The Mandate: A Call and Response From Black Lives Matter Atlanta

On July 13, 2016, members of Black Lives Matter Atlanta (BLM ATL) organized civil disobedience to amplify the call for long standing local demands in light of the police killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Jerry Williams. Heavy police and state surveillance and presence attempted to halt and block the organizers.  These Black leaders would not falter. The Mandate is a call and response to get in formation to bring the generational leadership we need to transform the leaders, institutions, and policies that cage, kill, and terrorize Black communities. SONG joins Black Lives Matter Atlanta in building a people’s platform with Rise Up, the Georgia Not1More Coalition, Racial Justice Action Center and Women on the Rise to call on Mayor Kasim Reed to divest from the militarization of police while demanding stronger investments in Black, Latinx, and all communities terrorized by police brutality.

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TRANSCRIPT:
[sound of helicopter above with music fading in]

Mary Hooks: All across the nation from Baton Rouge to Asheville to Minnesota, Black bodies and police violence is showing that this country is crushing under the weight of white supremacy.

[Sound of helicopter fades out and music continues]

Black leadership! Black leadership! Y’all said to us, “Every generation has a demand,” and you right. We do! Here’s what it is: Divest! Divest! Divest from prisons, jails, courts. The vision of justice for us does not include cages. The vision of justice for us allows us to walk in our communities with safety and dignity for all Black people: those that are differently abled, Black women, Black children, queer bodies, trans women. All of our brilliance deserves that. That is public safety. So, whoever is defining it come talk to us, because we have a different vision. Get behind it or get beside us and the organizations, and the communities, and the people we represent.

We just gettin’ ready! We just gettin’ ready. And to all of our people who are listening,  all the people of the across the country right now, all of the people in solidarity right now from Canada to South Africa, all of our people in Palestine right now: This a different moment that we are in. We have a mandate! We have a mandate! And damn it we gon’ do it.

Mary: Call and response!

Person to Mary’s right: Call and response!

Mary: Call and response!

Crowd: Call and response!

Mary: Call and response!

Crowd: Call and response!

Mary: The mandate for Black people in this time!

Crowd: The mandate for Black people in this time!

Mary: Is to avenge the suffering of our ancestors!

Crowd: Is to avenge the suffering of our ancestors!

Mary: To earn the respect of future generations!

Crowd: To earn the respect of future generations!

Mary: And be willing to be transformed in the service of the work!

Crowd: And be willing to be transformed in the service of the work!

[Music plays till the end]

TRANSCRIPCIÓN:

[sonido de helicóptero cerniendo- intensificación de música]

Mary Hooks: Por todo el país de Baton Rouge a Asheville a Minnesota, cuerpos negros y

violencia policial demuestran que este país está siendo aplastado bajo el peso de supremacía

blanca.

[Sonido de helicóptero atenúe y la música continúa]

¡Líderes negrxs! ¡Líderes negrxs! Nos han dicho con razón, “Cada generación tiene su
demanda”. ¡Las tenemos! Aquí está: ¡Desinvertirnos! ¡ Desinvertirnos! ¡ Desinvertirnos de las
prisiones, reclusorios, tribunales. La visión de justicia para nosotrxs no incluye jaulas. La visión
de justicia para nosotrxs nos permite caminar en nuestras comunidades con seguridad y dignidad
para toda persona Negra; aquellxs con diferentes capacidades físicas, mujeres Negras, criaturas
negrxs, cuerpos queer, mujeres trans. Toda nuestra brillantez se lo merece. Eso es seguridad
pública. Así que, quien lo esté definiendo acérquense para hablar, porque tenemos una visión
diferente. Respáldenla o pónganse de lado de nosotrxs, nuestras organizaciones, y las
comunidades que representamos.

¡Apenas comenzamos! ¡Apenas comenzamos! Y a toda nuestra gente que escucha, todxs lxs
personas a través del país en este momento, todxs lxs personas en solidaridad desde Canadá hasta
Suráfrica, toda nuestra gente en Palestina: Nos encontramos en un nuevo momento. ¡Tenemos un
mandato! ¡Tenemos un mandato! Y diablos lo lograremos.

Mary: ¡Llamada y respuesta!

Pea la derecha de Mary: ¡Llamada y respuesta!

Mary: ¡Llamada y respuesta!

Muchedumbre: ¡Llamada y respuesta!

Mary: ¡Llamada y respuesta!

Muchedumbre: ¡Llamada y respuesta!

Mary: ¡El mandato para gente Negra en este tiempo!

Muchedumbre: ¡El mandato para gente Negra en este tiempo!

Mary: ¡Es vengar el sufrimiento de nuestrxs antepasadxs!

Muchedumbre: ¡Es vengar el sufrimiento de nuestrxs antepasadxs!

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