A Statement in the Wake of the George Floyd Uprisings

George Floyd mural in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, and Greta McLainin, 2020,  Lorie Shaull CC.

We stand at a moment when Black communities, and those standing in solidarity with them, are resisting and rebelling against white supremacy and police brutality. The veil is being pulled back on the violent racism inherent in systems of policing and state control. We know that police departments were created to protect structures of capitalism and white supremacy, and continue to do so today. Policing is rooted in a four hundred year legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and lynching, and it is long past time for this institution’s demise.

We name and honour the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and all others who have been murdered at the hands of the state. We honour and give thanks for the years of imagining, organizing, and labour by Black women and femmes in particular that has brought us to this moment.

We believe in defunding and abolishing the police and investing in communities of colour. We believe in demilitarizing those who work in our neighbourhoods and around the world. We trust that this is a beginning towards reparations for a legacy of violence and enslavement. We believe that human life is more important than property.

Our work at Geez is all about dismantling systems of oppression. We seek to lift up voices that are crying out for justice. We summon each of our own bodies and lives into the sacred work of resisting and creating. And amidst that hard work, we seek to create space for quiet, silence, and prayer. We believe in beauty and its transformative power in our communities. We ask you, dear readers, as pieces of the community that make us whole, to help hold us accountable to this work incarnate in word and image on paper.

We are filled with continued rage, grief, and dare we say, hope. After two weeks of bodies in the street, we are witnessing shifts in the systems, the victories, the voices uplifted, and the cries that have gone global. We are mindful that this is one moment in a long legacy of resistance, but we trust these uprisings will resound throughout history.

We call upon our community to bring our bodies, hearts, and lives to this struggle. Let us bring a provocative, creative, and courageous force to a head against the systems of violence and domination.

We especially call upon white folks in our community (including the majority of our staff) to be accomplices in this work, growing our stake in collective liberation. We must listen to, learn from, and follow the lead of Black organizers and community leaders. Let us channel our resources (time, energy, and dollars) into supporting on-the-ground resistance work. May we do our own work around healing the sickness of white supremacy in ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Dear friends, this is holy work that has been going on for hundreds of years and that we must all continue to carry on and on and on. May the spirit breathe into and through each of us and whisper justice upon the streets. May we move forward with both urgency and discernment. And as we seek to hold systems accountable, may we always hold one another tight in trust and love. May white supremacy crumble and liberation rise up.

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