Podcast: In Cleveland, Organizers Gather to Strengthen & Grow Movement for Black Lives
Following months of numerous actions across the United States, a gathering was held by the Movement for Black Lives from July 24-26 in Cleveland. The goal was to bring black organizers together to create a “collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment.” It was also geared toward reflection on the history of struggle and healing from the many traumas, which black Americans have endured.
Waltrina Middleton, a member of the host committee for the gathering and an organizer/co-founder of Cleveland Action, appeared on this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” to highlight the critical importance of this event.
“It is important for us to communally strategize for ways that would be best for us to respond to racialized violence that we have been subjected to as a people,” Middleton declares.
She speaks about the setting of the gathering and recalled how two unarmed black people, Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams, were shot by Cleveland police 137 times, Tanisha Anderson, who was killed by Cleveland police after her family called to get her help, and John Crawford, who was killed by police while he was in a Walmart.
“There are other issues that bring us to Cleveland,” Middleton adds. “Violence against women, in particular black women, violence against LGBTQ community, particularly black trans women community, socioeconomic disparities and going into East Cleveland and seeing buildings or houses boarded up and the infrastructure that does not allow for paved roads and sidewalks going uncleared so people in the winter time are pushing wheelchairs and baby carriages in the middle of the street.”
Middleton explained there is a lack of concern for the quality of education and healthcare, basic needs which any person would want to be able to access.
During the discussion part of the show, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight DHS surveillance of Black Lives Matter protests, the firing of a man from a Chicago police review agency for refusing to change his findings against police, and UK’s PREVENT program and anti-Muslim racism. The show’s hosts also talk a little more about the Movement for Black Lives gathering, including the role of white “allies” or white anti-racism activists in movement building.
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