Jacksonville demands justice for Ahmaud Arbery, justice for all victims of racist terror
Jacksonville, FL – A crowd of more than 200 people, practicing social distancing and mostly wearing face masks, gathered in front of the Duval County courthouse, May 8, in response to the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery in nearby Brunswick, Georgia. The Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC), Northside Coalition, and the New Florida Majority put the demonstration of solidarity together; UNF Students for A Democratic Society (SDS) was represented as well. Even community members from Brunswick, where Arbery was killed, drove down to attend the demonstration.
Several speakers shared their thoughts, reiterating the fact that there must be a complete overhaul of the system that protects white racist vigilante terrorists such as Gregory and Travis McMichael. Signs were held that read “Justice for Ahmaud,” “Stop killing us” and “Murdered for the crime of being Black.”
Throughout the streets of downtown Jacksonville, you could hear the crowd chanting, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” and “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” It would have been Arbery’s 26th birthday that day.
Throughout the rally, speakers connected Arbery’s case to those of so many other Black men who have lost their life due to racist vigilantism and police violence. Some signs included the names of Jamee Johnson, Kwamae Jones, Jalen Mays, Vernell Bing and other victims of local police killings. In 2020 alone, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has shot eight people so far. However, body cam footage has been released for any shooting.
“We will continue to call for justice for Ahmaud and the conviction of his murderers,” said Rachel Duff of the Jacksonville Community Action Committee. “We continue to call for release of the body cam footage for every victim of police brutality in Jacksonville, and we continue to fight for community control of the police.”