Organizers disrupt traffic and shopping at the Towson Mall near Baltimore as actions demanding accountability for police brutality continue nationwide
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: It’s Saturday, December 20. Welcome to The Real News.
We’re reporting here from Towson, Maryland, just north of Baltimore City. There was just a die-in and protest at the Towson mall.
PROTESTER: We Are disrupting your piece. We are disrupting your /ˈsɛgsə/, feeling good and security. No justice, no peace.
RICHARD ANDERSON, DELAWARE: I think it’s well justified. I think that people have to stand up for what they believe in. You’ve got to make your voice matter somehow. And this is the only way people know how.
UNIDENTIFIED: I think it’s just for wanting to make a justice going for anybody. It doesn’t matter what kind of culture or [incompr.] person you are.
CROWD: No justice, no peace! No racist police!
PROTESTER: Guess what? Change your ways. We will always be in your face.
PROTESTER: Say it again.
PROTESTER: If you don’t like it, we will always be in your face.
CROWD: Don’t shoot! Hands up. Don’t shoot! Hands up.
PROTESTER: No justice, no peace! We’re tired of the racism. We will always be in your face. We’re not going nowhere. We are not the minority. We are the majority.
NOOR: We talked to some of the organizers and activists of this action about why they carried it out and what they hope to see change in the criminal justice system in America today.
FARAJI MUHAMMED, AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE: We’re out here at Townson Town Center Mall here in Baltimore County, Maryland, just a couple of minutes away, outside of the city. We’re out here because we wanted to bring awareness about the larger issue of police brutality.
In the midst of all of this holiday joy, we say no holiday joy without holiday justice.
And so a collective, a coalition of activists and students and community folks, we just decided enough is enough and we just wanted to disturb the peace and let the folks know that black lives matter, that we can’t continue to have business as usual, and that even though it’s the holiday season, that the pain still–it resonates among our community.
MORGAN STEVENSON, BALTIMORE: I’m tired of being out here. I’m tired of being out here. But I’m always going to be out here until things change. I was out here in New York boycotting Black Friday. I will boycott the holiday here. I don’t think that just because I’m tired, that that’s not a reason to not be out here, because people are still dying, my people are still dying. This affects my livelihood and not just the people that are out there in the streets who get arrested. I’m as much at risk of getting arrested or shot dead by the police as any of those other people.
MEACA DOWNING, BALTIMORE: I’m out here because, just like the other girl said, I’m tired of this. Our people are dying. Nothing’s being done about it. Everyone’s too afraid to say something about it. And it’s time for that to end. It’s time for us to stand up for what we feel is right and to make a change. And if you’re not down for the change, then don’t say anything. Stay silent like everyone else. But if you’re ready to make a change, stop being silent.
MUHAMMED: Some of our demands? We want to change the law enforcement bill of rights. We want to make sure that officers who are responsible for taking human life while they are in their custody, that they should be brought to charges right then and there. They shouldn’t have to wait ten days for that to happen. We want to talk about removing the gag order from victims, that even though they may be compensated for that, they should have the right to speak out against the brutality. We want to talk to the state’s attorneys office. I mean, there’s a litany of things. We have a lot of demands. We want to go to our legislators, our delegates, all of our state lawmakers. But then, most importantly, we want to go to the community to express the importance of us as a community standing one-on-one on this issue and to be united. So it’s going to be a multifaceted campaign in the whole approach to this whole issue.
NOOR: The Real News will keep following this story. From Towson, Maryland, this is Jaisal Noor.
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