Putting the system on trial: Chicago’s youth speak out to break the cycle of isolation, control and repression as a vehicle for social transformation.
Chicago—(ENEWSPF)—July 30, 2014 — On Saturday, August 2 the We Charge Genocide working committee will launch their project in Chicago by hosting a youth hearing on police violence at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave, Congress Lounge (2nd Floor). From 1 to 2 PM, Chicago’s youth will put the system of police violence on trial, breaking their silence to confront the targeted repression, harassment and brutality disproportionately faced by low-income people and young people of color.
Youth aged 25 and under are invited to share their experiences. Personal and community stories of police violence will be told, such as the recent incident where a young man named Damo was tased by the police, hit his head, and later died.
“If you’re young and poor and black or brown, the police see you as a criminal. Young people are the future of this city, but you wouldn’t know it by the way we’re treated,” says Richard Wilson, 19, one of the organizers of the youth hearing and a member of We Charge Genocide. “Police violence and harassment are a reality in our neighborhoods but we aren’t powerless, we’re putting the system on trial.”
We Charge Genocide is a grassroots, inter-generational effort to center the voices and experiences of the young people most targeted by police violence in Chicago. The name “We Charge Genocide” comes from a petition filed to the United Nations in 1951, which documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses committed mostly by the police. We believe it is true now, as it was then, that violence is too often used by the police to silence, isolate, control, and repress low-income people and people of color in particular.
We seek to address this tradition of violence by offering a vehicle for needed organizing and social transformation through documentation of youth experiences with the Chicago Police Department, and through popular education both about police abuses of power and about youth-driven solutions and alternatives to policing.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1454806164774407/
For live tweets from the event, follow: #ChiCopWatch @chicopwatch