‘Million Moms’ to protest police brutality, inner city violence

Charles Mostoller

Ginger Nicholson can remember a time before cell phone cameras, a time when police brutality against black citizens wasn’t uncommon, but wasn’t seen worldwide.

“This has been going on, but they were hiding it, or saying that they had a gun or something like that,” Nicholson said. “It gave them this carte blanche to do whatever they wanted … Now with cellphones, it has just opened up a new era.”

So, community groups Mothers of Black Sons and Mothers in Charge are “summoning the village” to join a rally in North Philly calling for change on the anniversary of the famed 1995 Million Man March.

The so-called “Million Moms March,” set to take place next weekend in North Philly, could draw thousands, Nicholson said.

The rally won’t just be against police brutality. The mothers are standing against inner city violence as well, she said.

“This has arisen out of the cries of black mothers who have lost their sons, or women who have lost their men,” Nicholson said. “There is the black-on-black crime that’s happening—this has got to stop.”

The original Million Man March in Washington in 1995 was organized by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam to combat negative stereotypes of African American males.

Rallies like the one in Philadelphia are scheduled for the anniversary of that march in cities around the country.

Nicholson said she needs to see change after so much time fighting the same battles.

“We want to express our feelings because we are in pain,” she said. “Every time it happens to one of our brothers, somebody’s son, one of somebody’s uncle, it happens to me. I feel that pain.”

Nicholson said her own family members have never experienced the type of police brutality she will be protesting. Her only son is now in his mid-40s. She fears constantly that he could become the next hashtag.

“I’m afraid every day for him,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

The Million Moms March will begin at Broad and Cecil B. Moore on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m., and proceed to City Hall. For more information, visit mobsmovephilly.org.

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