Article9 Maria Hamilton-001

Maria Hamilton, founder of Mothers for Justice United, will lead the Million Moms March. (Facebook photo.)

“Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of White mothers’ sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.” The quote made in 1964 by African-American civil and human rights activist Ella Baker is fitting for the upcoming Million Moms March scheduled for May 9.

Black mothers from across the United States will convene at John Marshall Place Park in Northwest Washington, D.C., on that day to demand an end to the murders of unarmed Black people who have been killed by policemen and vigilantes.

The killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and most recently Eric Harris and Freddie Gray have initiated protests and outcry toward police departments and the criminal justice system.

Based on a press release dated April 23, Maria Hamilton, founder of Mothers for Justice United, will lead the Million Moms March. Hamilton’s son, Dontre Hamilton – a 31 year old man with mental health issues – was killed by Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney on April 30, 2014.  Maria came to know the suffering that has been visited on too many Black mothers whose children have been victims of police.

Marion Gray-Hopkins joins Maria Hamilton in the circle of pain caused by police terror. A Prince George’s County police officer killed her unarmed son Gary Hopkins Jr., 19, on Nov. 27, 1999.

“The pain, the sadness, the emptiness – and many days of anger… is something I wouldn’t want any mother to experience,” lamented Gray-Hopkins.  “On May 9, I will stand in solidarity with my sisters and brothers from across the country to demand that cop killers are held accountable when they murder our children.”

Ten mothers first came to the District in December 2014 for three days to focus on the problem.  They were hosted by organizations CODEPINK, #DCFerguson, DC Hands Up Coalition, Mothers Against Police Brutality and the National Congress of Black Women.

The three-day session contained a strategy meeting of organizations working on issues relating to police brutality, a public forum at First Trinity Lutheran Church in Northwest, a congressional hearing and meetings at the Rayburn Building in Southwest, a public vigil at the Department of Justice, and more meetings and media interviews.

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, coordinator of the Hands-Up CoalitionDC, said regarding the upcoming march, “The Coalition stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers facing state sponsored murder by police terror and white supremacy. We demand Black community control of police. Police have exercised their right to human bounty and flesh with abandon. No other community in America is remotely surveilled at this micro level. “

Carl Dix, activist and founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, was arrested last week during a New York protest demonstration demanding the end to murders of Black and brown men.

“Either you will add strength to the fight for justice or your silence will allow what we have now – a horrific slow genocide and degradation of a people – to continue and worsen,” said Dix. “Nobody with any claim to oppose police murder, nobody with any claim to conscience can at this point stand aside from the call for major outpourings of people to support the Million Moms March for Justice on May 9.”

More information on the Million Moms March can be found at www.mothersforjusticeunited.org or call 414-939-5599.

Editor’s Note:  The officials over the race changed the location from Mount Vernon Square, Washington, D.C. to John Marshall Place Park in Northwest Washington, D.C. on May 8, 2015.