‘Fists up, fight back!’ – Tallahassee rallies in solidarity with Charleston
Tallahassee, FL – After the June 17 white supremacist attack at Emanuel AME Church, in Charleston, South Carolina that left nine African American parishioners dead, the Black Liberation Action Coordinating Committee (BLACC), Students for a Democratic Society and the Trans Liberation Front held a rally, June 19 in front of the Old Tallahassee Capitol. 30 community members attended the rally and vigil, which started with nine minutes of silence, one minute for each victim.
During the moments of silence, the Tallahassee Police Department interrupted the vigil, stating the candles were a fire hazard and those in attendance needed to move off the Old Capitol steps and into the grass. The emcee, Regina Joseph, stated it would only last nine more seconds, and, “The police care more about property rights than Black rights.”
After the moments of silence, the first speaker was Ellena Fisher of BLACC, who told the crowd about Black women and their role in the liberation movement. The next speaker, Selestria de La Cruz, said, “We need to continue to grow in solidarity. Without people standing together, there will be no change. The more people that demonstrate their frustration, the further it can be spread that white supremacy is real. Too many people are ignoring it and it must stop.”
Other speakers included Katherine Draken and Naomi Bradley.
All of the speakers spoke about the role of Black women as leaders and how people can become more involved in the movement. The event ended with chants such as “Black lives matter,” and “Fists up, fight back!”
BLACC will continue to encourage more student and community involvement to promote solidarity in the Black community against white supremacy.
The protest was one of many that took place around the country after the attack by white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof. This attack was initiated because of Roof’s hopes for starting a race war. After the killings, Roof was peacefully arrested, by the Charleston Police Department, who protected him and bought him a meal from Burger King. In custody, he confessed to killing nine people at a prayer meeting for the advancement of white supremacy.