Stopping SLAPPs and defending dissent is more than a slogan. It is the way we take action to stop those who would seek to abuse power and stifle the free speech of our communities. What we are seeing in Minnesota is an example of a community grieving the loss of a loved one and exercising their right to hold to account those responsible for the loss of George Floyd.
George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer.
In response, Floyd’s community and communities across Minnesota publicly raised awareness about this all to common tragedy. Protest has historically served the people of this country as a tool and strategy to demand justice and equal rights, as well as to raise awareness and compassion to the suffering of our fellow global citizens. Protest is often one of the only ways for people without money and power to demand change. It is impossible to not be outraged and deeply saddened by the callous disregard for human life shown by the shockingly regular killing of people of color by law enforcement in the United States. It is impossible to stay silent in the face of this systemic injustice.
The senseless murder of George Floyd is yet another tragic reminder that this country is historically marred with inequality, deadly systemic racism and State violence. Poor communities and communities of color continue to be neglected, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We believe that protest is a historic and constitutional right that must be defended and honored– particularly as authoritarians, like law enforcement, continue to exploit this health crisis for purposes that run counter to the needs of the people.
Protect the Protest is a group of organizations who have come together to support the right to speak out in service of the public interest. We support those calling attention to police brutality, racial justice, and the continued harms of systems rooted in white supremacy.
The United States will better honor her constitutional promises when we see those who protest as protectors and hold those who contributed to Mr. Lloyd’s murder accountable.
We are in solidarity with those demanding accountability in Minnesota and around the country.