Since May 31 2020, the Geneva has seen daily Black Lives Matter marches and gatherings hosted by BLM Geneva: The People’s Peaceful Protest. Can you talk about how you have been involved, and why have been involved, in the movement and the marches here in the city?
My role and (or) involvement in the “People’s Peaceful Protest” is pretty much a conflation of many things. I’m one of the organizers, I speak at the rallies, I facilitate and co-host the events, some deem myself as the leader of this movement, but I’d rather not do that because without each of us contributing our respective niches, none of this would be possible.
The initial reason I am involved in this movement is because I am pro-black and have dedicated my life to the advancement of black people. But this is much deeper than being pro-black or anything race-oriented. This movement is understanding the existence of a flawed system and taking a step towards the reformation of such.
If someone has never been to one of the marches in Geneva, how would you describe to that person what’s been happening at the marches so far?
The vibes and energy of these marches are indescribable. How the community is all in accordance and coexisting amongst each other is one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever witnessed. Only thing that I can say, is come join us one day, you will not regret it.
A list of demands from The Peoples Peaceful Protest of Geneva has been recently made public. The petition aims to “reform the Geneva Police Department policy and procedure to preemptively and proactively maintain peace, best practices, and ultimately the safety of all of our citizens.”
Can you speak about the process that resulted in the list of demands being created?
This list of demands are direct translations and reflections of the community. These demands are not outlandish nor are they radical. What we are asking for seems to be common sense, things that should already be implemented for the benefits of one’s community.
The request for a civilian-led oversight board is at the top of the list of demands. The chief of police has said he doesn’t think we need a civilian review board. Can you speak about why a PAB/CRB is so important?
I have no quarrel with Passalacqua’s opinion, everyone is entitled to their opinions. My rebuttal to this is quite simple though. Of course he doesn’t believe that there should be a PAB implementation, he’s a police officer. The fact of the matter, is that these are the demands of the community. The community in which he is to serve under any circumstances. If the community believes the department isn’t conducting efficiently, and would like to be able to play their part in refining the ways of their police, I believe they should be able to. The implementation of such a committee would lessen the chances and opportunity for corruption and manipulation. That is all.
If anyone reading this would like to support the movement, how can they help?
If one wants to help, all they need to do is genuinely support the cause. Rather they’re physically at the gatherings, or donating their hard earned resources and money, the gesture will be immensely appreciated by myself and the rest of the organizers.