Community Groups To Rally For Environmental Justice

News release:

As part of Moral Monday CT’s #WeekOfHolyAction, on April 3, 2016, Bridgeport residents, statewide organizations, and prominent advocates from the Black Lives Matter movement will rally for environmental justice, Sunday 2 p.m. at McLevy Green, corner of State and Main.

The rally will call for and end to pollution in low income communities of color, from Bridgeport, CT to Flint, MI.

WHAT: An environmental justice rally will be hosted by Moral Monday CT, Capitalism vs. the Climate, and Healthy CT Alliance. Representatives from various organizations will discuss the connections between environmental justice and Black Lives Matter, particularly in communities like Bridgeport. Afterwards, there will be an open mic session.

Speakers will include:
Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou — author, filmmaker, Black Lives Matter activist

Bishop John Selders — Black Lives Matter activist

Jorge Cruz — Healthy CT Alliance member, Bridgeport Resident

The Ultimate Emcee Elvee — activist, hip-hop artist, poet

Guests Include:
State Senator Ed Gomes

State Senator Marilyn Moore

State Representative Jack Hennessy

WHEN: Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 2pm

WHERE: McLevy Green, (Corner of State Street and Main Street) Bridgeport, CT 06604

Moral Monday CT, organizers of the #WeekOfHolyAction, are rooted in the social justice and civil rights movement started by the Reverend Doctor William Barber of North Carolina in response to recent restrictions on voting rights. They are a statewide Connecticut-based coalition of individuals and organizations brought together by the power of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Capitalism vs. the Climate is a Connecticut-based and all-volunteer group that confronts climate change’s root causes, organizes non-hierarchically and takes direct action in solidarity with communities most impacted by the climate crisis.

Healthy CT Alliance is a group of concerned Bridgeport and Connecticut residents who are organizing around environmental justice and addressing environmental issues in Bridgeport, CT. They envision a healthy and sustainable future for Bridgeport communities.



  1. Not one environmentalist in this group of speakers. Just more bullshit. Let me remind those people from Black Lives Matter that all Lives matter.

    1. Andy, the CYO has its own goals, the NRZ has its own mission, NOW has its own agenda, unions have their own purpose just like Black Lives Matter. Your family matters to you more than it does to someone else.

      1. My family is not disrupting political gatherings, is not protesting and is not rioting in the streets. Never once have I heard black lives matter talk about the black on black killings in our cities.

        1. Andrew, I hope you will share with us the results of your research into this claim BLM doesn’t care about black-on-black killings. A 5-second Google search will debunk your claim so fast your head will spin. To wit:

          Misconception #1 of the 11: “The movement doesn’t care about black-on-black crime. The idea that black-on-black crime is not a significant political conversation among black people is patently false.”

          I expect you to account for how you managed to miss this in your research. I look forward to that.

          1. You can expect all you want but you’re off base. Many of their leaders have said in national interviews their concern was cops killing blacks period. Don’t post a propaganda piece and expect me to believe it. If this group were pure like you claim, the black-on-black crime issue would never have been brought up. You want to wear a mea culpa sign, that’s fine. I don’t.

        2. On this, you are correct. The Moral Monday CT rallies in Hartford have included unannounced blockages of rush-hour traffic to raise awareness. Leaders have been arrested. This is in the long American tradition of civil disobedience.

    2. Of course all lives matter, ACF. But focusing on black lives means focusing on a problem in American justice. If you remove the focus, you remove the urgency for justice. The worth of black lives needs to be elevated. That’s why BLM.

      1. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political invention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of black folk’s contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

        The “Black Lives Matter” movement focuses on the fact black citizens have long been far more likely than whites to die at the hands of the police, and is of a piece with this history. Demonstrators who chant the phrase are making the same declaration voting rights and civil rights activists made a half-century ago. They are not asserting black lives are more precious than white lives. They are underlining an indisputable fact–the lives of black citizens in this country historically have not mattered, and have been discounted and devalued.

        To improve the allegedly abysmal condition of blacks in the United States, BLM has issued a series of non-negotiable demands. These include: (a) “an immediate end to police brutality”; (b) “full, living-wage employment for our people”; (c) “decent housing”; (d) “freedom from mass incarceration”; (e) “a public education system that teaches the rich history of Black people”; and (f) “the release of all U.S. political prisoners.” Most of these demands are modeled, sometimes word-for-word, on those that were articulated by the Black Panthers in the 1960s.

        Recently, BLM sponsored a panel discussion on “Policing, Race, and Injustice,” featuring a talk by former New Black Panther Party chairman Malik Shabazz. That’s the same Malik Shabazz who has openly advocated a race war in America; who has exhorted blacks to avenge police shootings of African Americans by creating “funeral[s] in the police community”; who refers to “the white man” as black people’s “common enemy”; who characterizes America’s founders as nothing more than a loathsome pack of “Indian killers, slave traders, [and] slave owners”; and who praised Osama bin Laden after 9/11 as a Muslim “brother” and “a bold man” who was bravely “standing up” for his beliefs and “bringing reform to this world.”

    3. ACF, I would edit my two comments in your thread if I could. I should be more educational, more informative, and above all more respectful. Instead, I was sarcastic and arrogant. I published the earlier comments about 10 minutes ago, and now I apologize for their tone of disrespect. On their main points of substance, I hold to my responses but not to my tone.

