Minneapolis, MN – On Wednesday, July 13, a coalition of white people and non-Black people of color – the Coalition to Wake Your Ass Up – shut down the Interstate 35W bridge in solidarity with the movement for Black lives, condemning the ongoing killings of Black people by police in the Twin Cities and across the country.

The coalition released the following statement:

Last Wednesday evening, Philando Castile was shot 6 times.  The coalition condemns this violence and believes this shut down reinforces our belief that comfort and business as usual must be disrupted until substantive changes occur in our city and throughout the country.

This group demands the dismantling of the police department, which includes disarming, defunding, demilitarizing, and disbanding police.  We believe that security for all of us does not lie in use of aggression and force.  Real security occurs when all of us have meaningful employment, educational opportunities that help us pursue our own life choices and the adequate healthcare needed to live fruitfully.  Research and our experience tells us that the vast amounts spent on militarized police make most communities, excluding the very wealthy, less secure. Funds must be used to create green infrastructure, environments and jobs. Education must not spare us from the reality of American impact on the world and disenfranchised communities in this country. We want public education, led by communities, not corporations.

Education and the media has a responsibility to make the citizenry awake to the real challenges so that there are real possibilities for making our society truly just.

We support community-led alternatives, solutions, and programs to protect our communities.  On this day, we support the workers attempting to make a living but we also know that sacrifices must be made if we hope to live decently together.

As non-Black people committed to highlighting the voices of Black organizers, members of this action will not speak to press. For interviews, please contact: Oluchi Omeoga, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, (651) 307-6760