Justice Ride X. This marks the tenth consecutive week of Justice Rides by @streetridersnyc
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“As Muslims we pray five times a day. One early in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the middle of the afternoon, and the fourth one is at sunset which is around this time, and the last one is towards the ending of the night. So we just prayed the fourth prayer, it’s called Maghrib, it’s three prayers where we recite Qur'an out loud.” Said Alhassan, “Honestly, it felt good and it felt peaceful. It’s very reassuring for us as Muslims to know that our allies also stand with us and hopefully it will also represent the message that Muslims also stand with Black Lives Matter. We also are in this fight together as well.”
The 2nd Community Concert was magical. ✨ Music, poetry, dance, and good vibes all around. I’m honored to have had my photography in the mix and on display. 🙏🏾@jodi__powell did an incredible job producing this event. 💛 To stay in the loop for the next one join the email list at firstname.lastname@example.org
My incredible friend Jodi is putting together a community concert. There will be musicians, poets and other artists. I'll be there displaying some of my photographs. Come by! All are welcome. :)
My photography is featured on four billboards in LA!!! ✊🏾✨ @amazonprimevideo
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I spoke to a long-range reconnaissance military vet, an EMT who helped load morgue trucks with COVID-19 victims, and a veterinarian. With specialties from trauma, medical, and animals; these volunteer street medics provide a valuable service to protestors occupying city hall. “I come rigged for most traumas, I can deal with anything from an abrasion from someone falling off of their bike up to multiple gunshot wounds.” Said the combat vet. He shared a guiding principle from his military training– rule 303; “It essentially means that if you have the ability to do something but not necessarily the authority, you still have to act. And so, I feel obligated to be out here because I know that I can make a difference.” Hinting at the nuance that this environment entails, the EMT revealed, “A big part of the 911 system is the police... and in times that we may have called an ambulance more quickly if we came upon something on the street, we’re trying to keep it as the last resort but at the end of the day you need to do what’s best for the patient... we have an oath... ‘it’s do no harm,’ to make sure someone gets out of here ok.” The veterinarian, who carried a defibrillator on her arm (which is used to reset the electrical state of the heart), conveyed that even though her speciality is animals, “At the end of the day if I could have me treat me or no-one, I would choose me. I’m a doctor, I have medical knowledge and I’m better than nothing...so that’s what compels me to come out because I can do something.” The EMT added, “Seeing us out here is 95% of what we offer, there are not of a lot of emergencies luckily recently, so you’re a safety health-care presence that people see and feel that there is somebody... that is on the side of the protestors.” This is a stark contrast to the early days of protests just weeks before, where these volunteer medics addressed a lot of trauma-induced injuries related to police brutality from contusions to sever lacerations, baton strikes, and even vehicle-to-human collisions. They left me with a question to ponder on- “[What] if the police all thought of their jobs the same way a lot of the street medics think of it?"
“And they want to make me public enemy number one, for what? For saying tear down white supremacy? For saying free our people? For saying that black lives matter? There is no fear here. There is no fear here. Because we are on the side of righteousness, we are on the right side of oppression, and we will have freedom.” - Hawk Newsome, ChairPerson, BLM Greater NY
“What is the source of this issue? What is the polices’ job?” Dannelly Rodriguez asked the crowd, “To protect and serve,” expressed a woman near the front. Rodriguez continued, “The queen says, “to protect and serve.” She’s damn right. But the question is what the hell are they protecting and what are they serving? I’ll tell you right now who they’re protecting and who they’re serving. Policing in America was founded on slavery. Our society is a capitalistic society where black labor has been exploited since its inception to build this country. So when a black person got out of line or fought for their freedom, guess what the police where doing. Preserving the status quo and keeping them locked up in their chains. Because what they serve is the capitalist white supremacist class in this country. What they protect is property. So let’s be clear, I don’t want to hear none of my black brothers and sisters talk about “they ain’t doing their jobs” because they’re doing their jobs. They’re capturing black bodies for free labor in the prison industrial complex. So when we talk about defund the police, we’re talking about abolition, we’re not talking about reform. You cannot expect a system that was inherently racist to be reformed. How are you going to have bad apples when the whole damn tree is rotten! We have to take it from its roots, take it out, burn it, be done with it, and build something new. And what does that look like? It looks like defunding the NYPD $3 billion on July 1st.”