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News :: Police and Prisons : Race
350 Jews March from Coolidge Corner to Protest Racist Police Violence on First Night of Chanukah
17 Dec 2014
Brookline, MA — Last night, over 350 Boston-area Jews gathered to observe the first night of Chanukah in Coolidge Corner by protesting racist police violence. They lit menorahs as a symbolic dedication to the fight to end systemic police violence and racial profiling, and to remember the lives of black people across the country who have been killed by police. Traffic was stopped in Coolidge corner for 30 minutes as hundreds of protesters gathered on the sidewalks and in the streets for public prayer and song, led by Jews of color, followed by a youth speak-out held on the steps of Kehillath Israel. They also fundraised for Black Lives Matter Boston.
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The event’s message was a call to action to the Brookline community and Boston’s Jewish community to grapple with the history and current-day reality of racial segregation and racism. The goal of the protest was to disrupt business as usual in the majority-white city until the people of Ferguson’s demands are met:

1. The De-militarization of Local Law Enforcement across the country 2. A Comprehensive Review of systemic abuses by local police departments, including the publication of data relating to racially biased policing, and the development of best practices.

3. Repurposing of law enforcement funds to support community based alternatives to incarceration and the conditioning of DOJ funding on the ending of discriminatory policing and the adoption of DOJ best practices

4. A Congressional Hearing investigating the criminalization of communities of color, racial profiling, police abuses and torture by law enforcement.

5. Support the Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act

6. The Obama Administration develops, legislates and enacts a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice

Organized and attended mostly by white Jews, in partnership with Jews of color, this is one of 15 #ChanukahAction mobilizations organized across the US, in response to a call from Ferguson to challenge anti-black racism and white supremacy in all our communities.

“This demonstration means a lot to me and my Jewish family of color,” said Atarah McCoy, 17, who spoke at the end of the rally. “I’m hoping the Jewish community will join me to stand against the police brutality against African Americans which we have all seen on the media.”

"As we light the first light of Chanukah this evening, we remember our ancestors' struggle for dignity and freedom,” said Rabbi Toba Spitzer of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek. “I am glad that Jewish communities across the country are taking this opportunity to show our solidarity with those communities most affected by the disparities in our justice system, and to add our voices to the call for much-needed reforms."

“Each one a child of God, each one is our own,” said Rabbi Victor Reinstein of Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue, who ended the protest with the Kaddish, a traditional prayer of mourning. “Michael, Eric, Tamir. May the light of their souls shine, and the lights we kindle from heart to heart.”

People who are interested in getting more involved in Jewish racial justice work in Boston can follow BostonJews4RacialJustice on Facebook or email BostonJews4RacialJustic AT gmail.com for more information.

Photo Credits: Tess Scheflan of ActiveStills and Jordyn Rozensky

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: 350 Jews March from Coolidge Corner to Protest Racist Police Violence on First Night of Chanukah
17 Dec 2014
Modified: 03:41:44 PM
If you want to "grapple with the history and current-day reality of racial segregation and racism" don't forget the fascistic, apartheid Jewish State where it is now and always has been a way of life since the Nakba and even before. Mohammad, Rowiya, Amr. "May the light of their souls shine, and the lights we kindle from heart to heart.” End U.S. aid to Israel. Happy Chunukah!