UNIFIKATION MEDIA


INTERVIEW WITH DANETTE CHAVIS ON NATIONAL ACTION AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY
October 23, 2014, 2:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today Oct 22 is the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, see https://www.facebook.com/events/1493373830919151/, http://stolenlives.org/, https://www.facebook.com/StolenLivesProject, http://october22.org/ and their various local chapter (NY, Chicago, L.A. etc) pages on facebook.

TO HIGHLIGHT THE EPIDEMIC OF RACIST POLICE TERRORISM (MAJORITY OF VICTIMS ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR) AND IN THE AFTERMATH OF ERIC GARNER’S, MICHAELS BROWN’S AND  MANY OTHER POLICE KILLINGS AND BEATINGS OF UNARMED (WO)MEN, WE DECIDED TO INTERVIEW MS. DANETTE CHAVIS, A MOTHER/ACTIVIST, TO SHED THE NEEDED LIGHT ON THIS CAUSE, WHICH IS A GLOBAL ONE. See also https://www.facebook.com/MotherAgainstPoliceBrutality

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INTERVIEW WITH DANETTE CHAVIS ON NATIONAL ACTION AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY – www.change.org/petitions/national-action-against-police-brutality, https://www.facebook.com/NationalActionAgainstPoliceBrutality
UNIFIKATION:

– Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your social justice activism?

Danette Chavis: Greetings, I’d be happy to talk about my activism

*Ever since I can remember I’ve always been an advocate for justice looking to speak out on the behalf of the voiceless. I spent many years doing that as a Union representative at my previous place of employment and enjoyed it very much. But in October of 2004, I lost my only son at the age of 19 at the hands of law enforcement – which thrust me into an entirely new area of injustice. And for the last 10 years I’ve been fighting and advocating for justice on behalf of many.

– Is there an overall goal you’d like to achieve?

*The overall goal I would like to see fulfilled is a “nation wide” demand for justice. I believe that without a “national outcry” demanding police accountability, the murders, assaults and false incarcerations shall continue. To facilitate a “national out cry” I’ve initiated a petition demanding National Action Against Police Brutality.

– How is the progress going, regarding the petition and press coverage?

*The petition is doing fairly well. We have over 14,000 signatures and counting. As of yet, the press and mainstream media aren’t really aware of this action except for when press conferences and rally’s are held demanding justice for a family. It is mentioned to show the need for such action. Yet, I have done radio and cable television which has proved to be favorable.

– I noticed someone minimized the petition initiative, while others applaud it and sound thankful for the ability it has to connect on a national scale. See f.e. the many groups fighting for justice for victims of police brutality. How do you reply to people having this pessimistic approach?
*In any action initiated they will always be those who agree and those who disagree. I believe those who “disagree” do so because of the simplicity of a petition. They are unable to see justice brought about by a piece of paper with signatures upon it. And if you consider it on those terms I would have to agree. However, those are not the terms by which I initiated this action. The power of the petition is not the “signatures” but the people backing the demand. I would like for people to focus on “the power of the people” and not the “power of a petition”.

– Do you think the Ferguson case got more people ‘active’?

*There are many groups and organizations fighting and demanding justice and these things must be done because it lets the public know of an atrocity that occurred that otherwise would not receive news coverage. I applaud and support those efforts but I do not believe they are sufficient by themselves. There must be a “nation wide” demand for action – in addition to the marches and protests demanding justice! Because if there isn’t a “nation wide” demand there will be no “end” to the marches and protests concerning police murder. The marches and protests on the ground are dealing with the symptoms of a greater problem. It is my hope to deal with the problem “head on”.

– I remember you were being called ‘racist’ by someone for speaking out on racism, do you think the Ferguson case made more people willing to talk on the racism they or their families have faced from law enforcement?

