Bree Newsome Took Down the Confederate Flag 5 Years Ago. She’s Still Organizing

“…. This moment is definitely a little different from 2014 and 2015. This moment is building on everything that came before it. The last several years have been critical. Ferguson was the seed. A lot of us had seen this before. So no, folks were not going to be so patient this time. We’re also seeing that same wave consciousness from six, seven years ago take hold of a new generation now. For those who may have been too young to understand the significance of Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland, now it’s George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

What’s different in this particular moment is the compounded effects of the collapse of capitalism. Not only did folks witness a public lynching for eight minutes and 46 seconds, almost half the country is underemployed or unemployed. Resources are being allocated to more policing and militarization, yet during the coronavirus outbreak, we had doctors and nurses who couldn’t get protective gear to do their jobs. Police have tanks and rubber bullets, but hospitals can’t even get ventilators and enough beds. What sense does that make? That’s capitalism.

The billionaires made more billions. We got a one-time check for $1,200 — that is, if you qualified. This contradiction of capitalism and humanity was really made clear to a lot of people. This is the empire crumbling and I think people can really see this for themselves now. We’re also at the point where people are like, “Man, what do I have to lose? I might as well get involved.” It almost feels like the early stages of a revolution and the true toppling of the old systems….”

Bree Newsome speaks in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.

Bree Newsome speaks in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. / Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.

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