CommonBound weekend kicked-off as the stories of two recent police killings dominated the news. Many participants arrived to the conference angry and hurt by the events and the impacts of police violence on their communities. The New Economy Coalition released the following message to all CommonBound 2016 attendees Friday 7/8:
We are devastated by the taking of two more black lives: Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We are fed up with a system that is set up to dominate and destroy our brothers and sisters. Like so many people attending CommonBound this weekend, we are grieving. We are angry. We are in pain.
This conference is about transforming the system. It’s about radical solutions that are rooted in love, solidarity, and liberation. It’s also about dismantling the systems of oppression — like white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy — that stand in our way. We are humbled and excited that so many people have decided to spend the next three days engaging with these big questions. Thank you for being here with us.
We also recognize that people may need to take time and space to grieve and process. We encourage you to do that in whatever ways are right for you. Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can be supportive.
To the end, we want you to know that this evening’s welcoming plenary will create space to acknowledge what is happening in the world beyond the conference. The panel with Elandria Williams (Highlander Center), Malachi Garza (Community Justice Network for Youth), and Chrystel Cornelius (First Nations Oweesta Corporation) focuses explictly on sovereignty and liberation. It will be powerful and uplifting. We think the evening will be an important moment to ground the conference in the reality of the day-to-day violence and oppression impacting so many of our communities.
We also want you to know that tonight there will be a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Buffalo, organized by local activists (Buffalo's Black Community Action Network). The latest information we have is that it's between 4-6PM at Martin Luther King Park at the statue. We are looking into providing transportation but at this point you should plan on arranging your own.
Love and solidarity,
Staff at the New Economy Coalition