On the evening of Thursday, September 24th, Renton residents and community organizations held a vigil outside of city hall which had about 30 people in attendance. They met to honor Breonna Taylor one night after news broke out that there will be no charges against police related to her death. Residents began with a prayer to venerate her before their protest rally in response to the ruling.
“The gathering was a time of grieving and healing for the community, and a renewal of strength to continue pressing forward in pursuit of justice,” says Joseph Todd and Dr. Linda Smith, leaders of Renton Residents for Change and the Renton-King County Alliance for Justice (RKCA4J), respectively. “The very sad and disturbing abuse of justice was the denial of Breonna Taylor’s rights in the outcome of the Grand Jury decision which further perpetuates the fact that ‘Black Lives do not matter’ in America. We stand together as witnesses tonight that even in death, her life matters. Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge that we can never bring her life back, but her memory will remain a reminder as we continue to fight for Justice.”
Joseph Todd says, “We will never give up the fight for justice and equality for Black Lives. We will continue to make demands and we will never be silent on the thing that matters, and Breonna Taylor’s life matters. Black Lives Matter.”
The Renton African-American Pastors (RAAP) , RKCA4J, Renton Residents for Change, and The OWL Project shared those same sentiments. All organizations work together for common causes ranging from policing, contracting, education, art, the economy, environments, and job opportunities in the City of Renton and surrounding areas.
“Each community is called to rise for such a time as this and be the voice for the Breonna Taylor. Now is not the time to sit back and be comfortable. All is not well. Breonna Taylor did not have a voice in the outcome of the Grand Jury or the Attorney General decision, but we sure can!” says Dr. Linda Smith.
“To protest injustice is the foundation of all our American democracy.”Thurgood Marshall
Dr. Linda Smith continues, “We will continue to protest, pray, advocate for change, and be the voice of the voiceless. We will continue to make the comfortable uncomfortable until justice is served, until laws and policies are equally applied to Blacks as they are for others. No Justice, No Peace.”
Both Joseph Todd and Dr. Linda Smith shared their call to action. They are asking residents to support their organizations’ demands to the City of Renton. Renton Residents for Change and the Renton-King County Alliance for Justice encourage all residents to get involved if you believe in equality and justice for all.