December 11, 2014
CBE statement regarding police violence
Communities for a Better Environment joins the millions of people mourning the senseless violent killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. We mourn for Andy Lopez, Tamir Rice, and Ayina Jones, three children who fell victim to police violence. We mourn for Rekia Byod, Yvette Smith, and the countless women of color who have been killed by police but whose deaths are often not recognized as symptoms of the same racism that kills people of color. These men, women and children are now added to the impossibly long list of human beings whose breath has been stolen by actions of police who, more often than not, have gone unpunished.
The nature of these killings and the subsequent lack of justice represent a long history of total disregard for the lives of people of color in this country. Black people have been lynched, tortured, and killed by police for centuries; migrants from Mexico, Central and South America have been murdered by border patrol along the Mexico U.S border for decades; and Native Americans continue to suffer the consequences of government-sanctioned genocide.
We believe that the justice system is broken and unable to deliver justice for people of color. We support many proposed changes to help in the short term, but until we attack, head on, the root cause — institutionalized racism — communities of color will not have access to justice. This failure of justice applies as much to cops killing black men and women as it does to corporate polluters killing children and elders.
We stand in solidarity with our members in Southeast Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Wilmington, Richmond, Oakland and communities of color across the U.S as they demand justice for the lost lives as a result of poor air quality, exposure to toxins, lack of economic opportunity and the militarization of their communities.
Everyone has the right to a safe and healthy community. This is the fight for freedom to breathe.
Power to the People,
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