels for fair wages and decent treatment. As a small group of Providence Police Officers gathered nearby to watch the demonstrators in case of "trouble" one of the protesters raised his hands and said, "Hands up, don't shoot!," a direct reference to the Mike Brown shooting.

(To be fair, the Providence Police, in my experience, have been very decent in their treatment of protesters, though of course I am a white male reporter with a camera, so my experiences may well reflect my privilege.)

What this convergence points towards, I think, is a new appreciation among the marginalized, that is, people of color, workers, women and others, that the root cause of too many social, economic and environmental justice issues is the corporatized, militarized police state. There is also a growing, optimistic realization that it may not be too late to do something about it all.

These pictures are from the weekly peace rally held near Burnside Park in Providence every Friday afternoon at 4pm. (Specifically August 27, 2014) "It is," said a flyer handed out at the event, "time to take a good hard look at how deeply racism informs policies (both Israeli and in the U.S.)"

The flyer also called for an end to the militarization of the police and an end to racial profiling.

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