As we reflect on Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict, we’re grounded in the reality that’s fueled the Movement for Black Lives from the very beginning: the whole system is guilty. The conviction of one police officer does not admonish the system that criminalized and publicly executed him. George Floyd should still be alive today. For centuries, the carceral state has had its knee on the necks of Black and brown folks in this country. We will continue to organize and fight until our communities receive justice.
Our work is clear: Building and supporting a people’s movement that is Black-led, Queer, Trans, Indigenous, People of Color, immigrants, and intergenerational in the South and beyond that will build power to fight for the absolute liberation of our people.
We will continue to be in the streets together and at the polls together to keep fighting for the people’s right to life with dignity. We remain focused on moving closer to liberation. We want to uplift the work of Durham Beyond Policing, one of SVA’s sponsored groups, that works towards divesting from the policing and prisons and investing in community-led safety.
As we write this statement, we are learning more about the unjust killing of a 16 year old child in Columbus, Ohio. Ma’Khia Bryant’s death will not be in vain. We will fight for accountability and justice for her. We will not rest. In the words of Ella Baker, “We who believe in freedom will not rest…We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”