Demonstrate against injustice - and for a world where people's lives are more important than profit

BRATTLEBORO — The heightened publicity in mainstream media of police brutality against people of color, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, has vividly illuminated the inequality within our communities. Both of these “pandemics” have evolved out of structures that uphold a system of profit for the few and exploitation of the many.

Policing - along with its brutality against people of color - has roots in the 1700s, when white folks were recruited, and sometimes forced, to join slave patrols, in order to protect the land and human property of white slave owners.

Tom Cotton, senator from Arkansas, recently suggested defunding public schools that teach the 1619 Project, a New York Times initiative that centers the teaching of U.S. history around how enslaved African labor built the foundations of the U.S. economy. Locally, groups continue to demand a high school change the name of its sports teams from “the Colonels.”

The effects of COVID-19 have been exacerbated by a market economy where everything - food, land, and human bodies - have been commodified for the profit of corporate owners.

The federal government is spending multiple millions on policing and punishing people in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Billions are spent on ongoing wars, billions in support for the state of Israel's continued occupation of Palestine... the list goes on.

Corporations are advertising “fast cash for your home or rental property” for people who can't afford their rent or mortgage due to COVID-19. Shell, Wells Fargo, and Chevron are some of the companies that pollute poor, Black, and Brown communities, while simultaneously investing in police foundations in cities like Seattle, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City.

Who is being policed? Who is being occupied? Who is profiting?

In a few weeks, students, teachers, paraeducators, custodians, food-service workers, and others will be reentering schools. Whether it be increased surveillance with “wellness checks,” becoming sick, or dying, we are throwing children and their families into the fire, knowing full well that poor families and families of color will be most affected.

There is an urgency to act. Join us for Solidarity Fridays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Pliny Park, where a coalition of local activist groups are demonstrating against injustice and for a world where people's lives really are more important than profit.

Bring your signs. Wear your masks. Join us.

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