Today, February 4th, is the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks. This year is also the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. In 2013 we are still working to make that dream a reality, still working to end the more subtle remnants of the racism so visible 50 years ago. Youth at today's press conference made very clear that it is an every day part of their experience. Youth from PrYSM asked those in the room "How many of you have been profiled? How many of you don't feel safe in your neighborhood when the police are around? " Hands went up all over the room. As i listen to their stories I get angry that they are subjected to the over-use of power by the police who should be there to make them feel safe. One young man's question still rings in my ears. He tells of his little 8 year old brother getting badly hurt, with an injury to his eye. They called 911 for help. The gang unit showed up first. It took another phone call and a full 10 minutes beyond that before medical help arrived. "Why", he asks, "does the gang unit show up first in my neighborhood when a little kid gets hurt?"
We have work to do.
I hope you will join us.
In the documents section you will find one called State House Watch, Feb. 4th edition. In that you will find a list of some of the legislation that AFSC-SENE thinks will make an impact this year. Most of it is supporting bills, though there a few items that need to be stopped or they will make things worse. Please take a look at it.
Martha Yager AFSC-SENE Program Coordinator