While folks are pulling out the grill or perhaps donning that classy linen short set for the last time this summer, hundreds of people are making their way from across the country to St. Louis for a weekend of action in the fight to end police brutality and state-sanctioned killing of Black people, and to support the people of Ferguson and the Greater St. Louis community-at-large.
Buses, vans and carpools departed from New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, California, etc, inspired by the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. The weekend's activities include a march on Saturday and community engagement actions coordinated with the Organization for Black Struggle.
From the official press release:
“The BLM Ride will bring together concerned citizens under which Black people can unite to end state sanctioned violence both in Ferguson, but also across the United States of America. In addition, it aims to end the widespread assault on Black life that pervades every stage of law enforcement interactions; be it in custody or in our communities,” notes Darnell L. Moore, ride co-organizer.
On the issue of anti-black state sanctioned violence, co-organizer Patrisse Cullors, states, “While Black people make up a mere 13% of the US population we make up more than a third of those killed in officer involved shootings across the country. We know that anti-black racism in the form of vigilante violence is most often informed by law enforcement violence.”
‘The movement in Ferguson has captured not only the imagination of the nation, but the world. Now is a time that we come together for justice for Mike Brown and for all the Mike Browns across the country,” said Organization for Black Struggle chair Montague Simmons.
As a national call to action, the BLM Ride is unifying Black people under the set of demands organized by the local organizers as well as national demands to change the climate of over-policing that destroys Black lives-literally and figuratively-each day.
To learn more, check out the official #BlackLivesMatter toolkit here.
Jamilah Lemieux is EBONY.com's Senior Editor. Follow her on Twitter for updates from St. Louis this weekend: @jamilahlemieux