July has brought a wave of outrage and mourning over the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police, following many others local and national Anthony Hill, Kevin Davis, Nick Thomas, Alexia Christian, to name a few, and many who remain unknown to the public as well as sorrow for the killing of five policemen by a lone gunman in Dallas. “We want to end a race war, not start one,” read one protester’s sign.
Five days of unrelentingly energetic and massive rallies and marches (from 1,000 to 10,000 participants) in public spaces including Centennial Park, Lenox Square (at right) and the governor’s mansion, as well as street blockages, resulted in Mayor Kasim Reed agreeing to meet with protest leaders n July 18. Organizers included Black Lives Matter, Rise Up GA, Malcom X Grassroots Movement, Atlanta University Center Shut It Down, Atlanta Black Students United, Fight for $15, Southerners on New Ground, Freedom University, the NAACP and Standing Up for Racial Justice. (Photo: Steve Eberhardt)
Shown at right: Teamster local 728 (which includes MADSA members) turned out at Centennial Park July 10 in honor of their fallen brother Teamster Philando Castile.(Photo: Steve Eberhardt)
Bail money is urgently needed for some 25 peaceful protesters selected apparently randomly by police, including peace marshals and long-time peace and justice activist Kevin Moran, whose artificial shoulder was injured when police refused to listen to his pleas to cuff him in front, leading to 16 hours shackled to a bed at Grady. See the MADSA Facebook page for a moving videoed statement by Kevin from his hospital bed. You can support this movement by contributing to the Georgia Civil Disobedience Fund.
Thanks to dispatches from the field by Daniel Hanley, Travis Reid, and Dougie “the Abolitionist”; to Tim Franzen for collecting the bail money; and for Lord Megan Harrison’s work as a legal observer with the Lawyers’ Guild. For reports from some of the protest organizers, see the Atl is Ready Facebook page.