      1. Screw you and screw your tone, do you think I really care? You are wrong on this subject, period. When was the last time you saw a rally when a black was killed by another black or ghetto denizen? Never.

  2. Except the reality is under the guise of “All Lives Matter” somehow black lives no longer matter. “All lives matter” just reinforces the status quo.

    1. Thank you. When white mothers sadly see their young sons shot down by the police then there will be a outcry to do something like America is doing now with the spread of heroin being used by young whites in the suburbs. It was never a problem when it was ruining the black and Hispanic communities but now it’s a major problem. Sad but true.

      1. Ron, here are some stats for you. Based on The Guardian’s statistics, police killed more white people than any other race this year. A total of 385 white people have been killed by police this year, and 66 of them were unarmed at the time of their deaths.

        1. *** Whites are the majority in America so if more whites have been killed by the police it makes sense. However, it’s obvious more people of color are stopped, detained, shaken down, cars towed, physically and mentally abused, and arrested! Most whites really don’t see it or experience it because they’re not the ones getting stopped nor their close family or friends unless they live or hang out in the ‘hood, or are ex-felons and known to the local police. In a mixed-race urban city everyone may or may not experience different types of police abuse. However, when I drive through towns like Newtown, Monroe, Westport, Fairfield, etc. “most” of the time the people in the cars I see pulled over by the police are people of color! If you or your family and close friends do not experience certain incidents throughout your lives that could be called abusive or a type of profiling, it does not mean it does not happen to people! ***

  3. Those are numeric values, not percents. In addition, I would argue to expand beyond murders to also include 1) pulling people over, 2) disproportionality in arrests for similar offenses, 3) disproportionality in sentencing. By the way I would also argue it is not just about race/ethnicity, but income as well (but not the same as saying the race issue could be fully explained by income). Nevertheless, income also matters and poor Black, Latino, White, Asian et al. citizens also are affected as a result. These are serious issues in our country currently.

  4. *** During World War II, many German citizens in Germany claimed they had no idea Jews who were rounded up and confined in different detainee camps were being used to do forced labor, abused physically and mentally and finally put to death by the thousands; men, women, children young and old simply for being a Jew and at times for just being different and not German!

      1. *** It’s not a comparison in regards to the horrific actions that happened in Europe, it’s a statement on how a certain group of people were talked about in a negative way, treated, and taken away like criminals, etc. all under the noses of everyday German citizens, during, pre and post war era and many after the war claimed they noticed nothing nor had any idea of the horror that was taking place in their country and other countries of occupation by Germany! ***

        1. *** But acting like there’s not a problem or people’s civil rights are not being violated every day in America especially people of color or immigrants and just because it’s not happening to another certain group of people and they refuse to acknowledge it, is not really a comparison in any way, no? *** WHOOP ***

  5. *** The potential for violence at any political rally that has pro and con followers of the party and their candidates at the rally can erupt quickly if not enough security is present and the speakers do not take control of the rally and defuse any and all negative talk and situations right away. Trump does not take control to curb any negative talk or emotions, he welcomes it as part of his following and political message and it’s only going to get worse! *** VOTE BERNIE ***

  6. This rally could be a turning point for activism and race relations in Bridgeport and the surrounding region. While it is billed as a rally for environmental justice and is yoked to the PSEG Bridgeport Harbor Station redevelopment issue, there are many more issues at stake represented by the two principal out-of-town speakers.

    REV. OSAGYEFO SEKOU is one of the principal leaders nationally of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. You might have made the mistake of thinking that like the Occupy movement, BLM is leaderless. Not so. It has a small cadre of national leaders and Sekou is among them. He led a rally of witness for my denomination, the Unitarian Universalists, last year at our General Assembly in Portland, Oregon.

    BISHOP JOHN SELDERS, senior minister of Amistad United Church of Christ in Hartford, is a founder and leader of the “Moral Monday CT” movement based in Hartford but focused on issues everyone in Connecticut should consider. Speaking in Bridgeport is important for Bishop Selders because he needs to encourage Fairfield County religious leaders and liberals to join MMCT when it cranks up again in Hartford. The Moral Monday rallies in Raleigh, NC–a city where I was a newspaper reporter and a region where I lived for seven years–are proof a small group of people can change the world. Their Monday rallies on Fayetteville Street became the template for Hartford and other cities.

    These are two valuable leaders and I am glad they are coming to Bridgeport. I look forward to hearing them, and I worry about the weather!

  7. The rally itself was enthusiastic but unremarkable. About 70 people turned out.
    — Guessing more than half were from Bridgeport and the rest were scattered from Stamford to New Haven. (The New Haven group was comprised of Yale students from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Ohio.)
    — About two-thirds were Euro-American (white); the rest African American.
    — Sekou and Selders each spoke for about five minutes. Locally, we heard from state Rep. Jack Hennessy and state Sen. Marilyn Moore as well as by citizen organizers Jorge Cruz (who was emcee for the event), Gabrielle Rodriguez (leader of chants), and professional organizer Sarah Lewis. Senator Gomes arrived too late to speak but was greeted warmly.
    — The crowd of 70 was well-behaved and did not interfere with anyone’s passage through the area.
    We might have been loud, but no louder than the weekend parties that often take place downtown.


Leave a Reply