Statement regarding the West Bank Block Party
Greetings families and friends:
On September 10, 2016 the West Bank Community Coalition hosted its 2nd annual West Bank Block Party. The purpose of this annual community event was to explore and celebrate the diversity of our community. We as an organization strive to display and put forth the valuable and rich customs of all of our residents. This event is hosted to create a platform where residents could engage with one another in a festive demeanor. Promoting the prosperity and genuinely enhancing the unity among residents is a consistent factor that we hold closely as an organization.
This year we were fortunate enough to have a renowned Somali icon perform at our Block Party with the intentions of also expressing and informing the community of a project he is currently working on.
We've had some attendees that expressed their right to protest regarding one of our performers. As an organization we respect and value the right to peacefully protest. At times of uncertainty and hateful rhetoric, it is clear why some people felt uneasy. In our current times, when we have individuals seeking the highest political office in the nation, who are prone to openly express distasteful Islamaphobic speech that greatly impact our community. We encourage residents, especially our youth to continue to express their views and opinions in a more effective and efficient methodological framework. We also encourage our youth to bypass any form of destructive protests and to rather use their collective intellect to overcome the barriers that they face.
Towards the end of the event, youth protesters clashed with police. We sympathize with the youth due to their frustration of heavily being stigmatized and subjected to negative stereotypes. Although we support the right to peaceful protest and assemble, we condone all forms of violence from any party. We believe the best way to find an adequate solution in regards to youth-police relations is through open and transparent dialogue. We understand tensions and views towards law enforcement is degrading, but it is at that this moment that we unify as a community with the goal to move forward and create a safe and comfortable environment for all.
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