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Injustice system attacks Minister Toya Woodland, MN Black Lives Matter activist

By Sam Martinez |
August 25, 2018
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Minneapolis, MN - Minister Toya Woodland, her son and supporters held a press conference and speak-out at the Hennepin County Government Center, August 21, to demand that the charges against her be dropped. Woodland faces charges of terroristic threats, simply for being a mother standing up for her son against systemic racism.

On March 12, Toya Woodland went to the Perpich School for the Arts to address dorm staffs’ derogatory comments to her son, Toyvon Campbell. In her conversation with the staff, she allegedly stated that she would “shut down” (Black Lives Matter terminology for protest) the school due to their mistreatment of Toyvon, their racial profiling and overall racial bias.

In an effort to silence Woodland, the dorm staff and assistant principal called the police and alleged that she would shoot up the school and shoot the dorm staff. Due to these allegations, Minister Toya Woodland, named Toya Brantley in the complaint, was charged with terroristic threats.

Minister Toya Woodland is a Black Lives Matter activist who is currently organizing with Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar (TCC4J). Before that, she was active with BLM Minneapolis during the Fourth Precinct occupation for Jamar Clark. In addition to her community activism, Woodland is a minister at Christ Temple Apostolic Church.

The events leading up to Minister Toya Woodland’s arrest are like many of the stories which highlight the attacks on African-American people across the United States, ranging from derogatory comments to casting her son as a monkey for a school play. Woodland has been in contact with the school since Dec. 16, 2017, when she contacted Curt Tryggestad, the director of Perpich Arts High School, along with principal Ahava Silkey-Jones, regarding the overall racist climate of the school. On March 11, the day before Woodland was arrested, her son posted an exposé review of the Perpich school on Facebook.

Toyvon Campbell is one of the four remaining Black students left at the Perpich school. When speaking on his mother’s experience, he stated, “When I arrived home that day, the place was torn apart. I didn’t know what happened. I was worried because I had no idea what happened to my mom. She disappeared.”

Perpich School for the Arts stated they are not pursuing charges and are currently seeking an outside mediator to resolve issues. However, charges continue.

Loretta VanPelt, TCC4J organizer stated, “In the U.S., Black women and the Black family are constantly under attack by a system which uses white supremacy to destroy all working people. The injustice system wishes to silence Toya and destroy her because she stood up for her son Toyvon and for Black people who are oppressed every day by police crimes and terror in our communities.”

TCC4J, which is also is currently pushing for community control of the police in Minneapolis, is leading a “Drop the charges against Toya Brantley AKA Minister Toya” campaign, urging people to call country prosecutors at 612-348-5540 to demand that they drop the charges.