FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Montgomery County Young Democrats Respond to Baltimore Uprisings
We, the Montgomery County Young Democrats, stand in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and we hear their protests calling for justice. The death of Freddie Gray and the anguish behind the violent and peaceful protests are the results of a long legacy of failure to respond to inequality in Baltimore’s most impoverished communities.
“Freddie Gray’s death after having his voicebox crushed and spine nearly severed while in police custody is tragic, and one more loss in the long line of black men killed after police encounters just this year. The fact that 10 days after his death, his family and the citizens of Baltimore are no closer to the answers they seek is an outrage. A riot is the language of the unheard, and what we’ve seen this week is a community’s reaction to injustice while feeling abandoned. This is not just about the unacceptable loss of Freddie Gray. It’s also about the systemic marginalization of a community for far too long. We have to recognize and commit to working on the systemic issues involved – police brutality and poverty – if we’re to join together as a community and move forward,” said MCYD Vice President Will Roberts.
We encourage everyone to listen to the Baltimoreans who are most affected by decades of the failed War on Drugs, police brutality and systemic inequality. We call on our elected officials, labor, community leaders and neighbors to respond with compassion and work to create real progress in achieving justice and equality for all.
“What we saw on the streets of Baltimore was a community angered by yet another unnecessary death and the perpetual brutality inflicted upon them by those who swore to protect and serve,” said MCYD Political Director Gabriel Acevero. “My hope is that after the cameras have left, we can have that uncomfortable dialogue about police brutality, the socio-economic challenges facing the city, the realities of black urban youth and how we can address it. It would be an affront to Freddie Gray’s memory if we sit on our hands.”
“We need—all of us—to be as devoted to justice as we are to order, and as committed to change as we are to restoring calm. Decision makers need to hold the megaphone up to the mouths of people who are speaking out. And Democrats and Republicans alike need to take responsibility for past failures and begin to do differently or we will find ourselves here again,” said MCYD President Nik Sushka.
In the days and weeks ahead, we offer our assistance in rebuilding Baltimore’s devastated communities, and fully support the long-term struggle of peace, justice and equality.
MCYD is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to attract and develop young people into caring agents of change who commit through political action to working for just and sustainable communities. For more information, visit www.mcyd.org.