gretchening: picture of my face, looking mischievous, with dyed red hair in front (Default)
Last night, two blocks from my home, Madison police shot and killed a 19-year old unarmed Black man named Tony Robinson. Here's a local news report about it.

It can and does happen here. It can and does happen where you live.

I went to the rally up the block from my home. I had been home sharing some beers and conversation with a friend when I heard about it. I'd say about 100 people were gathered there. Police presence was stoic and still. As we passed a white officer at one point he jovially said 'hello!' to us, which filled me with rage.

My area of town in particular and White Madison in general has this Thing where we've become something of a protest culture. There are certain chants, drums, systems to the rallies. Someone had vegan lentil soup to pass around, which is thoughtful I guess but just felt weird. I witnessed two young white women jovially dancing along with one of the chants at one point. People were greeting one another and introducing each other. That pissed me off. White protesters were leading chants of 'Fuck the police!'. It felt... appropriative and strangely unfocused/general for a little while there.

Then some of the Young Gifted and Black Coalition members took the mic and led chants about Tony Robinson and one woman gave a prayer which I couldn't make out very well b/c I have poor hearing and also a train was going by, but it sounded really good from what I was able to make out. At around midnight the crowd was asked by the YGB organizers to move to the City County Building to stage a sit in to get two witnesses who were being held without attorneys or being charged out of jail. I did not feel able to make that trek in the cold with no transportation, and as I'd been drinking before I heard the news it didn't seem wise to join them there.

I don't know anyone's names who were speaking. I tweeted some of the chants and some on-the-ground impressions from my locked and unlocked accounts (unlocked acct is [ profile] gretchening).

Today I am at work while Madison activists gather at the behest of the YGB Coalition to discuss the incident and Madison's response. I have just learned that there is a rally at noon today at Madison police headquarters on Wilson St. I am very grateful for the group's leadership, as I worry that activist Madison will fall into its typical trap of privileging White liberal voices over those of the community most affected by this death and the institutional systemic racism that led to it.

I am angry and sad.


gretchening: picture of my face, looking mischievous, with dyed red hair in front (Default)

March 2015

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