“No justice, no peace.” That’s how the saying goes. But this Friday, people across the country are remixing the slogan to scream “No justice, no profit” to peacefully protest the devastating decision of a Missouri grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown this past August.
Blackout for Human Rights is asking people across the country to #BlackOutBlackFriday and take part in a nationwide day of action and boycott retailers on Black Friday. Noteworthy members of the collective include actor Jesse Williams and directors Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Ava DuVernay (Selma.)
From the organization's mission statement:
Blackout for Human Rights (Blackout) is a network of concerned citizens who commit their energy and resources to immediately address the staggering level of human rights violations against fellow Americans throughout the United States. We have witnessed enough. We mourn the loss of men like Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, John Crawford and Michael Brown, who met their deaths at the hands of police officers. We mourn the loss of life and the absence of justice for Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and Jordan Davis, killed by private citizens, in a climate where police action demonstrates this as acceptable. An affront to any citizen’s human rights threatens the liberty of all. So, we participate in one of the most time honored American traditions: dissent.
As Black Friday is the country's biggest shopping day of the year, participants are hoping to send a strong message to retailers, legislators and fellow citizens alike: Black lives matter…and so long as they aren't afforded equal protection under the law, there will be no 'business as usual' for anyone.
Just days before Brown was killed in Ferguson, Eric Garner was placed in an illegal chokehold by several NYPD officers, Garner ultimately died from a heart attack as police held him down while he screaming “I can’t breathe.” His daughter, Emerald appears in a powerful video for the #BlackoutBlackFriday campaign, describing her first holiday season without her dad:
“I can’t tell him what I want to tell him. I can’t speak to him. I can’t let him know that I love him anymore. I can’t call him.”
For more information, visit the Blackout for Human Rights website.