Civil Rights U.S.

Walking shoes required: 250 miles on a quest for justice

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13:  Marchers head out during the start what is being called the "March 2 Justice" march from Staten Island to Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2015 in New York City. About 50 marchers, with more expected to join-up on route, crossed the Outerbridge Crossing in Staten Island while chanting for justice against police brutality. Staten Island, the borough where Eric Garner died during a confrontation with NYPD officers last summer, has become one of the nations focal points for protests against the police. Along with Garner's death, the cases of Ferguson teen Michael Brown and Walter Scott in South Carolina have energized the movement against the police. The marchers hope to highlight the individual cases and to pressure law makers and police departments across the country to institute changes in how the police confront to citizens.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Written by Wendy Carrillo

#March2Justice: “Together, we can change the landscape of this nation and prove once and for all that ALL men and women are created equal. And we ALL have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


Day 1:

Today, April 13, hundreds of supporters showed up to the Staten Island New York Justice League kickoff of #March2Justice — a 9-day, 250-mile journey from New York to Washington D.C. — which aims to bring attention to the national crisis of police violence and overuse of authority against civilians.

From the website:

“We MARCH in solidarity with our elders, our youth, our incarcerated brothers and sisters, and the families and communities of those impacted by police brutality. We MARCH on behalf of Eric Garner. And Akai Gurley. And Jesse Hernandez. And Rekia Boyd. And Tamir Rice. And Michael Brown. And Renisha McBride. And London Colvin. And John Crawford III. And Miriam Carey. And Anthony Baez. And Ramarley Graham.”

A march participant holds up signs during the start what is being called the ‘March 2 Justice’ march from Staten Island to Washington, DC on April 13, 2015 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

 

#March2Justice will travel through five states and end with a concert and rally at the National Mall in D.C. on Tuesday, April 21. The group will deliver the “Justice Package” to legislators on the hill which consists of “legislation which will end racial profiling, demilitarize our police forces and shift juvenile justice from institutionalization to prevention,” according to the website.

Comprised of a multi-ethnic, multi-generational group of New Yorkers, the NY Justice League organized several protests in New York in the wake of the death of Eric Garner who was killed by a chokehold by an NYPD officer. His last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry against police brutality. The group has ties to politics, the arts, civil rights, social justice and labor groups.

The three women leading the charge are Carmen Perez, co-founder of NY Justice League and executive director of The Gathering for Justice, founded by entertainer and civil rights leader Harry Belafonte, Tamika Mallory, former executive director of the National Action Network (NAN), founded by civil rights leader, Rev. Al Sharpton and Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York and White House Champion of Change.

New elected Assemblymember Michael Blake and Councilman Jumaane D. Williams march at kickoff of #March2Justice, April 13, 2015. ((Spencer Platt/Getty)

 

Notes from the road:

Since our loved ones CAN walk and CAN breathe, we have a responsibilty to walk for those who cannot. — Tamika Malory

After eight hours of walking and close to 20 miles, the tired and hungry marchers made it to the Willing Heart Community Care Center in Newark, New Jersey as they were greeted by supporters.

Tomorrow, the group will be joined by more supporters as they make their way to Trenton, New Jersey.

About the author

Wendy Carrillo

Wendy Carrillo is the West Coast anchor/producer at Reported.ly. She joined First Look Media in December of 2014 to help launch Reported.ly.

For the past eight years, she’s been the host and executive producer of the radio news magazine show, “Knowledge is Power” on KPWR Los Angeles, integrating social networks to crowdsource and curate show topics and conversations. Wendy is a regular contributor to various online and TV news networks and has hosted discussions on race, identity and politics for local NPR affiliates and various non-profit town halls. Most recently, she worked as a digital producer and writer for NUVOtv. 

She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Online News Association (ONA) and holds a BA in Communications from CSULA and an MA in Journalism from USC.

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