Thursday, December 14, 2017

We Charge Genocide

As election season was underway, the UN Committee Against Torture was again reviewing the US Government's compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture in November of 2014. Earlier that spring, a new intergenerational grassroots group called We Charge Genocide ("WCG") formed after one of their dear friends, Dominique "Damo" Franklin, a young Black man, died after he was tased by Chicago Police officers. Damo's friends were devastated. Mariame Kaba, a revolutionary thinker, abolitionist, and founder of Project NIA, developed the ingenious idea of sending an all-youth of color delegation to the UN to once again raise the issue of racist police violence--this time centering the experiences of youth of color in Chicago, and naming the delegation in honor of the historic Civil Rights Congress's petition "We Charge Genocide" filed with the United Nations General Assembly in 1951. The delegation, along with a CTJM representative, attorney Shubra Ohri, also asked the UN CAT to support the reparations ordinance.

The WCG delegation was bold and courageous, taking the UN CAT hearing by storm. They staged a protest inside the UN hearing room in Geneva, Switzerland, capturing the attention of the UN Committee members, the US delegation, and the international media. Weeks later, on November 20, 2014, the UN Committee issued its report citing its on-going concerns regarding racist police violence in Chicago, noting particular concerns about violence against African American and Latinx youth, and again cited the Burge torture cases, calling on the US Government to support the passage of the "Chicago Police Torture Reparations Ordinance." Soon thereafter, CTJM and AI joined forces with Project NIA and WCG to form an unstoppable, multiracial, and intergenerational grassroots coalition to pass the ordinance.

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