Bay Area Solidarity Action Team Statement on Black Friday 14 Victory

#BlackLivesMatter    #BlackFriday14    #DropTheCharges

Today, Bay Area Solidarity Action Team (BASAT) celebrates the freedom of the Black Friday 14 from unfair punishment and criminal charges. After a year of public pressure, including petitions, rallies, and further civil disobedience by leaders from labor and faith communities, and other allies, D.A. Nancy O’Malley has announced today that she is dropping the charges against these 14 Black activists who — in the tradition of civil rights activists past and present — peacefully blocked BART trains as part of nationwide actions calling attention to police murders of Black men, women, trans folks, and children.

It is a fact that these Black activists were singled out, while countless others who took action to end the War on Black Lives since then have not faced charges (including members of BASAT and other ally groups). Because of this selective prosecution, we had to question D.A. O’Malley’s commitment to addressing racial injustice.

Today we recognize O’Malley for listening to the calls of people of conscience who stand with the Black Friday 14 and have demanded their charges be dropped. We congratulate the courageous Black Friday 14 on this victory. This is a victory for people-powered movements who boldly take action and demand justice. We are being heard, and today one of our demands has been met.

Now, we call on Nancy O’Malley to commit the full resources of her office to end the state-sanctioned War on Black Lives that her department helps wage. Dropping the charges against the Black Friday 14 was a necessary first step for O’Malley to prove she wants to be on the side of justice. But there is a long road ahead, and there is much work to be done. Dropping the charges is a beginning, not an end.

We are proud to have joined hundreds of community leaders, BART riders and concerned residents in demanding these charges be dropped. Now, we will continue to stand with these 14 activists and the broader movement for Black Lives in the long struggle ahead to dismantle white supremacy and end the War on Black Lives. Because none of us are free until all of us are free.

BASAT is an ad-hoc network of racial justice activists in the Bay Area who — inspired by the Black Friday 14’s bold action — joined together in Fall 2015 to use white solidarity to take action to challenge white supremacy and support Black liberation.