Robert Lloyd, Spokane Civic Activist, May 30, 2020
What do you want?
By now we’ve all seen what’s happening in Minneapolis, Detroit, Louisville, Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, Phoenix, Denver, Columbus, Dallas, Chicago, Memphis, Bakersfield, Albuquerque, Los Vegas, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and more – twenty plus and growing – due to the killing of Floyd. The question is why and who benefits from these protests. We all know the why – systemic racism and injustice for people of color and the poor. But who benefits?
We have all seen this before – be it Martin Luther King’s death Memphis, be it the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, the Chicago fire truck killing, be it Ferguson, Trayvon Martin in Florida, Eric Garner in New York, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Orlando Castile in Minnesota. The lists goes on. The question is “Who benefits?”.
All of these demonstrations had three components. There are those who want to mourn. The parents and loved ones will bring flowers, teddy bears and pictures of the person lost.
There are those who will hold non-violent protests. The politicians, the ministers and the status quo organizations will express their dissatisfaction with articulate speeches and venting rhetoric.
Here are some of those who on Sunday May 31 between 2 and 4 pm non-violently protested the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. They met at 2 pm at Spokane’s Riverfront Park and marched to the Spokane County Courthouse and Spokane City Courthouse/Jail. I asked those pictured here to tell us in their own words WHY THEY MARCHED.
And then there are those who will co-opt your non-violent protests. The extreme left and right, the anarchists and those who would like to destroy your community, institutions and trust with violence and chaos and destruction. Sometime after 5 pm and late into the evening groups like this looted downtown Spokane stores, broke windows and had confrontations with police that resulted in their use of flash bangs, bean bags, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters.
After demonstrations like this people will go back home to cynicism, apathy, complacency, self-medication and risky behavior, and party and bull shit and party and bull shit. And there will be no change. The question should be what is it that you want and what is the price you are willing to pay and how do you go about getting it.
Will you build a grass root organization?
If so form small groups of 5 – 10 people. Get to know and vet who your people are. Are they actors, allies or accomplices? Are they people who will sit down and meet regularly to discuss strategies and planned actions? Meet in a public place or Zoom. Let us know what your results are at 4comculture.com. Email info to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d suggest that you make this message go viral through your social media outlets. I’d suggest that you print this out on your home printer and distribute it at upcoming non-violent protests. You can become a civic activist and work between horrific events and elections.
This year we gathered as usual Sunday January 19 at Holy Temple Church of God in Christ for the Commemorative Celebration. Monday January 20 we gathered at the Spokane Convention Center for a video presentation about the MLK East Central Community Center, inspirational speeches, Max Daniels of House of Soul gave his rendition of A Change Is Gonna Come with a slide presentation that illustrated previous MLK rallies and CLICK:Those Who Showed Up during the year to speak to power, marched around several blocks downtown, and returned to the Exhibit Hall where Michael Moon Bear youth drummers entertained.
But there were only two action steps suggested.
One was that we spread the love and brotherhood of Dr. King’s teachings and the other was that we show up February 3 at City Hall to ask the City Council to rename the East Central Community Center as the Martin Luther King Community Center.
People leave these rallies without knowing what they can do. What will you do between now and when we gather again in January 2021 for the MLK rally and march? In the next few weeks there are the impeachment proceedings followed by the campaigns for the presidential and other elections in November. We need to get busy.
100 Discussion to Action Groups
If you believe in CLICK: These Principles we need you to go to your local coffee house and form a discussion group with five to ten individuals to discuss issues, plan strategies and take actions. Begin building the community you want to live in. We want to build 100 of these discussion groups. If we have 100 discussion groups we will be able to turn out 500 to a 1000 people to demonstrate, to knock on doors, to participate in social justice activities. Regardless of whomever is elected we will have built the movement we need to support the human rights and social justice changes that Sam Cooke wrote about in one of the greatest songs of all time A Change is Gonna Come.
If you want to join us TEXT (509) 934-3933 with your name, email address and zip code. We will let you know about discussion groups in your area.
We have all been to many meetings and rallies at the end of which no one knows what they can do. If you participate in demonstrations, rallies and social media you need to go to your local coffee house and have a discussion with five to ten individuals about what you can do about racial and social justice and community development. Begin building the community you want to live in. We want to build 100 of these coffee discussion groups. You may want to come to one of these listed below. Or start your own and let us know. Be sure to invite someone from the affected classes.
There are now several First Thursday* Coffee and Discussion groups:
First Thursday Coffee & Discussion East Central Community Center 10 am (Resumes March 4, 2020) 500 S Stone
First Thursday Original Coffee & Discussion 10:00 am Clark’s Fork (meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays) 1028 N Hamilton St #100, Spokane, WA
First Thursday Evening Discussion 6 – 8 pm Location varies. TEXT (509) 934-3933 and ask for location.
African American Men’s Discussion TEXT (509) 934-3933 and ask for date, time, location.
*These groups originally started out on the First Thursday of each month. Now they meet on the dates and times established by each group.
Call to Participation
Those interested in racial and social justice Those interested in community development 5-10 people meeting regularly for deep discussion Willing to meet regularly to plan strategies and take actions
As with the ancient art of paper folding/shaping, we’re all in this together. 4comculture.com is a focused effort to guide and shape the good energies and efforts of various groups in Spokane into something singular, something beautiful, something wonderfully effective. With your permission and your help our goal is to be a one stop, centralized, trusted connection point for what’s happened, what’s happening and what we can do together to affect what happens in the future of our community. In this age of Facebook, Instagram, the Internet and Inboxes, there’s no excuse for “I didn’t know, I wasn’t aware, and I would’ve helped.”
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