Americans mark 155th anniversary of end of slavery


Thousands of Americans marched in more than 100 cities across the US in June 19 to mark the 155th Ju­ne­te­enth, the day in 1865 when the Black people were formally emancipated from slavery in the United States.

Majority marked the commemoration with protests to demand justice over police brutality and racist killings that target Black Americans. Massive protests condemning the police killing of George Floyd continue to expand across the US. On June 12, people were further enraged with the police shooting of Rayshard Bro­oks in Atlan­ta, Geor­gia while attempting to run from police operatives. Brooks, a restaurant employee, died after sustaining two gunshot wounds in the back.

In solidarity, thousands of workers mounted strikes at the Inter­na­tio­nal Long­sho­re and Wa­re­hou­se Uni­on in Oak­land, Ca­lifor­nia on June 19. The strike paralyzed the operation of approximately 29 ports along West Coast for eight hours.

Hundreds of teachers and their families also marched to seek additional funding for black students and demand that the curriculum be reformed to include the history of the Black people in history classes. A number of monuments associated with Black slavery were taken down by the people, including statues of slave traders and flags of big landlords who refused to liberate their slaves, among other images and symbols of discrimination.

Defund the police

Among the major calls of the Black Lives Mat­ter movement and other groups is to reform the police institution. This includes the removal of its ranking officials, enactment of laws that will hold them accountable for their crimes, removal of their many privileges, defunding the institution, and even calls to dismantle the police. At least nine states supported these calls. including Min­nea­po­lis, where Geor­ge Floyd was killed, which demanded the that the police be dismantled. Resolutions were also recently issued to prohibit the use of excessive force by police against suspects including chokeholds and no-knock warrants. In Was­hing­ton D.C., a resolution was issued banning the police from using tear gas, pep­per spray, rubber bullets and stun gre­na­des in dispersing protest actions.

The Black Lives Matter movement also called for jobs, wage increases, housing and the repect of human rights. They asserted that many crimes in their communities stem from poverty, state neglect and discrimination.

Americans mark 155th anniversary of end of slavery