On Friday we wrote about why #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName are critical to the reproductive justice movement, and how we as reproductive health & rights activists must not continue to ignore this struggle.
Over the weekend, thousands of #BlackLivesMatter activists gathered in Cleveland for the historic Movement for Black Lives Convening to talk about the work they have already done, and to plan where this critical movement is going next. At a time when so much good was happening, the ugly reasons for why this movement is so needed kept surfacing. On Friday night a black trans man was kicked out of a club for using the men’s restroom. Putting the beliefs of the #BlackLivesMatter movement into action, the entire crowd walked out to support this member of their community.
Unfortunately the ugliness of the world we live in came up again on Sunday afternoon. Right after the convening concluded, the police attempted to arrest a 14-year old black boy for carrying an open container of alcohol. This boy’s crime? Drinking a Snapple. Some reports at the time of the incident indicated that the boy was thrown to the ground and pepper sprayed. Needless to say this caused great concern given that this happened in the same city where 12-year old Tamir Rice was gunned down by the police only a few months ago. The picture you see above is the crowd surrounding this boy with protection, not allowing the arrest, ensuring that his mother was called and that he received the medical treatment that he needed. That picture is a picture of community–one of looking out for our fellow humans. The picture below is the ugly side of this story, the one where a Cleveland RTA police officer pepper sprayed peaceful protestors who were looking out for this boy.
The actions of the attendees of the Cleveland convening show us what can happen when we all stand up as a community and say, “NO MORE!”
No More Police Violence
No More Transphobia
No More Hate
Luckily for that 14-year old boy there were people there that were brave enough to protect him. What would have happened if they were not there to protect him? These people are my heroes. These people put their own safety on the line. They were peaceful. They stood their ground, and stood in solidarity with their fellow human beings. This is what the #BlackLivesMatter movement is about, and why I am proud to stand as an ally in solidarity with them. Are you?
Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.