URGE Condemns Anti-Black Police ViolenceWe cannot have reproductive justice until Black lives are safe from state violence
May 29, 2020
(Washington, DC) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity in solidarity with community pain and outrage after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, by Minneapolis police.
“Every day. Every day in this country Black women, Black men, Black youth, Black children, and Black trans and nonbinary people experience violence at the hands of police. Every day, Black people experience violence that is bought and paid for with our tax dollars and committed in our name. Violence by white and non-Black people who are shielded by the near-bulletproof armor of white supremacy.
“Violence against our loved ones locked in jails and prisons and cages. Violence in schools against little Black girls who only want to learn. Violence in hospitals against Black people giving birth but who are denied their basic right to give life with dignity and to survive to see their children grow. Violence against Black transgender women simply for existing. Violence in every corner of a country mired in a pandemic as our policymakers sacrifice innumerable Black lives on the altar of the stock market in the name of reopening.
“Before anyone called this place ‘the United States,’ the stolen land was already soaked with the blood and sweat of stolen people.
“What are we going to do about it? How will we honor these lives?
And so many more known and unknown.
“My heart aches to honor and speak the names of the people who have been killed — names so numerous that trying to hold them is like trying to hold the ocean in your hands. Names that can never be forgotten by the mothers and children and community left to mourn.
“Beloved Black community members, friends, and family: I see and honor your rage and grief and exhaustion. I respect, even as I can never fully understand, the simple truth that any response to 400 years of violence and dehumanization is valid. That this country built by unpaid Black labor has failed you in profound and devastating ways. That you have protested peacefully for centuries and that the real riot, the real looting, has always been the riot of anti-Blackness and the looting of Black lives and wealth.
“Beloved white and non-Black community members: We have work to do. We must interrogate, interrupt, reject, and dismantle white supremacy every moment of every day. We must go beyond public statements that feel too much like thoughts and prayers and not enough like taking action. We must put our money, our bodies, and our freedom on the line to correct the injustice of centuries of stolen money and bodies and freedom.
“We must not wait. We must not be made helpless by our imperfection, fear, and guilt. We must listen, sit with people in their anger and grief, and do something about it. We must listen and do better when we make mistakes. We must not give up.
“We must stop pretending that there is any reason to put a human being in a cage. Ever. We must stop pretending police violence is an accident instead of another cog in a system designed to terrorize, oppress, rob, and dehumanize Black people. We must stop pretending that when a police officer kills a Black person that this is something other than the police operating exactly as intended.
“This is my work. This is our work. What will you do today to move it forward?”
Please take action! URGE encourages community members to give money to bail funds in support of those impacted by police violence.
- Community Justice Exchange’s National Bail Fund Network: State Bail Fund Directory
- The Bail Project: Bail Funds (a nonprofit offering bail funds in Augusta, GA; Houston and Hayes County, TX; and San Diego and Compton, CA.)
- National Bailout Offering charitable bail bonds in all URGE states, specific focus on Black women/trans/nonbinary people
- Middle Georgia Community Bail Fund offering charitable bail bonds to people throughout central Georgia
- Montgomery Bailout – Offering Charitable Bail in Montgomery, AL
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Louisville Community Bail Fun
Pro-Bono Legal Services for Policing and Civil Rights Violations in URGE States
- Ohio Access to Justice Foundation: Pro-Bono Legal Services
- Community Legal Aid of Ohio
- Columbus Legal Aid Services
- Legal Aid Society of Columbus, OH
- California Civil Rights & Policing Attorney Database
- California Innocence Project: Resources for Free Legal Aid
- Atlanta Bar Association: Pro-Bono Legal Services in Atlanta, GA
- Georgia Legal Services Program: Pro-Bono Legal Services for Georgia State
- Georgia Legal Aid
- Alabama Legal Help: Free and Low-Cost Legal Services
- Texas Access to Justice Commission: Free Legal Services
- Kansas Legal Services: Free and Low Cost Legal Services
General National Legal Resources