If at this point you don’t know who George Floyd is, then you’ve been living under a rock.
Black people and their allies have been protesting for their lives in the US for ten days straight now, with other counterparts protesting all over the world.
During the rebellion (which I think is a far more appropriate term than riots), police precincts have been burned down, Targets have been looted, and protesters have been maced, assaulted and even murdered. And now Trump has called in the National Guard, and I’m honestly worried for the protesters’ lives.
Basically, shit is going DOWN.
Riots And Protests Are How We’ve Won Most Of Our Rights
derek chauvin’s charges have been updated to 2nd degree murder & the other 3 cops are going to be charged too. don’t ever tell us protesting doesn’t work. changes are being made, we are making these changes through protests, hashtags, talking about it, petitions & more .
— geo (@ughgeo) June 3, 2020
Anyone who truly believes in the fight for equality and the liberation of Black people would obviously be supportive of these rebellions and the 400 year old fight for justice that has never ceased for Black Americans.
And yet, long before #GeorgeFloyd was another tragic hashtag on Twitter, people have been arguing that protests are useless and don’t achieve anything, and tone-policing activism by condemning the riots.
This obviously, is bullshit.
Crazy how white people can sit through Star Wars and totally understand the point of the rebellion and why the empire is bad but let that shit happen right in front of them and suddenly they act like violent resistance is a foreign concept.
— joshy (@liluziflirt) May 29, 2020
It takes like, one google search to learn that all major liberations have happened on the backs of protesters. I can’t count the times I’ve defended protests with the usual arguments: suffragettes rioted for women’s right to vote, and Pride started as violent riots between the Queer community and cops, lead by a Black trans woman.
The point is, minorities didn’t get their rights by coincidence – every advancement was fought for with sweat and blood. They weren’t handed to us on a silver platter. And most of the time, movements had to get violent in order to get anywhere at all. These riots are an act of rebellion by a subjugated class of people.
For some reason, history and facts are still not enough to convince a lot of people, and so you still hear claims that the riots are unnecessary and won’t achieve anything.
But here’s the thing: George Floyd’s murderers weren’t even fired until AFTER the video of his death went viral. They weren’t arrested until AFTER the rioting started, and they weren’t charged until buildings were burnt down and looted.
Riots And Protests Work, And Derek Chauvin’s Arrest And Charge Is Proof Of That
how do u investigate murders dat were recorded???????
— tooda🧑🏽🎨 (@whoistooda) May 30, 2020
Derek Chauvin, the man who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck, had his charge of third degree murder and manslaughter (basically, accidental killing) upgraded to a second degree murder charge this morning. Do you know why this happened? Because protesters didn’t stop fighting when he was fired, they didn’t stop fighting when he was arrested, and they didn’t stop fighting when he was given a bullshit charge of accidental murder.
So, what can we learn from this information? Riots and protests WORK. The truth of the matter is that if it wasn’t for the country going into mass rebellion, these officers would have gotten away with murdering yet another Black man.
racists love throwing MLK quotes at us like they didn’t murder him
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) May 30, 2020
Protests work, rioting works. In a world that values commercial goods and commodities over human life, looting and destroying products is a deliberately political act of rebellion that works.
Anyone surprised that protests include looting of luxury stores in Soho & elsewhere doesn’t know the 1st thing about racial capitalism & luxury consumption. Racial exploitation is at the root of consumer capitalism built on the commodification of black bodies through slavery (1)
— Arlene Dávila (@arlenedavila1) May 31, 2020
Don’t forget that these police officers wouldn’t have been arrested and charged if people hadn’t kept causing hell. And that the protests are still going strong, because Black Americans want to see a conviction, and they want the other officers convicted too. And the state is scared of them, so maybe they’ll actually win where Australia has lost.
Maybe If Australia Had A Stronger Protest Culture, We Wouldn’t Have Such Horrible Police Brutality Rates Here
There have been at least 400 Aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia since 1991. Over 400 deaths in only 29 years.
The same Australians that are preaching Black Lives Matter, I hope you are doing this next year on invasion day.This is not a moment thing,this is a fight that we must continue to do everyday. Stand in solidarity. Be on the right side of justice & remember, silence is a choice.
— Nessa Turnbull-Roberts (@TurnbullVanessa) June 2, 2020
It’s pretty fucking abysmal that we’ve never charged a police officer for assaulting Aboriginal people, despite the fact that we know this shit happens on the reg. It’s even worse when you realise that we have the highest rate of Indigenous incarceration in the world, at 27%. For perspective, America’s incarceration rate of Black people is 24%.
Maybe if we embodied the same level of rage, anger and public rebellion that Black Americans have, and we weren’t so dismissive of protests here, we would actually have charged an officer for these brutalities. Aussie’s need to wake the fuck up and abandon our shitty ‘she’ll be right’ mentality. Justice won’t be served unless we fight for it.
Image Sources: WCCO CBS Minnesota, Twitter.