Black Lives Matter
A group of UCCers have been working on a statement of solidarity with Black Lives Matter-TO. We're currently gathering names of UCC-affiliated people to add as (individual) signatories.
Please email UCCanforBLM@gmail.com if you would like your name added to this statement.
A Statement of Solidarity with BLM-TO from People of The United Church of Canada,
April 7, 2016
As people of The United Church of Canada, we are deeply concerned by the unjust and violent treatment of Black people in the city of Toronto, and we stand with Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition (BLM-TO) in demanding justice and accountability for the victims of racist policing practices.
As Christians, we recognise that we have a unique responsibility to denounce and resist anti-Black racism, because it was our predecessors in faith who first proclaimed that White Christians were morally superior to all others. We lament that Christians in North America have used this idea of White supremacy to lay claim both to Indigenous lands and to Black peoples, who were forced to work the land. We recognise that colonial anti-Black racism is still alive today, taking the forms of racial profiling, police brutality, and overrepresentation in the justice system.
In the face of the ongoing dehumanization and death of Black people in our city and across this continent, our faith calls us to respond. As children of a God who creates all people equal, we affirm the value and sacredness of all Black lives. As followers of Jesus Christ, whose death was an act of state violence, we condemn the violence inflicted on Black people by our police forces and condoned by our elected officials. And as believers in the Spirit of liberation, we are called to join, with hopeful hearts, in the work of justice-making in our world. We have heard the prophetic voices of the occupiers, protesters, and supporters of BLM-TO as they have spoken truth to oppressive power, and commit now to joining in the struggle for racial justice.
To this end, we echo the demands of BLM-TO:
That charges be laid against the officer(s) responsible for the deaths of Andrew Loku and Alex Wettlaufer;
That the province’s Special Investigations Unit be reviewed and overhauled, in consultation with Black communities and those affected by police violence;
That the Toronto Police Service, the City of Toronto, and the Province of Ontario condemn the excessive use of force against BLM-TO protesters; and
That the Toronto Police Service fully eliminate the racist practice of carding, delete data previously collected through carding, and enforce disciplinary measures against officers who continue to card.
While we are a diverse group of people from many different communities and congregations throughout The United Church of Canada, we are each striving to find ways in which we can bear faithful witness to the work of BLM-TO within the city of Toronto. We are committed to offering presence, prayers, and spiritual care; to pushing our governments and society to work against racism and value Black lives; and to continuing to live into our vision of being an anti-racist, intercultural church.