While cars passed and horns blew in support, activists chanted “No justice, No peace. No racist police” as they held signs on the capitol lawn.
On Tuesday evening, activists from Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC), Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and community members gathered in front of Florida’s Capitol in solidarity for the national day against Police brutality.
Regina Joseph, TCAC co-founder and rally leader, has been on the frontlines of local activism for quite some time. Having endured high-pressure situations and harsh words from peers, she knows the importance of having these conversations.
“It’s really important that we continually be consistent and stay out there with the media because unfortunately with the media news cycle they put something out there and expect everything to be gone by Monday. We have to let them know that this isn’t a topical issue, we’re not just doing this as a one-time thing, this is a part of a greater movement,” said Joseph.
The rally was held to “stand up against police crimes, demand justice for victims and re-found the national alliance against racism and political repression,” according to a statement from the organization’s Facebook page.
This rally comes days after TCAC scored a small victory in having the southside removed as a prospective location for the new Tallahassee Police Department headquarters.
“Things like rape and police profiling doesn’t really get accounted for. I think it’s important that we make the broader conversation about police brutality, about police abuse in general, and that’s part of the reason we’re having this event because we want to have community control of the police,” Joseph said.
Rally organizers provided signs for the activists, sign-up sheets for the organizations and a list of chants that would be repeated throughout the night.
Victoria BienAime, a fourth-year Chinese major with a concentration in Business at FSU who came to support, believes there is always a way for students to evoke change.
“I feel like showing up to protests is a start. If you look at what’s going on in different countries, their voices are being heard because they’re protesting and they know their rights and no one should be able to take your rights from you,” said BienAime.
In between chants and facts about brutality, activists took to the microphone to express frustration about the mistreatment of marginalized people.
Isabela Casanova, Vice-President of SDS was the last speaker at the rally. Casanova expressed frustration with issues surrounding police brutality, racial profiling and how to show support.
“And for all of you white people out here, including myself, the way that you give support is not by tweeting ‘Black lives matter’,” said Casanova. “It’s not by going up to your friends and saying ‘wow it sucks that another person died’, it’s by coming out here consistently and showing your
marginalized friends that you’re supporting them.”
This event is not the first of its kind. This time last year SDS and TCAC partnered to bring attention to police brutality, violent misconduct that claimed 992 lives in 2018.
TCAC is a local grassroots organization dedicated to fighting for peace, justice, and equality through direct action. For more information, contact the TCAC at firstname.lastname@example.org