Voices of Conscience for April 14, Shut It Down

Updated April 13, 2015

Statement of Conscience From Cornel West & Carl Dix

View signatories and add your name below

The authorities are desperately working to suppress the powerful outpourings of resistance to police getting away with murder because those outpourings forced this issue into the consciousness of millions of people in this society. This must not be allowed to happen. The statement below, issued by Cornel West and Carl Dix, can play an important role in ensuring this doesn't happen. To play this role it must bring together people of prominence whose voices have broad impact in society and impact on people everywhere who don't want to see this movement of resistance die down or be beaten down.

Circulate this statement to prominent academics, activists, attorneys, entertainers, public intellectuals and others. Urge them to add their names to it and contribute at least $200 to make it possible for this statement to be published and promoted in other ways.


The Horror of Cops Getting Away With Killing Again and Again Must STOP!

We face a serious problem in this society: police killing people and facing no punishment for their murderous actions, again and again. These repeated killings target especially Black and Latino people. They concentrate a whole program – mass incarceration and all its consequences, a program many have aptly called the New Jim Crow; a program that rests on top of and enforces overall conditions of harsh deprivation and dehumanizing discrimination.

Last fall, people stood up against this terrible injustice being done. When the killers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were not even indicted, many, many people refused to accept this in silence. People of different races and nationalities, and from all walks of life, joined together to say, "We Can't Breathe," in solidarity with those being victimized. Through many different forms of protest and resistance, the entire society was finally forced to confront this burning injustice.

At the time and in the months since, the outpourings of resistance have been answered NOT with justice but instead with repression and the false promises of "understanding" and "reconciliation." Meanwhile murder by police continues unchecked.

NO! We refuse to live in a society that treats people as less than human because of the color of their skin and acts as though some lives don't matter.

The horror of police, embodying and backed up by the authority of the state, killing so many people and facing no punishment for this must STOP -- and WE pledge to stop it!

Initial List of Signatories

Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
Cornel West, author, educator, voice of conscience
Jody Armour, professor, USC Gould School of Law
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
Charles Burnett, filmmaker
Reverend Doctor Jamal-Harrison Bryant, Senior Pastor, Empowerment Temple, Baltimore MD
Kathleen Cleaver
Peter Coyote, actor/author/Zen Buddhist priest
Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian feminist writer, physician and psychiatrist
Eve Ensler
Bob Gorringe, Occupy SF Action Council
Jasmine Guy, actor and director
John D. Hanrahan, journalist
Ray McGovern, Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity*
Bob Meola, Movement for an Anarchist Society
David Rovics, Traveling Musicians Local 1000
Cindy Sheehan
David Swanson, World Without War
Nkechi Taifa, attorney
Alice Walker, novelist, poet, activist
Ann Wright

Sign, circulate and support this statement NOW!

Also read, join the signatories,
and spread The Call for:


Wanted: People of Conscience to

by Lenny Wolff

April 6, 2015

Read more

Richard Leakey, world-renowned anthropologist and activist, Kenya

April 11, 2015

I join the many decent people who are demonstrating against the increasing police brutality everywhere. And it is especially shocking to see this in a nation that claims to be so advanced. Total shame on the system that cannot control such thugs in the police forces. We in Africa are often pointed to as primitives but the US Police forces are worse. No unarmed person should be killed by police; it is cold blooded racially driven criminal action and must always be severely punished.

From Father Bob Bossie, SCJ

April 11, 2015

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network and others (Alice Walker, Cindy Sheehan) are calling for a mass outpouring of protest Tuesday, April 14, against the police killing of so many persons of color. I endorsed this most fitting call and recommend you do so as well....

Read more

April 9: The following statement has been approved,
and can be issued in the name of

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York

I am supporting mass protest on April 14, Shut It Down! We think pressure needs to stay on for justice in regards to the killing of Eric Garner, and of Black and Brown people all across the country. April 14 we will assemble on Union Square North at 2 p.m. We want to make sure that we all are there. We want to see our congregations, our ministers and pastors around the city there on that day, and we will continue to press our case for justice.

From Naomi Wallace, playwright

Let's take to the streets on April 14th to protest this on-going wave of murder by police against our brothers and sisters. Whether it be institutionally sanctioned racist killings inside the U.S., or the racist slaughter-by-drones through U.S. wars, we must unite and resist together.

Recorded by Jasmine Guy April 8, 2015. Ms. Guy, a signer of the Statement of Conscience from Carl Dix & Cornel West, plans to join the Shut Down day Tuesday April 14 to Stop Police Killings of Unarmed People.

From Peter Coyote

From Alice Walker

From Cindy Sheehan

From Collette Flanagan

Cornel West. Video from Deep Dish TV on Vimeo.

Carl Dix. Video from Deep Dish TV on Vimeo.

Tom Morello

Tom Morello
Tom Morello tweet

From artist
Faith Ringgold

as a statement of support for April 14 protests:

Poor Little Black Boy

by Faith Ringgold

Poor Little Black Boy
Walking down the street
Munching a bag of skittles
Didn't know who he'd meet

Ran into the Devil
Looked into his eyes
Gotta hateful look
And a bullet by surprise

Poor Little Black Boy
Laying dead in the street
His American Dream
Lay bloodied at his feet

He ran into the Devil
And didn't know what to do
Run little black boy
If this happens to you.

Faith Letter From Rev. Frank Wulf

...I am convinced that the time has come when we can no longer stand by and let these killings by police happen with impunity. Many of us have already been engaged in the struggle. But, I believe that now is the time when all of us need to speak a clear and collective prophetic word. We, as people of faith, have to say "No more!" to these killings, and especially to the culture of callousness that allows them to continue without consequence or repercussion. ...

April 8, 2015

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Arturo O'Farrill

...And so I guess what I am saying to you is really that none of us can fly below the radar any more. None of us can refuse to connect our lives, our work, what we do, who we are to this incredibly important struggle. And I will say this now there is nothing more important than stopping the murder of unarmed citizens. Nothing is more important than the first step, it changes everything. So I will lend my voice tonight, I realize that I am in the company of incredible speakers. I wish I had a piano. Where's the piano. I will lend my voice to these incredible great men and women who are here today and say that on the 14th we must walk out, walk out of your business, walk out of your classroom, walk out of your apartment, walk out of your complacency, walk out of all that you think you know, and take part in the real world. Walk out of the gray world and walk into the world of the sun and stand with the people of the sun. The gray world doesn't exist. ...

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Eve Ensler

On April 14 I will walk out and stand up with #ShutDownA14 to say with all my heart that the murder of black and brown people by the police MUST stop. That there must be immediate justice for all the victims of brutal, murdering police. That police responsible for these murders must be indicted and convicted. That until this happens, we cannot rest or stop. Now is the moment to go the distance with more determination and commitment, with more connection and resistance. To demand a country where everyone is treated with dignity, respect, compassion, and love. See you in the streets April 14.

Charles Burnett

... Black lives are taken with impunity, and schools being mostly pathways to prisons. Everything is at a cost. The right to vote is being challenged. ... The question is how long before we wake up?

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Faith Letter from Rev. Jerome McCorry
Faith Letter from Rev. Jerome McCorry