An Interfaith Memorial, A Time of Solidarity, A Call to Action
We are writing today to share highlights from yesterday’s procession, memorial, and rally in memory of George Floyd. The action was co-sponsored by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (BLMLA), Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), and NEWSONG, and endorsed by over 50 other organizations in Southern California. Over 2,000 cars joined the procession, coming from Long Beach, Santa Ana, the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, and South Los Angeles. Four of the processions were led by a motorcade and a hearse, commemorating the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Ryan Twyman.
Above, caskets honoring the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and Ryan Twyman.
CLUE’s Pastor Cue emceed the event, which kicked off at 12pm. The memorial was a powerful, somber call to action for all communities of faith to join together and say: We must defund the police and rebuild our systems to reflect our values of equity and justice. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Melina Abdulluh, opened the ceremony. "Brother George Floyd's tremendous Spirit has breathed new life into the long struggle against police and White-supremacist violence and for Black freedom. He joins the many thousands of our people whose bodies were stolen by police violence … Today, we honor them and call on their Spirits to power our justice movement forward." She also called on faith leaders to join BLMLA’s campaign to defund the police and end state-sanctioned violence against Black people. It is our “sacred duty to fight for the full power of our people, not a comfortable place in oppression,” she said. Though the memorial was in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the event also highlighted the rampant abuse that Black and Brown communities face right here in Los Angeles. Since 2013, BLMLA states that 601 people have been killed by law enforcement. Families who have lost loved ones to police violence in Los Angeles shared their traumatic stories of grief and their struggle for justice. Clergy of all faiths, colors, and backgrounds were present to stand in solidarity with this movement and say together: Enough is enough. The time is now. We must end state-sanctioned police violence, dismantle white supremacy, and rebuild our systems to reflect our values.
Dave K. Gibbons of NEWSONG acknowledged the long road ahead while also calling on all of us to do our part. “Justice is the hard work of love. The work of an activist is relentless. [I am g]rateful to BLM for their passionate pursuit of justice and to dismantle institutional and systemic racism in our country.” Bishop John Taylor of the Episcopal Diocese was also present and shared the denomination’s commitment to the struggle. “Opposition to unjust power lies at the heart of our formation as Christians. We only have to remember how Jesus died. We deplore the murder of George Floyd and stand with his family and with all who have been the victims of anti-Black and racist systems and institutions.” Local and national media coverage of the event can be found at the links below. In faith and solidarity, CLUE: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice http://www.cluejustice.org/