*Not only did Ferguson get more people into activism – it brought to light the racism that yet exists in this country! America likes to pretend it doesn’t have a “race problem” and the election of Obama “confused” people into believing that the issues concerning race no longer existed and that whatever was being suffered by African Americans was of their own doing. I think more than anything Ferguson demonstrated not only that racism was “alive and well” but the system itself helped enforce and maintain it. And those attempting to “cover it” by media were themselves “arrested and assaulted” for doing so. It is my hope that whether or not media adequately “covers it” that families affected by racism, police brutality, and murder – continue to make their voices heard.

-I also remember some issues you observed some months ago about NY, because they sounded very familiar to the Chicago area where we reside. F.e.: often racial disparities/inequality when it comes to leisure – some people get criminalized through tickets for being out at night, while others don’t and instead enjoy the privilege of a night open gym. Over here, we also have a 24-7 gym. Connected to this is the growing gentrification process which I know affects New York too, do you have anything to say on this?
(SEE MUST-READS on gentrification on New York and beyond: http://www.alternet.org/culture/white-supremacy-stripped-bare-what-do-right-thing-tells-us-25-years-later?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/05/peril-hipster-economics-2014527105521158885.html, via https://www.facebook.com/humboldtparknot4sale?fref=nfhttp://www.alternet.org/violence-gentrification-american-cities, http://sfbayview.com/2014/03/sfpd-enforced-gentrification-killed-alex-nieto/ ,http://sfbayview.com/2014/04/degentrification-zones-a-poor-people-led-plan-to-take-back-this-stolen-and-gentrified-land-using-a-twist-on-the-mans-killer-plans/, http://sfbayview.com/2014/02/the-crime-of-ellis-act-evictions/, http://www.poormagazine.org/node/4433, http://www.poormagazine.org/homefulness, http://groundworkforpraxis.com/2014/05/09/round_table_1/, http://www.alternet.org/search/site/gentrification)

*As we look across the nation we see policies put in place under the guise of “crime prevention” in an attempt to solve “black on black” within the community. However, when the polices are examined we discover “racism” at the root as well as an attempt to incarcerate and criminalize the youth.

(NOTE; SEE UNIFIKATION DESIGN: http://www.zazzle.com/stop_criminalizing_the_youth_and_the_poor_t_shirt-235434292204873777) These policies such as “stops&frisks” not only violated rights underneath the constitution – but arrested “thousands upon thousands” of innocent people who were brutalized in the process. The data shows that less than 2% warranted being arrested and the policy did little to nothing, in regards to solving or preventing crime. It cost tax payers in New York City thousands of dollars and didn’t work. Yet, the fight to maintain and keep it enforced had to go all the way to the Supreme Court – which found it Unconstitutional! Despite the supreme courts decision, the Mayor and commissioner at that time filed an appeal on the supreme courts decision while the Mayor made public announcements that he should have had “more blacks arrested” than he did. These are public elected officials who are making and enforcing these policy’s that are racist and serve no purpose but to “arrest, brutalize, and even murder” in the name of “protecting and serving”. We must then ask the question: Who are you protecting and who are you serving? Because it is certainly not “us”. Our efforts concerning national action shall continue and I would like to encourage every one to not only sign the demand for action but extend your “support” as well. ***Donations of any amount are now being accepted and may be sent to the following: http://www.gofundme.com/POLICE-ACCOUNTABILITY ***

Thank you.

Danette Chavis

National Action Against Police Brutality – www.change.org/petitions/national-action-against-police-brutality, https://www.facebook.com/NationalActionAgainstPoliceBrutality

NAAPB@Icloud.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt4FQil90_s#t=51, MORE VIDEOS AT OFFICIAL CHANNEL http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4hg6VF1WgDJugtvhC4d74g

AND ‘A Mother Speaks (The Game is Tag, Don’t be It). A mother who lost her son to police brutality shares her thoughts to a group of young people in the Bronx. Stay tuned for a recording of her poetry.’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od-K26wdDGM

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