For Immediate Release, September 15, 2017
The Organization for Black Struggle stands in staunch solidarity with the family of Anthony Lamar Smith. The Not Guilty verdict is salt in the wounds of the Smith family who sought real justice in the murder of their loved one. The African American community is full of righteous rage as the ruling of Judge Timothy Wilson represents another douse of gasoline on the perpetual fire of racism and police violence against our community. OBS will not be used to quell the outrage by justice-seeking people to this verdict nor be an apologist for extreme actions by citizens.
OBS worked for over thirty years for local control of the police department to ensure we have accountability to our community. The mayor, the police chief and other city officials must understand there will not and cannot be business as usual in this city when a black life is taken.
OBS believes in non-violent protest and direct action. We also believe that our community must be focused on building alternatives to the police state. This calls for thoughtful education and strategic organizing. When we truly re-envision public safety and how to re-invest our hard-earned tax dollars, old power relationships will change and we are empowered to build something that works for us. We must be creative in our thinking and organizing, such as instituting neighborhood safety patrols, develop mediation centers and creating healing circles.
There is much work to be done as our community grieves its loss. We call for community, faith, civic and labor sectors to come together to plan effectively and to build a powerful racial justice movement in a city and a country that continues to daily engage in anti-black practices and actions. We are the people we have been waiting for.