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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

Presente.org Statement on Police Violence and Black Solidarity


July 12, 2016

Matt Nelson, Executive Director, Presente.org:

"We are enduring the aftermath of yet another high profile, horrifically vivid period of violence and murder caused by police brutality. We are hurting, we are mourning, and we are organizing.

"What's becoming clear is that the culture of violent policing, focused heavily on Black Americans, goes far beyond civil rights abuses. Law enforcement, with the support of leaders in government and the private sector, are conducting massive-scale human rights violations, including murder. This affects all of us. Police violence has become a nationwide human rights crisis.

"The police in many of our communities are an occupying force, working to contain, control and coerce our loved-ones, not to serve and protect us. Indeed, killer cops must be fired, arrested and prosecuted, but we cannot stop there. For us to truly address this human rights crisis and for things to change, the voices and power of everyday people will need to outmatch and control the political power and resources of law enforcement. Greater community control over police, including their budgets, funding, policies, and practices is also what's needed.

"We will, but we should not have to, take to the streets every time someone is killed by police. We need to change the structure and culture that results in police violence and abuse against our people; and we need to demand systemic shifts in policing that will change violent patterns and prevent future injustices.

"Presente.org, as a national Latinx civil and human rights organization, will show up in solidarity with the growing Movement 4 Black Lives and Black Lives Matter. The growing presence, resistance, and movement building gives us hope. But we need more than hope — we need to be sure that the tragedies stop.

"We will not be spectators or stay on the sidelines, as police inhumanely kill Latinx people at an alarming rate as well. Stopping the aggression and hatred directed against Latinx communities remains a top priority for our work. For many Latinxs, the deep scars of colonialism heighten our contradictions with white supremacy and anti-Blackness, often pushing us to make invisible or marginalize our own Afro-Latinx communities.

"As we call for a massive culture shift in policing, we commit to resisting and weakening white supremacy and anti-Black prejudice within police departments and our own communities, while elevating and amplifying Black lives and dignity within the Latinx diaspora."

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Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture.