White People For Racial Justice, a white anti-racist collective in Los Angeles, materially and politically supports the Black Lives Matter LA’s occupation of Mayor Garcetti’s living space. We believe this encampment is a means of impressing upon Los Angeles city residents and those that hold the power within the current police state, the message that police brutality against Black lives and lack of police accountability will not be tolerated. Ezell Ford was murdered on his own street, in his own neighborhood, which is under constant surveillance and oppression by a police agency that acts as an occupying force. The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the issue to Mayor Garcetti’s neighborhood. We support Black Lives Matter tactics of disrupting business as usual and demanding that the calls for justice no longer go ignored by public servants who were elected to carry out the will of the people.
Mayor Garcetti has shown up reliably for many interests in material ways, including promoting the visibility and public support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, targeting City services and resources to homeless veterans, and creating job opportunities for youth in the City. What is now very clear is that Mayor Garcetti is unwilling to show up to protect Black lives with definitive action. Instead, he is allowing the police state to continue unchecked, which serves only to further the divide between communities and law enforcement.
We demand that Mayor Garcetti meet with Black Lives Matter: LA. It is his duty as the Mayor to work with the community, and the community is demanding transparency and accountability in this moment. His ability to ignore requests from his constituency demonstrates his complacency and complicity with police violence. This sends a message to Black people that their lives don’t matter, and also reinforces what Black communities already know, that politicians have the privilege to pick and choose who matters and whose voices are worthy of a seat at the table.
Garcetti, Chief Beck and the LA Police Commission are making a cold-blooded racist political calculation that they can ignore the Black Lives Matter movement and the outrage of Black communities. We pledge to help upset that political calculus by organizing and acting to deepen that outrage and demand for justice among white people in this city, in concert with the leadership of the Black Lives Matter #WakeupLA campaign.