Leaders gathered in front of the Sentinel offices urging community members to stand up for justice. (Valerie Goodloe)
Executive Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper Danny Bakewell, Sr., local community activists, clergy and politicians gathered at the Sentinel offices January 14to announce a antiviolence march that will take place on the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death. “This is not just a demonstration, but it’s a sense of outrage we have for a complete disregard about life. We are creating a movement demanding accountability for the acts of the police. That is why we are marching on a very historic day,” said Danny Bakewell, Sr.
February 21 the march will start from the Southwest Police Station and end with a rally in Leimert Park. The demonstration is in response to the recent killings of LA local Ezell Ford, Ferguson’s Mike Brown, Ohio’s John Crawford, NYPD’s Eric Garner, Cleveland’s Tamir Rice and countless others across the country. “Part of this will talk about the life of Ezell Ford. His mother weeps everyday and when she weeps we all weep with her,” Bakewell, Sr. said.
The new movement of justice in the country is shaping society’s look about race relations and the youth’s constant battle with injustice due to stereotypes and personal biases.
Danny Bakewell, Sr. and Rev. Xavier Thompson of Southern Missionary Baptist Church Los Angeles initially gathered local activists and professionals to organize and create a movement of societal opposition dealing with police brutality.
“I am excited to partner with a community icon Danny Bakewell, Sr. for the advancement of unity in our city and in context of the African American experience. We find ourselves in a season that things are happening all around us. We must speak truth with power, courage and build with our convictions without compromising our characters,” said Thompson. “We look forward to the call going out to working professionals, local organizations, public figures and faith based communities from all religious backgrounds. We are uniting together in an unprecedented fashion unlike anything this city has witnessed before. We are pushing for justice, equality and respect of black lives.”
Organizers are calling for demands in response to the police shooting deaths asking for special prosecutors, a civilian review board, a strengthening in community policing, demilitarizing the functions of police and changing the practices of police personal and professional practices.
Now more than ever, the voices of African and African Americans are imperative to the narrative of police relations, economic injustices and community development.
“We are morally outraged at the level of police violence directed towards our community. Also the general systemic violence and injustices that still shake our lives today as Black people that refraining us from the sense of community and opportunity that America has given us as citizens. We come together to reaffirm the unity as a community as a united spirit in the dignity of Black people, especially our right to live,” said Chimbuku Tembo from the African American Cultural Center.
The Black Leaders Coalition is calling for all African American fraternities, sororities, community organizations, entertainers, social and political groups, Black Lives Matter and student organizations to join them in the march.