(August 2, 2015)
SIX DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED DURING PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION FRIDAY NIGHT.
Family of Samuel DuBose calls for peace and justice; Black Lives Matter Cincinnati joins
vigil in solidarity; Spontaneous march leads to several arrests
On Friday evening of July 31st Black Lives Matter Cincinnati came out to honor
the memory of Samuel DuBose, murdered by UC cop Ray Tensing on Sunday,
July 19. The DuBose family called on supporters to join them in a candlelight vigil
at the courthouse and “Light up the Night.” Present was the mother of DuBose,
as well as the mother of a black youth recently murdered by an unnamed
assailant. The families spoke of a struggle against evil, and criticized the
nonchalant way in which police treat the deaths of their children.
More than 300 people were present for the event – people of many races,
families with children, along with several clergy and students from across the city.
After the vigil concluded, a group of supporters left the courthouse in a
spontaneous march through Cincinnati’s business district chanting “I am Sam
DuBose” in poetic unison. Late into the march over 50 Cincinnati police cornered
demonstrators at Fountain Square in a provocative move that resulted in the
arrests of six people.
After the arrests, tensions rose, and throughout the evening members of Black
Lives Matter created a barrier between justifiably angry demonstrators and
police, preventing further arrests.
Black Lives Matters Cincinnati has a record of organizing large, disciplined
demonstrations, capable of creating the pressure necessary to expose injustice.
We hold all our members to a standard of tact and persistence when standing
behind families seeking justice against police and systemic violence. Despite
provocation of the cops Friday evening, the impromptu march did not play into
the hands of the police, who would certainly rather contain a riot rather than
grapple with the reality of an organized, insistent community force.
Though we feel police unnecessarily arrested people at this action, it is an
important moment to make clear that, at this stage in the struggle for black
liberation, individual acts that seek or provoke arrest – no matter how brave they
may be – are often detrimental to the mass movement as a whole. The financial
and human resources necessary to free fellow activists are much better used on
the direct needs of the families of those brutalized by the police.