The Fulcrum stands in solidarity with protesters and reporters covering the protests all over North America. Photo: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
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Dear readers, 

The Fulcrum stands in solidarity with the protesters across North America against police brutality and abuse towards Black communities and individuals. 

We believe the actions taken by police over the last week across the United States demonstrate a police culture built on racism, entitlement, and abuse of power. 

Over the last week, I have seen behaviour from some American police officers that are beyond words. Last week I saw a picture on Twitter of a child who had been maced by a member of the Seattle Police department. I was at a loss for words and, frankly, I just wanted to scream at my phone.

I’ve also seen scenes such as officers ramming their vehicle into crowds, something that, if a normal civilian did it, would be considered an act of terrorism. I also saw police shoot paintballs at people on their own front lawns for no reason, break into cars driven by Black people, and tackle elderly people who happened to walk on sidewalks near the protests. I honestly wonder how these officers can live with themselves. 

The Fulcrum also stands with all the reporters who have been out in the streets covering the protests and riots in different cities and who have been targeted by police. 

Early Friday morning, the world witnessed CNN reporter Omar Jiminez and his crew be arrested without cause on live television on the streets of Minneapolis. On Saturday night, LA Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske and other members of the press were shot point-blank with tear gas canisters by the Minnesota state patrol causing gruesome leg injuries to reporters and cameramen. On Saturday, Linda Tirado, a photojournalist, lost an eye after a rubber bullet shot by police shattered her eyeball. Fortunately for Tirado, it wasn’t her photography eye, but she will be permanently blind in one eye and unable to drive for the rest of her life.

Each of these incidents display blatant abuses of power from police who, since the beginning of these protests, have actively tried to scare the media from doing their jobs and from reporting on police abuse towards protesters and Black individuals on a large scale. 

Today we reported on a third Black student who was carded at the University of Ottawa. We also were made aware over the weekend of racist post from at least one U of O student. These events demonstrate that the University of Ottawa has a racism problem and we call on the administration to take concrete action to eradicate this problem and make students of all races feel safe and accepted for who they are on campus. 

We stand behind all U of O students who choose to join the march for solidarity and peacefully protest at the US embassy this Friday, and encourage everyone to practice caution regarding social distancing so as to not cause harm to those individuals and communities already at high risk,

Charley Dutil