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Jacksonville demands ‘Drop the charges against the Jax 19!’

By Fernando Figueroa |
February 8, 2015
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Activists Demand: Drop the Charges against the Jax 19.
Above:
Activists Demand: Drop the Charges against the Jax 19. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Protesters hold signs on a busy intersection outside Angela Corey's office
Organizers and security clash upon trying to enter Angela Corey's office
Right:
Protesters hold signs on a busy intersection outside Angela Corey's office (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Left:
Organizers and security clash upon trying to enter Angela Corey's office (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Jacksonville, FL -Two dozen activists gathered in front of State Attorney Angela Corey's office, Feb. 4, to once again demand justice for the Jax 19. The Jax 19 are 19 protesters who were arrested after they blocked the Hart bridge in response to the racist decision to let Eric Garner's killer, a New York police officer, walk free. Several members of the Jax 19 were present, along with supporters from multiple organizations, including the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition.

Gathering in front of State Attorney Angela Corey's office, the spirited protesters began chants like “Drop the charges – on the Jax 19,” “One, two, three, four – Angela Corey out the door! Five, six, seven, eight – drop the charges, we won't wait,” and “Jail killer cops – not justice protesters.”

Organizers of the demonstration could tell that inside of Corey's office, those who opposed justice and supported the criminal ‘injustice’ system were getting nervous at the people-power on display outside. Several agents of Corey were dispatched to take pictures and film the protesters in an attempt to intimidate the activists. Rather than backing down, the activists decided to begin a moving picket around Corey's office.

After marching around the office for half an hour, the activists decided that they were sick and tired of injustice and attempted to enter into the public office and demand a meeting with Corey, who is an elected public official.

As soon as the activists approached the door, security and police officers inside bolted the revolving door shut and started screaming at the protesters to back away from the door. After a few moments, about half a dozen security and police officers stepped outside and confronted the protesters. They told organizers that they couldn't have a meeting inside with Corey.

The activists laughed and Jacksonville Progressive Coalition Organizer Dave Schneider summed up an important point, stating “Angela Corey wants people to think the activists in front of her office pose a danger simply for demanding justice, but the real danger lies in the police officers who occupy the Black community and who murder Black people without fear of prosecution. Under capitalism, you're more likely to get attacked by the 1% for holding a picket sign than for brutalizing Black people if you've got a badge.”

Since all the doors to the office were bolted shut, the activists resumed their roaming picket around Corey's office. At the same time, a member of Teamsters Local 512, Connell Bam Crooms, spoke out and shamed the police officers who were keeping the people from entering Angela Corey's public office.

All the protesters vowed to keep fighting for justice until the charges were dropped against the Jax 19 – especially the charges against Jacksonville activist Siddhi Friar, who the system is targeting front and center for her commitment to activism and social justice.

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