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Cleveland Protest for Peace and Justice
#CLEDemands Justice Campaign Reminds The Community That #BlackLivesMatter Too!
By: #CLEDemands Justice Coalition / CDF-NAA Ohio
The reason for this peaceful demonstration is to remind the community that even during this holiday season, we are still fighting for what's right; we are mourning for those innocent lives lost to senseless and unjustified deaths perpetrated by the police. We also wish to show those who seem to think this movement is about an "Us" against "Them" motivation, when our movement is about peace, justice, transparency and accountability. There is no going home for the holidays for Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Eric Garner, or Michael Brown. Sadly, there will be no joy or holiday cheerfulness for the families of these victims.
Every American has the right to join with their fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly, which is critical to the functioning of our democracy. Without losing sight of that ideal, we must also acknowledge that government and police can violate our rights through the criminalization of protests, the use of intimidation, illegal arrests and practices, illegal use of force, and other means intended to stop The People from fully exercising freedom of assembly and expression and feeling safe in their community. Standing up for your right to protest can be daunting at times, especially when demonstrations are met with violence and animosity from our fellow community members, or from the very people and groups which we entrusted with the authority.
In the coming days and weeks you may become aware of counter-movements and protests happening in and around the area. While you may not agree with the actions or position of other fellow citizens or groups, it is important to remember that we all share the same rights – we all share the same concerns around safety, peace, and the protection of our loved ones. We kindly ask that you not engage in the very conduct our movement is denouncing as we continue this struggle together.
Should you be participating in protests or other activities over the holiday season, we hope you will join us in our commitment to act responsibly, learn and know your rights before attending rallies, and continue the struggle with peace, love, and reverence in your minds and hearts. This movement and its action campaigns involve the ugly truths of racism and bias, ignorance, and vileness, misconduct and brutality by law enforcement, and lack of accountability by officials and higher-ups within government. And while Black Lives Do Matter!, so do the lives of every individual.
Continue to stand tall and united. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday.
We'll see you out there!