Condemning Police Violence Worldwide

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Rep. Omar at the George Floyd memorial in Minneapolis in June.

Today, I introduced a resolution condemning police violence worldwide. The resolution calls on Congress to stand with peaceful protesters around the world in their calls for justice and accountability for police brutality.

This year, much of our attention has been focused on the problem of police violence. In my home district, we felt this pain acutely with the murder of George Floyd. We have also seen the horrifying images of police armed with military equipment responding to peaceful protests. And we have rightly begun painful conversations around the use of force, the use of military weapons by police, and the targeting of minorities by law enforcement.

Police brutality has transcended geography and local context. It has shown its face in democracies and dictatorships, which is why we must not only condemn police brutality domestically, but worldwide.

Like many of us, I have been deeply moved by the power of collective action shown around the world in the face of police violence. Nigeria’s #EndSARS movement has been an extraordinary example of organized people taking the long-view and demanding genuine, transformative change, often at great personal risk. In Guatemala and Chile, in Hong Kong and Thailand, in Poland and Belarus, in Nigeria and Mali, in Oakland and Washington, DC, we have heard the unquenchable cry for justice and human rights.

And we as Americans must remember too that all of us around the world are in this together. The militarization of the police is an affront to our values whether from Minneapolis to Manila. In every place police violence occurs, it targets already vulnerable populations. It is increasingly characterized by the use of military equipment and military tactics. The same tear gas made by the same companies is used on protesters in Lafayette Square and Tahrir Square. The same excessive use of force is employed in Baltimore and Bamako. The same abuses of power are present in Chicago and Khartoum.

Our movements are inextricably linked, and the sources of the violence are often the same. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are among our most foundational, cherished values. We must stand up to protect them everywhere.

You can read the full resolution here.

Written by

Representing Minnesota’s 5th District in the People’s House.

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