#NJRR Live Special Report: Is This Revolution? With Special Guests Afrika and Margaret Kimberley

What Revolution Is About – And What It’s Not

Margaret Kimberley from the Black Agenda Report joins us with local activists who have been on the ground. Reports from around the state have been pouring in about recent protests! Afrika is an activist with a Sociology degree who has been on the ground in the recent movement.

So, is this a revolution? Afrika says this: nothing has changed so far, only one officer has been charged in the murder of George Floyd so far, and other cops who were also directly responsible are walking the streets. Afrika would not personally go out and be violent, especially not towards small businesses, but he understands that people are angry. People have a right to be angry right now. For years, they’ve lived in a world where the color of their skin puts them in inherent danger. The majority of the people that are on the streets right now are not members of some secret organization. They are community members of color who have lived in oppression their entire lives, and this is their stand. 

Brian Powers, Afrika, Margaret Kimberley

White people inciting violence against police endangers the lives of the Black protestors. Afrika calls for white allies, such as those identifying with the Antifa group, to join their Black brothers and sisters by protesting peacefully alongside them. We can participate in the revolution by doing the work of being a responsible ally day in and day out. When we see police officers using teargas and other overly aggressive means on innocent protestors, for example, in Philadelphia, it is imperative to realize that each one of these protestors has a story. 

Margaret Kimberley’s Thoughts

Margaret Kimberley says that this is an interesting and dangerous time to be an activist. “The revulsion was nearly universal,” she comments, elaborating that people took to the streets not only in Minneapolis, but all around the country and even in various continents in response to the murder of George Floyd. It’s been a long time since people engaged in organizing to this scale, and a lot of the activity we see is a product of anger without specific direction. Margaret continues, saying that she fully believes that the burning of the police station in Minneapolis directly lead to George Floyd’s murderous killer (she intentionally does not mention the cop’s name) being arrested. 

Margaret does not consider property damage to be violence; violence involves bringing direct harm to another individual. “I’ve never gone to a funeral for a tire,” Brian remarks, as Afrika nods in agreement. Margaret shares that she has been writing for the Black Agenda Report, where people have been questioning the intent of white protestors who have joined the movement. It is dangerous to listen to the politicians, whether Black or white, who are saying that protesters are bad for our democracy. We cannot be expected to believe that throwing a brick at a window is as bad as the countless years of violence and oppression experienced by people of color.

The Black Alliance for Peace

One of the organizations that Margaret Kimberly is a part of is the Black Alliance for Peace, which is a relatively young organization that does good work for organizing solutions to reduce political corruption. Margaret asks where the Berners are now. She calls for them to devote their energy to being effective allies in the current situation. Margaret believes that this could be the beginning of a revolution. People are angry about a lot of things at once right now. The world is full of injustice and it is becoming impossible to turn a blind eye. If we all, each and every one of us, take the time to educate ourselves, this movement can become something big.

Revolution Becoming Reality

The show is briefly joined by Craig Cayetano, Co-Chair of the Green Party of New Jersey, who is in a group of about 500 to 1000 protestors who are currently making their way to a local city hall to protest the murder of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. This particular rally is called #JusticeForJameek and is being held in honor of Jameek Lowery. Craig Cayetano pans his phone camera to demonstrate the size of the crowd and show the barricades that are being used to blockade the protestors. Chanting is heard as Craig advances into the mass of demonstrators. 

Afrika and Brian close out the show with a discussion on the cruciality of organizing within a revolution. Mindsets are changing for the good but it is genuinely frightening that many right-wing groups are more organized than those who care about social justice. There is, as Martin Luther King stated, an urgency of now. People do not just wake up and organically change their minds. It is the responsibility of those who do not know to learn, and of those who know to teach. Make your voices heard. We’ll be back for our show with its regular schedule next week! Be sure to tune in.

-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio

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