Janelle Monae, Jidenna and crew from Wondaland showed up to support Stop Mass Incarceration and Stolen Lives today at Times Square today in support of the Ferguson uprisings 1 year after the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson 1 year ago.
Carl Dix of StopMassIncarceration.net just returned from a weekend in St Louis, MO. with the other creator of Stop Mass Inc, Dr Cornel West, who was among 40 people arrested while singing Black Live Matter anthem, “I Can’t Breathe”. Demonstrators linked arms and sat down in front of a line of police officers on the steps of the courthouse on Monday. Jamel Mims & Carl Dix vid The Press Conference began with the Stop Mass Inc. members Jamel Mims reminding the crowd of the amount of work still ahead. “Which Side are you On”, is a familiar question being asked of the public. Jamel mentioned the arrests of those in Ferguson and the additional killings that have occurred despite the people rising up. That was the first point of the “orientation” Jamel went through, the second point, “We have to work together to end this”, he said.
Carl Dix of SMIN, who’s a familiar voice in support at Stop Police Brutality demonstrations, spoke next. Carl reminded the crowd about #RiseUpOctober this October 22-24tth, to stand up against “Police murdering people and the whole dam system letting them get away with it”. “Which Side Are You On? There is no Neutrality”. Carl discussed the tendency of people to say they see the point of both sides is like saying I see the point of the slaves rising up to get free and the point of the slave masters trying to keep them in slave chains.
Carl Dix also mentioned Thursday August 27th with himself and Dr Cornel West, “What we must do to stop Police Terror and Murder. It will take Revolution nothing less to end, once and for all, all the horrors”. NICHOLAS HEYWARD Sr. Still Waiting for Justice
Nicholas Heyward Sr, a regular speaker who lost his son to a Police bullet back in 1994 while playing with Obvious toy guns in the Whyckoff houses in Brooklyn. Mr Heyward spoke out about the lack of justice over the senseless killing of his 12 year old boy over a toy gun that looked Nothing like a real gun. It was a bright orange colored toy that is impossible to confuse for a real gun. “Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes had a press conf when he was closing the case and put on the table a bunch of realistic toy guns instead of the colorful toy guns the children were playing with”. Mr. Heyward continued, “My son dropped the toy gun and said, ‘We’re only playing, we’re only playing’, and the officer shot him anyway. Why do we constantly have to be out here day after day, year after year?”
The “Team”, Juantita Young, another regular member of Stolen Lives, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, murdered by NYPD in 2000 and, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Andre Smith, mother of Justin Smith killed by Police in 1998. “Tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of the murder of my son”, Andre shared. “It’s so important that all of you come out October 22nd and 24th. If no one comes out to support this nothing will change. I have God on my side and they will answer for this before I leave this earth”.
Juanita Young spoke about her sons case and how the cop who shot him said he thought he was going for his tazer and not a gun. She spoke about the killing os the other’s pictured on the Stop Police Killing Poster and how some were killed in their own homes. “What good is an apology when you took someone’s life?”
Video footage can be seen on my youtube channel; APRIL WATTERS Andre Smith & Juanita Young
Next up was ARTISTS FOR JUSTICE who put on performance art and acted out ‘I Can’t Breathe” and 3 of the members including Jamel Mims, performed the last scene of Eric Garner while one member narrated the facts; “Eric Garner was a father of 6, a Staten Island man who was known as the neighborhood peacemaker, he’d just broken up a fight”, while the other 2 performers acted out the interaction between Eric Garner and Daniel Pantaleo.
“I CAN’T BREATHE” After performing out the scene of Eric Garner’s last words the crowd did a “Die In”.
“Aunt Shirley” from the “forgotten borough of Staten Island” spoke about her experience with her boys and NYPD. Then, she went on to speak about Eric Garner being cavity searched in the street. Shirley went on to explain to the people what a cavity search is to give them a full description. “They pull your pants down and stick their finger up your ass, In the Street!” Then Deblasio, “What does he do? He brings back Bratton”. Then, Shirley told the crowd the only one arrested after the murder of Eric Garner was Ramsey Orta, “not once, not twice, but, three times”. While The cop who murdered Eric Garner kept his job and has protection. THEY STICK THEIR FINGERS UP YOUR ASS!
Jamel Mims then introduced WONDALAND with Janelle Monae, Jidenna and the rest of the members. Jidenna began, “We’re here in in solidarity with you, you all are the people on the front lines. We honor each and every one of you but, we’re all here because of them”, pointing to the large poster of those killed by Police. The list is long. There are names we don’t even know that don’t even make the press”. Jidenna spoke briefly about the history of slavery and abuse saying it’s gone on for too long.
Janelle Monae spoke about a song they wrote. “While you’re on the front lines, we want to empower you. Silence is deadly, Silence is the enemy. Our Voices are the weapon, sound is the weapon.” Then went into the song, “HELL YOU TALKN BOUT”. Instead of talking about celebrities or what food your going to eat, “This is what needs to be talked about. It’s up to us to tell their stories”.
“This song carries the unbearable anguish of millions”, said one member of Wondaland.
Wondaland then, began clapping a rhythmic beat while calling out the names of those murdered by Police; “Freddie Gray, Say his name, Aiyana Jones, say her name, Sandra Bland, Say her name, Hell you talkn bout”. Then , the crowd began marching the couple of blocks to the NYPD office of Times Square where they did the performance again and enacted another Die In.
Hell You TALMBOUT. audio link. HELL YOU TALMBOUT