Today marks 25 years since the beating of Rodney King.

King yielded to police after a high speed chase where a nearby resident filmed the infamous video footage (remarkable as this is before the age of cell phone cameras) of LAPD officers beating him with batons and leaving him battered.

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A screenshot of Rodney King being beaten by police. Captured from Colorlines.

Even with video footage, the 4 white officers responsible were acquitted. Frustration and outrage over police brutality boiled over in the 1992 LA Riots.

Image from LA Riots of 1992

 

Image of Toronto (Yonge St) 1992 Riots

This is in direct correlation to the Yonge Street Riot of 1992 in Toronto. BADC (Black Action Defence Committee) organized a protest against the acquittal of the LAPD officers, but the focus became about the killing of another Black man in Toronto 2 days earlier, Raymond Constantine Lawrence, a 22-year-old who was shot twice in the chest by Toronto police, marking the 8th police shooting of a Black person in 4 years.

 

The histories of solidarity between Black peoples across nations is ever present. Black Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter Toronto are following in a tradition of resistance against anti-Black racism and state sanctioned violence.

BADC, largely led by Akua Benjamin, expanded the space of resistance for Black people in Canada, a tradition connected to Buxton, to Africville, to Marie-Joseph Angèlique, to the Computer Riot of 1969.

Image from race related Computer Riots, 1969 in Montreal

We are not the first, we will not be the last. Revolution happens in cycles. There is never a time when it is not happening. Even though it may not be mass movements, strikes, protests, or shutdowns.

We are approaching a peak in the cycle. Our generation has to move beyond outrage, beyond policy/legislative changes, beyond the seduction of neoliberalism, beyond US/Western narratives. We can achieve globalized resistance in our lifetime, we can fight in our lifetime, we can create new forms of resistance in our lifetime – and in so many ways we already are.

 

#‎fromLAtoToronto‬ ‪#‎fromFergusontoPalestine‬ ‪#‎fromBraziltoSouthAfrica‬ ‪#‎fromMontrealtoHaiti‬

We will win.

Featured image flickr Mick Taylor CC By 2.0

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