November 25, 2014

The Audre Lorde Project is in solidarity with Michael Brown’s family and all of the families and communities of people affected by racist state violence.

We are in solidarity with the Black and allied organizers who continue to rise up against the countless number of Black people stolen from us by white supremacist state violence. We recognize that a system that refuses to indict Darren Wilson is not a broken system; it is a system that is working precisely as it was designed to. It is a system that manifests as the continuation of colonialism and slavery.

We join our communities in the streets not because we believe Darren Wilson should be placed into jail, but because we demand transformative systems of justice, reparations, and self-determination and self defense for our communities. We join our communities in the streets not only because of a ruling by a court, but because we know that this moment is part of a historical movement for racial and economic justice. We join our communities in the streets because we know that power belongs to the people!

We know that the assault on Black dignity is not just about Michael Brown and Ferguson. It’s about Akai Kareem Gurley who was shot in Brooklyn by the police this past weekend. It’s about Eric Garner who was choked to death by NYPD in Staten Island a few months ago. It’s about Islan Nettles a Black trans woman who was attacked and left dying in front of a police station last year. It’s about Marissa Alexander and the many Black women who are criminalized for defending their families and lives. It’s about militarized policing domestically and internationally from Ferguson to Palestine to Mexico. When we say that #BlackLivesMatter we include queer people, trans and gender non-conforming people, women, people with mental and physical disabilities, people engaged in the sex trades, sex workers, undocumented peoples, migrants, indigenous people, incarcerated people, people without stable housing, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other marginalized peoples. As Audre Lorde reminds us, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

We refuse to accept a single issue struggle that positions our struggles as somehow contradictory. We commit ourselves to a truly intersectional vision of social justice that uplifts the collective power, safety and well being of all our communities. We understand the routine surveillance, criminalization, and incarceration of communities of color in this country as not only a crisis of racial profiling, but also gender policing. We affirm the experiences and leadership of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit, and gender non-conforming people of color who are often erased from the telling of our movement histories even as we are often and consistently at the front lines.

We demand and work for our collective freedom and dignity. Despite these shameful acts of violence and attempted genocide of our communities, we incite a movement of transformation, love, and liberation.