Amir Locke’s father called for peace. Let us answer the call.
West Side, we are hurting. As neighbors, parents, teachers, youth, and friends, we know that every life taken from our community too soon sends out shock waves of loss and pain.
We are still feeling those shock waves from last week. A young community member was killed in his home on February 1st. The next day, another West Side young man could not carry the pain, and ended his life too soon. Humboldt High School students were impacted by a fight last week involving dozens of our kids. And last Wednesday morning, Amir Locke was awakened and killed by the Minneapolis police in under 9 seconds, while he was still wrapped in a blanket. He was 22 years old.
“We have family the same way that you do. And we want to go home safely to our families. We want to be able to eat dinner with our families, be able to laugh with our families, hold hands with our families, walk, dance, we want to be able to hold our families and just be able to have a conversation. Amir doesn’t have the opportunity to do that any longer,” said Amir’s father, Andre “Buddy” Locke. “I’m asking for people of color, Black, brown, Asian, that we stand together: 22 days of peace,” in honor of the 22 years Amir lived.
Here on the West Side, let us answer this call for peace. Join us:
- Be the light: Place a candle in your window each night for the next 22 days. (Use your own candle or pick one up from us, Mon-Weds 10am-3pm at 209 Page St. W).
- Share the light: To share this action, we invite you to take a photo and post it on social media with the hashtags #22DaysOfPeace and #WestSideStrong, and add a message about your vision for peace and justice. Talk to your neighbors and ask them to do the same.
- Unite our light: We will be gathering on Thursday, February 17th in the evening to hold space.
- Organize with us: Join our Community Care Action Circle. Email WSCO Community Organizer RaRa Navarro at [email protected].
We know that peace is not just the absence of violence, but the presence of justice. When we met with community members this week, we heard:
We need counselors in our schools, we need access to mental health care, we need support from adults who come from our community and understand what we’re going through. We need our schools and our families to recognize that we are not okay, and do something about it. We need to grieve. We need to heal the cycles of violence that keep repeating.
We know that to heal, all of us need a solid foundation of food, jobs, housing, and health. As West Siders, we want to come together to build the community that we need so that our youth have a chance.
“We can’t lose hope. When a person is without hope, they begin to self-destruct, when a community is without hope, it also begins to self-destruct. We can’t lose hope. We build hope by investing in our youth and in our neighborhood,” said Monica Bravo, WSCO’s Executive Director. At WSCO, a core part of our mission is to advance justice and racial equity. As systems of white supremacy and violence continue to harm all of us, we ask: what can we do to keep each other safe? We join the call for an end to no-knock warrants, and for investment in life affirming public safety. Together, we can build power and transform our community into a just and joyful place for all.