Cornel West addresses the protest. Photo: Edward Leavy Jr.
Thousands braved heat and no shade to rally and march in Newark, New Jersey, on July 25 and police brutality, racial injustice and economic inequality.
The majority African-American crowd were supporting a demonstration initiated by the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress.
Newark is the most populated city in New Jersey with the second-highest poverty rate – 30.2%, based on a family of four making only $22,000 or less, according to the 2010 US Census.
A main theme of the march was the Black Lives Matter movement, focused on Black women and men killed by racist terror — such as Sandra Bland and Kindra Chapman, who were recently found dead in jail cells — and others who lost their lives at the hands of police in the Newark area and around the country.
A “Million People’s March” Facebook page statement said: “Police brutality is an ongoing, growing and deadly problem in the United States of America ...
“Police brutality is not an isolated problem. It is a historical problem with roots that are deep in the social fabric of this country. It must be seen within the broader context of racial and economic injustice and inequality.
“While the victims of police brutality come from all racial groups in society, the vast majority come from African American, Latino, Native American and other communities of colour. They are overwhelmingly poor and working class …
“Throughout contemporary US history incidents of police brutality have sparked explosive episodes of civil rebellion and unrest, with the most recent being that of Ferguson, Missouri.
“The failure of the criminal justice system to hold police officers accountable is causing a political crisis as more people discover that police brutality goes unpunished. Police kill unarmed civilians and are not even charged.
“One grand jury after another fails to indict police officers. The cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner being the most recent examples. This is perpetuating a growing belief that the criminal justice system is racist and illegitimate…
“We will march to demand an end to police brutality and justice for all of its victims, police reform, and an end to the problems of racial injustice and economic inequality which lead to police brutality.”
[Abridged from Workers World.]