A call to action

James Badue is a member of the Justice 4 All Program at TakeAction Minnesota. He is helping to lead the fight to remove barriers to employment, housing and democracy for Minnesotans impacted by the Justice System. As J4A members gear up to take on new fights, James offers this powerful reflection on the announcement from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman that there will be no indictment in the shooting of Jamar Clark.

As I sat at the table of Muddy Waters in South side MPLS with Tommy Franklin (Justice 4 All Organizer), Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s announcement played live on his laptop. The aggravation of knowing the results before he announced it sat in my chest as I recalled the murder of a friend of mine who was shot and killed by the police on his graduation day. Then Trayvon, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, and all the other unknown brothers and sisters who have been murdered by the police with no justice.

In this city, there is no justice, it is just “us”.

Having recently been freed from the walls of imprisonment in 2014, I, like many of us, know what being held accountable for our actions means. Every day, we are being punished for our actions that happened years ago. Formally incarcerated people face barriers to providing the proper shelter we want for our children who were not even born at the time of our mistakes. Yet, the police are taking the lives of our sons, brothers, cousins, friends, etc. without consequence.

Where is the accountability? It can no longer be entirely in the hands of the system. It is up to us. It is our duty to be the judge and the jury of our blocks, our cities, our state and country. Having Freeman make the announcement instead of having a grand jury is just the start at breaking the knees of the wrecked justice system.

One day, our movement in Minnesota will be part of history. No longer shall we allow “his story” to reverberate through our communities. In order for us to navigate in a new direction, we must unite and devise a plan. Marching by the thousands is beautiful. We moved the conversation from the barbershops and salons to the streets. Not only do we have passion, we also have the law of physics on our side. Now that we have the momentum, it is in our best interest to stay in motion. To go further from just being seen and heard. It’s our time to be felt! Time to go further, from the streets and into their meetings, hearings and courtrooms. Make it known that we the people demand control of the system and not the other way around.

Are you ready to make a difference?

Join Members of the Justice 4 All Program as we hit the phones this week to build statewide support for voting rights restoration for people on probation and parole. You can RSVP at this link https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-2332881530275166208  and join the conversation on the work we are doing to demand #Justice4All!