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Tampa groups protest in solidarity with Mike Brown

By Jessica Schwartz |
August 17, 2014
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Tampa, FL - Activists and community members gathered on Aug. 16 in front of the Tampa Police Department to protest the police murder of unarmed black teen Mike Brown and police brutality against protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Connie Burton, the Chairwoman of the Black People’s Advance and Defense Organization spoke, “Some people just want to stick their heads in the sand. We got to say that we oppose state-sanctioned murder and demand a future for our young people.”

The next speaker was Joseph Marchand of the New Black Panther Party, “I’m tired of my Black brothers and sisters and citizens of the U.S. being oppressed. Police think that they can go around shooting people because they think they have the license to kill.” Marchand referenced the police murders of two Tampa men, Willie and Tweet, as a local example of the national issue of police violence.

Lashawnda Smith joined the protest because Mike Brown’s story hits close to home. “It could have been one of my five brothers. What’s the need for the courts if the police are going to be the judge, jury, and executioner?”

Another protest is scheduled for next Saturday. Members of the Black People’s Advance and Defense Organization, Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society, New Black Panthers Party and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization were present at the action.