Matthew Kaplan Photography

Southeast Side Community Bike Ride Honoring Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillen - Chicago - August 9th, 2020

Protesting the murders of Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillen, the Southeast Side Community Bike Ride pedaled through Chicago's industrial Tenth Ward on Sunday afternoon, from the reopened Mission Dispensary at 86th and Commercial Avenue, to the Eggers Grove forest preserve at 112th and Avenue F. While stopping along the route at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 91st Street; Calumet Park on the lakefront; and the Fire Station at 106th and Ewing, demonstrators spoke passionately of the manifest failure of the state to protect the young lives of these two essential workers, both women of color.

Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical first responder in Louisville Kentucky, was shot to death in her own apartment by her own city's police force, when officers served a "no knock" warrant to search for drugs at that address. No drugs were found, and no one has yet been charged with a crime for this senseless and tragic error.

In April, twenty year old Vanessa Guillen was killed while serving her country in the military at Fort Hood in Texas, apparently by a fellow soldier who later took his own life. The military is investigating the matter.

To quote from Bridges/Puentes Justice Collective, the local group who organized the protest ride, "We are told we need police to keep us safe. We are told to join the army to gain respect. Breonna was not kept safe. Vanessa was not respected. They were essential. Both were killed by the state".

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