BLACK LIVES MATTER CAMBRIDGE
Black Lives Matter in Cambridge: March, Die-in, Community Meal and Dialogue
JAN 21, 2015
The first ever BLM Cambridge event. Hundreds of demonstrators poured into the streets of Central Square in Cambridge on January 21, 2015. This demonstration followed the series of protests nationwide against state sanctioned violence. The demonstrators demand a change in the criminal justice system.The event was multi-faceted in its structure, starting with a gathering, a march, die-ins, brief speeches, and a concluding community meal, dialogue, and discussion. The Cambridge organizers modeled some of this structure from the nationwide protests against police brutality, white supremacy, and racism within the criminal justice system. What began in Ferguson as a specific response has become a mechanism for addressing systemic racism in a variety of contexts. This event in Cambridge employed nationally-successful tactics paired with a strategically localized focus. For instance, the die-in for 4.5 minutes is a tactic that has been used frequently since the Ferguson protests began, symbolizing the four and a half hours that Mike Brown’s body was left in the street after he was killed by former officer Darren Wilson. Cambridge is often lauded in the press as a culturally liberal, progressive haven. However, as organizers and participants underscored, racism runs deep here just like everywhere else. Cambridge demonstrators work within the newly-established legacies not only in Ferguson, but in New York City, Oakland, Boston, and beyond.
Training: Institutional Racism 101
Dinner with the Port Café- February 7, 2015
The Institutional Racism 101 Training and community dinner with The Port Café took place on Feb. 7th at the Democracy Center. The event began with a potluck dinner. Community elders Marian Darlington-Hope and Joan Squeri welcomed the participants to the space.
Direction actions 101
at the Democracy Center in Cambridge, MA
We split into race affinity groups, with White folks learning about institutional racism with White People Challenging Racism and Cathy Hoffman of the Cambridge Restorative Justice Working Group. People of color learning strategy and direct action training with Intelligent Mischief. The groups then came back together and shared what they learned.