On the anniversary of A11 & A12
As the one year anniversary of the racist 'Unite the Right' riot approaches, Indivisible Charlottesville joins other community groups in our unease over local and state government's decision to deploy thousands of police, declare a state of emergency, and limit freedom of assembly.
Lisa Woolfork, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, stated at a recent press conference, "Last year, I was terrified of violence from Nazis. But this year, I am terrified of violence from the police. We are seeing an overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's negligence."
We share Woolfork's concerns. On July 8 of last year, it was riot police who escalated tensions and fired tear gas on peaceful counter protestors. On August 11 and August 12, it was local and state police who failed to intervene against violent racist groups who attacked peaceful counter-protestors.
To the extent that police target community members, break up peaceful protests, and use excessive force against counter protestors, we intend to use our platform to help identify and expose those abuses of power. We are committed to fighting for full accountability for any wrongful actions taken by local and state police this weekend, including by committing ourselves to defeating local and state level politicians who fail to demand accountability from law enforcement.
Furthermore, we demand accountability for the past actions of the police, including the Charlottesville Police Department's discriminatory use of stop and frisk and the failure of state police to intervene against violent racist groups on August 11 and August 12.
We take our lead from local community organizing groups such as UVA Students United, Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, and SURJ Charlottesville who have long been engaged in anti-racist organizing and we hope other community members will join us in uplifting their work.