Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

CONFRONTING JULY 4TH: A MARCH TO HONOR BLACK AND INDIGENOUS ACTIVISTS

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Brooklyn, NY – On July 4, 2020 thousands of New Yorkers joined the Coalition to Honor Black and Indigenous Activists at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, for a massive protest march called Confronting July 4th: A March to Honor Black and Indigenous Activists, demanding as well justice for all victims of police brutality, making a loud call to defund the NYPD and invest in communities. The march ended in a rally and celebration at Prospect Park.

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This event was organized by a coalition of lesbian and queer activists plus filmmakers and historians. July 4th is full of contradictions that distort the meaning of freedom, liberation, justice and humanity.

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Organizers say they “refuse to celebrate the whitewashing of this country. Instead, we will joyously and actively celebrate and honor the ancestors and activists who have fought and continue to fight tirelessly for the lives and rights of the people.”

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We want to give those involved in organizing and participating in marches for the past several weeks, months, and years, a venue for community where they can just show up.

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Despite being a holiday supposedly celebrating freedom and justice, the Fourth of July is a day that’s instead come to symbolize hypocrisy to many. And this year, in light of continued protests, it feels all the more important to speak up against the racial inequities built into the very foundation of our country.

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“There would be no America without stolen land and stolen people. This country is founded on the genocide of Indigenous nations, the theft of their land, and the enslavement of African peoples,” stated organizer Chanelle Elaine. “That is why this 4th of July we refuse to celebrate the whitewashing of this country. Instead, we will joyously and actively celebrate and honor the ancestors and activists who have fought and continue to fight tirelessly for the lives and rights of the people.”

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that there would be no America without stolen land and stolen people. That this fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness didn’t start with the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, but it began when the first ships invaded these shores.

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That we can no longer celebrate our country without reckoning with our past and present. That this country is founded on the genocide of Indigenous nations, the theft of their land, and the enslavement of African peoples.

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That the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness brand that America markets is a dangerous myth as we continue to oppress, dehumanize, and murder. That unless we all commit to fight for the lives and rights of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other marginalized peoples, we will all continue to suffer the violence of systemic racism and white supremacy.

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That is why this 4th of July we refuse to celebrate the whitewashing of this country. Instead, we will joyously and actively celebrate and honor the ancestors and activists who have fought and continue to fight tirelessly for the lives and rights of the people.

CONFRONTING JULY 4TH: A MARCH TO HONOR BLACK AND INDIGENOUS ACTIVISTS

© Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

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