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George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, died on May 25. A month later, daily demonstrations against police brutality in San Antonio have become less frequent, but activists continue to stay connected and plan protests.
“We all have the same feeling,” Reliable Revolutionaries founder Jourdyn Parks said on Tuesday. “We all feel like we need to do something.”
Parks joined Reliable Revolutionaries co-founder Pharaoh Clark for the “Black San Antonio Matters: Protests to Policy” panel Tuesday, moderated by Rivard Report Managing Editor Graham Watson-Ringo. Parks and Clark talked about the importance of reducing the police union’s power and ability to reinstate police officers fired by the San Antonio Police Department. The police union contract with the City and the union itself have become major topics for Black Lives Matter protesters.
Parks and Clark also stressed that they keep public health in mind when organizing events to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Protesters wear face masks and hand sanitizer is readily available, Clark said. And people who don’t feel safe marching can lend their presence while driving, Parks said.
“You can be part of the caravan that leads or follows the marchers so you can be a part,” Parks said.
Watson-Ringo also spoke with Dr. Kenneth Kemp, a pulmonologist who pastors the historically black Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, and SAISD Chief Operations Officer Willie Burroughs, at Tuesday’s event. Though Kemp doesn’t always consider himself part of the “old guard,” he said he was impressed with the energy and message brought by younger organizers like Parks and Clark.
“The truth of the matter is that many of us have seen a number of protests come and go, and historically we’ve seen a number of organizations come and go,” Kemp said. “There are some that have been around for a long time, like the NAACP, but there are others that have come up and gone away. Ms. Parks and Mr. Clark told us they are not going away. They have objectives they want to pursue and want to see accomplished, and I share much of what they described in their presentation.”
Watch the discussion below.