Former Pres. Barack Obama puts out guidelines following protests

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Former Pres. Barack Obama puts out guidelines following protests https://wp.me/p6FQ6P-2pCS

(ABC) – Former President Barack Obama published a piece on Medium addressing the protests nationwide following the death of George Floyd — and, specifically, how he thinks people can move forward to “sustain momentum to bring about real change.”

“Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times,” he wrote. “But I believe there are some basic lessons to draw from past efforts that are worth remembering.”

His message overall put forth the importance of voting and participating in politics, particularly at the local level, where decisions on ground-level criminal justice and police practices are formed.
The “bottom line” he wrote is that “if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.”
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The former president began by acknowledging that “the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States,” noting that most people demonstrating have been “peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring.” He also noted that “police in cities like Camden and Flint have commendably understood” that the protesters “deserve our respect and support.”

He also addressed the violence that has broken out at protests in several cities, although the exact root of that violence has been disputed, especially as it differs between locations. In his post, Obama requested people “not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it.”

From there, the former president addressed the importance of participating in politics and voting in every election, saying that “the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”