As protests demanding an end to police violence against Black lives have swept the nation in the days following the killing of George Floyd, FLUX Magazine stands in solidarity with members of the Black Lives Matter movement and other peaceful protests across the nation.
We condemn the abuse of police power that continues to extinguish the lives of Black men and women, part of a system of white supremacy and racist policies that treats Black lives as less deserving of protection, resources and opportunities to live with freedom, dignity, safety, health and hope.
More from Editor-in-Chief Griffin Reilly:
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed while in police custody just 17 minutes after he was arrested on suspicion that he had used a fraudulent $20 bill at a deli in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Eyewitness footage shows MPD officer Derek Chauvin with his knee pinning Floyd’s neck to the ground for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds–still even after Floyd had fallen unconscious.
In the days since his killing, movements in response to Floyd’s death have taken place in all 50 states and Washington D.C., and the vast majority of these protests have been peaceful. Community members of all races have come together to demand fundamental change to policies that empower police to use excessive force, and advocate for the protection of black men and women in particular, whose lives are disproportionately taken by acts of police brutality each year.
Unfortunately, documented footage from cities across the nation reveal that the police response to these peaceful protests has not been peaceful. On Monday, June 1, members of the U.S. Military Police and DCPD shot rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, and tear gas–a chemical agent deemed illegal in international warfare–at peaceful protestors and journalists legally assembled outside the White House in Washington, D.C. Though these incidents were thoroughly documented by citizen footage and professional journalists from both domestic and international outlets, President Donald Trump has since insisted that no tear gas be used, and proclaimed Washington, D.C. as the “safest place on Earth.”
While there have been isolated acts of looting, namely in Minneapolis, Santa Monica–and even here in Eugene–protest leaders from groups like Black Lives Matter articulate that these senseless acts of opportunism are not representative of what the movement is trying to achieve peacefully, and therefore should not be associated with the nationwide response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others.
President Trump, in a speech given in the Rose Garden on June 1, just moments before the aforementioned events took place, urged mayors and governors to take action against peaceful protesters across the nation. If not, he said he will “deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
As journalists, not only is it frightening to see continued acts of brutal violence against black men and women like George Floyd, but it’s incredibly alarming to see how an American president has now taken steps to derail and disvalue the legitimacy of our First Amendment rights. The team at FLUX Magazine will do its best to accurately document these protests as they continue in the coming days and weeks. We stand in solidarity with George Floyd, his family, and other victims of police brutality throughout the nation.
Here is a list of ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement:
- Black Lives Matter Global Network
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- BLM Los Angeles
- Black Visions Collective (helps provide bail funding for black prisoners across the nation)
- Reclaim the Block (initiatives fighting against housing shortages, addiction, domestic violence, and police brutality in Minneapolis)
- Split a donation with 70+ bail funds across the nation working to help get black prisoners out of jail while they wait for a hearing