AF3IRM & Sister Circle Collective Raise Women’s Voices at Million People’s March on Saturday, Dec. 13
New York City — Two women’s organizations here said it is time to pay attention to police brutality as it has affected black women, girls, and the gender-nonconforming.
“From 92-year-old Pearlie Golden, killed in Atlanta, to seven-year-old Aiyana Jones, killed in Detroit, Michigan, police violence has impacted and continues to impact the lives of black women and girls, as well as LGBTQ and the gender-nonconforming,” said a press release by the groups AF3IRM and Sister Circle Collective. “It is time to pay attention.”
Under the hashtag #feministsonthemove, the two organizations are inviting women and women-identified, as well as allies, to help create a strong woman’s contingent for the 13th of December Million People March against police brutality. Participants are asked to gather at Washington Square North/5th Avenue and to wear purple.
“The message is simple: state violence directly affects black women and girls, and non-conforming genders. Directly, and not as mediated by their connection to black men. The violence against black women and girls, and non-conforming genders, has been persistent and ranges from physical mauling to sexual assault. It is time to acknowledge this and add it to our understanding of state violence and police brutality,” said Olivia Canlas who heads AF3IRM NYC.
“We cannot change what we do not name. The violence against black women and girls, and non-conforming genders, has been with us for as long as such violence was inflicted upon black men. It is as significant an aspect of state violence and police brutality,” said Veronica Agard of Sister Circle Collective.
Police brutality against black women, girls and non-conforming genders occur in practically all states of the United States. Yvette Smith, 47, was killed in Texas; Miriam Carey, 34, was killed in Washington, DC; Rekia Boyd, 22, was killed in Chicago; Tarika Wilson, 26, was killed in Ohio; Alberta Spruill, 57, was killed in New York as was Shereese Frances, 30.
The intent in calling attention to these constant police violence against women is to be inclusive, not divisive. It is to recognize that minority communities, especially the African-American community, are targeted as a whole, but that there are special actions directed against black women and girls, in particular.
One such case involved Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma police officer, who has been charged with sexually assaulting seven African-American women. He is also accused of burglary and felonious stalking. He is currently out on bail.
“When we say #blacklivesmatter, that includes black women’s lives, black girls’ lives and the lives of black non-conforming genders. State violence, as manifested by police brutality, is not piecemeal,” said Veronica Agard of Sister Circle Collective.
The women’s contingent is both an expression of active participation in the opposition to the murder of black men and a statement of protest against state violence inflicted upon black women, girls and non-conforming genders. (From a Press Release by AF3IRM and Sister Circle Collective)