Communities United Collective Rejects Worcester Intimidation Tactics
Communities United Collective and other local groups have led and participated in the Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations in Worcester over the last several months.
On MLK Day in 2015 there was a four and one half minute protest in Kelly Square that caused some traffic delays.
In response, [Worcester] City Manager Ed Augustus and [Worcester] Police Chief Gary Gemme attempted to intimidate Communities United Collective by stating publicly that they were looking for something with which to charge the protesters. The Telegram and Gazette supported this effort by calling publicly for information about protesters.
We reject this attempt to scare us into stopping our activities on the issues of racial profiling and the killing of unarmed people, especially black males, by the police.
We call attention to the fact that killings of black people are only the most visible part of an ongoing politics of fear acted out daily by the police in poor communities and communities of color in Worcester and throughout this country.
In Worcester this is marked by at least 134 civilian complaints against the WPD in a 12-month period and three people, Christino Hernandez, Joseph Howard and Victor Davila, killed by the police in Worcester in the last 21 years.
In order to not see or act upon this situation, there is an increasing tendency toward criminalization and vitriol towards peaceful protest, and selective interpretations of “public safety.” The actions of the city manager, the police chief and T&G have once again provided evidence of these clearly politically motivated trends, reactions and incomprehension.
We call for an end to the criminalization of protest and dissent and an end to the criminalization of black life.
Communities United Collective will continue its actions to oppose racism and oppression of all forms.
Communities United Collective is a multi-racial, multi-cultural alliance working to combat the systemic oppression that affects communities of color and impoverished communities in the city of Worcester. We are committed to standing against racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism, the militarization of our society, and all forms of oppression, using a shared voice, with the goal of an equal and just existence for our local, national, and global communities.