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Minneapolis Jamar Clark benefit show to raise funds for burial, ongoing organizing

By staff |
February 7, 2016
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Minneapolis, MN - Members of Jamar Clark’s family, community activists and artists will join together for the “Break the Silence! Honoring Jamar Clark Benefit Show,” on Feb. 9, 7:00-10:00 pm, at the Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis.

The event will raise funds to cover Clark’s tombstone and for ongoing organizing in his case. Featuring poetry, soul music and hip-hop, artists slated to perform include spoken word artist Keno Evol, Black Lives Matter protest anthem singer Jayanthi Kyle and nationally recognized emcees TruthMaze, Tall Paul, Maria Isa and Muja Messiah.

Jamar Clark, a young Black man from North Minneapolis, was shot in the head while unarmed and handcuffed by the Minneapolis Police Department in the early morning of Nov. 15, 2015. Since his execution, the North Minneapolis community and Minnesotans of conscience have risen up to demand justice. Actions have included an 18-day occupation outside the Fourth Precinct police station and the shutdown of the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, both led by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.

A coalition of community organizations called the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar continues to organize, led in part by Jamar’s cousin Alexander Clark who has emerged as the most prominent voice of Clark’s family. Alexander Clark headed up the organizing of Break the Silence!, envisioning a night to honor the life of his cousin, bring community members together in a spirit of unity, and ensure Clark is respectfully put to rest.

Alexander Clark, organizer with the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, said: “I feel like this must be seen as a time of need to form a dedicated foundation of solidarity. We need to ensure that the entire world knows what we can do within the faith of the people.” He went on to describe how the names of Jamar Clark and many others murdered by police have become a rallying call against state violence. “If we don’t get no justice, they will not get no peace or sleep. In the spirit of freedom fighter Assata Shakur, I believe it is our duty to fight for our freedom, just as it is our duty to win. I believe we must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains. All power to the people. Ashe.”

Clark approached the Anti-War Committee to be the organizational sponsor for the benefit show. Based in Minneapolis, the Anti-War Committee stands in solidarity with oppressed people at home and abroad. They work to draw links between the impacts of militarism abroad and the realities of militarized police terrorizing oppressed communities in the U.S.

Jess Sundin, with the Anti-War Committee and the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, said: “We organize for an end to racist oppression and self-determination for all peoples. We were honored that Alex asked us to sponsor this benefit. We hope Break the Silence! creates space for people to come together to celebrate a young man’s life stolen too soon, and inspires us all to continue to fight for justice, at home and abroad.”

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