Because Injustice Is Here
Citing an urgent moment in history that calls for the same "relentless, principled, organized resistance" as Martin Luther King's 1955, year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott, activists have chosen its 61st anniversary on Dec. 5 to launch a national Injustice Boycott against racial injustice and police brutality. Spearheaded by journalist and activist Shaun King, the boycott will target cities, states, public institutions and corporations that either actively commit or passively condone abuses. Echoing King's lament at the time that history would find equally tragic the "strident clamor of bad people" and "the appalling silence of good people,” the new boycott seeks the broad support of communities to force substantive political change, insisting that "to be willfully indifferent is to be deliberately destructive."
Organizers will first join Standing Rock's fight against DAPL and target New York and San Francisco - the latter two, purportedy progressive cities where "the reality on the ground (for) people of color simply do not line up." Building coalitions with local leaders, businesses and organizations, organizers will seek to move cities toward greater racial equality and police accountability within 43 days - until Martin Luther King Day 2017. If after that their demands remain unmet, they will launch a tourism boycott of the cities, a divestment effort aimed at banks and financial institutions, a boycott of corporations headquartered there, and protests. In his renowned, impassioned Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King stressed that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." He was in Birmingham, he explained, "because injustice is here." Standing Rock, organizers say, likewise reflects that sense of mutuality and inspiration. "When we put aside our differences and focus on making change happen, it can happen," they say. "It will happen."
People walked to work for over a year rather than ride on segregated buses. Photo by Don Cravens/ Time Life/Getty