The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, was on June 28, 1969 when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, an LGBT-friendly bar located in Greenwich Village in New York City. For six days, patrons of that bar, led by trans women of color, engaged in violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.
Now 51 years later here we are again. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died across the street from The Aliveness Project’s previous location on 38th and Chicago. Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the street. Two other officers further restrained Floyd, and a fourth prevented onlookers from intervening. George Floyd was unarmed.
This senseless killing of an unarmed black man has sparked outrage. All around the world, people are demonstrating in solidarity for all the senseless killing of black people: Philando Castile a cook at a St. Paul school who paid off the lunch debts of low-income families; Eric Garner, who was killed by police in 2014 pleading the same cries as George Floyd when he called out to police “I Can’t Breathe.”
The Aliveness Project denounces the continued killing of black people by the Minneapolis Police and pledges, along with our Board and members, to fight systemic racism and the unjust treatment of black people and other people of color. We will not stand by any injustice or inhumane efforts used to harm people of color. Many of our members celebrate the Stonewall uprising that demanded fair and humane treatment by law enforcement. It’s time now that we demand the same for black people.
To our community, members, staff, board members, supporters and allies: The Aliveness Project is open and continues to serve our HIV/AIDS community that we love and support. Our food shelf and meal program continues to remain open. If you need support during this time to cope with this tragedy or any other pressing issue, please call and talk with a staff member or your case manager. The Aliveness Project stands for justice and will continue to support and stand with its community.
Justice for George Floyd!
Board of Directors, The Aliveness Project