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“America Has Looted Black People. We Learned It from You” Says Women’s March Activist Tamika Mallory

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Image Credit: Courtesy E. Mackey

In a powerful address among people in Minneapolis protesting the police murder of George Floyd, activist and former Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory demanded, “Charge the cops. … Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re continuing with our guests. We’re joined by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, professor at Princeton University; Dr. Cornel West at Harvard University; and Bakari Sellers, joining us from North Carolina. His new book is just out, My Vanishing Country. I’m here with Nermeen Shaikh as we continue to bring you the voices of the rebellion around the country. In the largest nationwide uprising since the '60s, protesters shut down cities across the country following the police murder of George Floyd, the African American man in Minneapolis. This is activist, former Women's March co-chair Tamika Mallory, speaking at a rally in Minneapolis.

TAMIKA MALLORY: We are not responsible for the mental illness that has been inflicted upon our people by the American government, institutions and those people who are in positions of power. I don’t give a damn if they burn down Target, because Target should be on the streets with us calling for the justice that our people deserve. Where was AutoZone at the time when Philando Castile was shot in a car, which is what they actually represent? Where were they?

So, if you are not coming to the people’s defense, then don’t challenge us when young people and other people who are frustrated and instigated by the people you pay — you are paying instigators to be among our people out there, throwing rocks, breaking windows and burning down buildings. And so young people are responding to that. They are enraged.

And there’s an easy way to stop it: Arrest the cops. Charge the cops. Charge all the cops, not just some of them, not just here in Minneapolis. Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered. Charge them everywhere. That’s the bottom line. Charge the cops. Do your job. Do what you say this country is supposed to be about — the land of the free for all. It has not been free for Black people, and we are tired.

Don’t talk to us about looting. Y’all are the looters. America has looted Black people. America looted the Native Americans when they first came here, so looting is what you do. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. We learned violence from you. The violence was what we learned from you. So if you want us to do better, then, damn it, you do better.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Activist Tamika Mallory speaking in Minneapolis over the weekend.

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