OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Blackout for Human Rights, a group founded by Ryan Coogler, director of Fruitvale Station, is calling on the American public to boycott Black Friday to show solidarity with victims of police brutality.
Word of the retail boycott is being spread via social media with official Blackout content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. Participants have been sharing content using the hashtags #BlackoutBlackFriday, #NotOneDime and #HandsUpDontSpend.
People are being encouraged to pledge not to shop on Black Friday, and instead participate in grassroots events nationwide, such as food drives, art showings, film screenings and performances.
On the website Blackout for Human Rights, organizers identify themselves as a network of concerned citizens and reference recent police shootings involving unarmed teens and adults. “We have witnessed enough. We mourn the loss of men like Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, John Crawford and Michael Brown, who met their deaths at the hands of police officers… We mourn the loss of life and the absence of justice for Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and Jordan Davis, killed by private citizens.”
The movement’s website also lists a set of goals that include “find lasting solutions to the root causes of human rights violations, through research, fundraising, and advocacy,” and “empower citizens most at risk for these types of violations (low income, minorities, women and the disabled) by using our collective economic resources to make impact.”
Coogler, an Oakland native, works as a youth guidance counselor at juvenile hall in San Francisco. His film, Fruitvale Station won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance in 2013, as well as the award for Best First Film at the Cannes Film Festival.
In Los Angeles boycott organizers are holding a screening of Fruitvale Station. The ticket price is a donation of food. In New York, there will be a screenplay reading of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.
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