Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"The murders of unarmed people in our communities has reached epidemic numbers." This is the warning that kicks off a national call (via video) from the Dream Defenders—the group that grabbed the national media spotlight last year when its members launched protests against Stand Your Ground Laws, including by occupying the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott.

(Image: Screen Shot / Dream Defenders)

'Hands Up, Don't Shoot': A Call For Nation-Wide Action in Face of Rising 'Epidemic'

Dream Defenders: "Police are literally killing our communities and we must take action"

Common Dreams staff

"The murders of unarmed people in our communities has reached epidemic numbers."

This is the warning that kicks off a national call (via video) from the Dream Defenders—the group that grabbed the national media spotlight last year when its members launched protests against Stand Your Ground Laws, including by occupying the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Now, to honor the lives of Mike Brown, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, and others across the country who have fallen victim to deadly violence at police hands, they are calling for a national campaign—Hands Up, Don't Shoot. "We are prisoners of a war being waged on communities of color and the poor," states the campaign website. "We are filled to the brim with frustration, passion and anger as we stand on the frontlines. Police are literally killing our communities and we must take action."

The Dream Defenders are demanding, in their own words:

1. Obama: "Do the right thing." Go to Ferguson and meet with local black and brown youth.

2. Eric Holder: Meet with local black and brown youth across the country who are dealing with "zero tolerance" and "broken windows" policing.

3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities by requiring front-facing cameras on police departments with records of racial disparity in stops, arrests, killings, and excessive force complaints.

4. Cops need consequences too. Police officers who discharge their weapon on an unarmed person should be suspended without pay pending further investigation, and their name and policing histories should be made available to the public.

5. Tanks and tear gas don't ever belong in our communities. America should not be going to war with its citizens. Demilitarize all police departments.

6. Police should be representative of the communities they are tasked to protect and serve and community members should have real power in citizen review boards.

What does it take to work towards these goals? Watch this video to find out.

#handsup Don't Shoot from Dream Defenders on Vimeo.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'People Power Has Won The Day': Manchin Dirty Deal Defeated

The win was the result of "hundreds of national and grassroots organizations, along with concerned Americans from coast to coast, working together for the health and safety of frontline communities and a livable future for the planet," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


Emissions Unleashed by Manchin Deal Would 'Wipe Out' Any Climate Gains: Analysis

"This analysis shows that Manchin's dirty deal directly undercuts the potential carbon savings of the IRA by fast-tracking fossil fuel projects currently waiting on permits," said Fossil Free Media's Jamie Henn.

Jessica Corbett ·


Florida Told to Brace for Deadly Impact as Ian Expected to Become Category 4 Hurricane

The Tampa Bay area has long been a "sitting duck for catastrophic storm surge and has dodged several bullets," said one climate scientist. "Might not be so lucky this time."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressives Applaud Biden for Lowering Medicare Part B Premiums

"Democrats want to expand Social Security and Medicare," said one advocate. "Republicans want to cut, privatize, and ultimately end both programs."

Kenny Stancil ·


Suit Against Student Debt Relief Slammed as 'Transparently Frivolous Publicity Stunt'

"Why would this group bring this baseless claim?" asked the White House. "Because opponents of the debt relief plan are trying anything they can to stop this program that will provide needed relief to working families."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo