Indianapolis vigil for slain Black women Nia Wilson and MeShon Cooper

Around 30 activists held a vigil on the near-north side of Indianapolis for murdered Black women on July 28. Indy10 Black Lives Matter called the event in response to the killings of MeShon Cooper and Nia Wilson, two Black women. The organizers connected these overt acts of racist violence with the death of a local woman, Monica Brodie, who was shot and killed on July 16, 2018.

Activists stood at the corners of 38th and Meridian as thousands of motorists passed by. Hundreds honked their horns in support and raised the Black power fist. Vigil attendees talked to pedestrians and drivers and waved signs emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter,” “Black Women Matter,” “Stop Killing Black Women,” pictures of the murdered women, and “Justice for Nia and MeShon.” After the vigil, activists scattered rose petals for Black women murdered by police and white supremacists.

It’s not difficult to see the connection between Nia Wilson, MeShon Cooper, and Monica Brodie: Brodie’s brother, Christopher Goodlow, was executed by Indianapolis police in his apartment complex in 2015. Even the Indianapolis Star describes the visual of a man standing in his boxer shorts and surrounded by armed officers as “difficult to watch.”

MeShon Cooper was killed by Ronnie Kidwell, whose own family described him as a swastika-tattooed, Confederate-flag draped white supremacist with a history of attempts to assault Black people.

In Oakland, Ca., John Cowell killed Nia Wilson and stabbed her sister, Lahtifa, at a transit station (for “no apparent reason” according to transit police). Wilson’s family and hundreds of Oakland activists took to the streets to protest. Meanwhile, police say there is no evidence of this being a hate crime.

The search for individual motives obscures the reality of racism and white supremacy in the United States.

Indy10 Black Lives Matter and other participating organizations, including ANSWER Indianapolis, demonstrated that workers and oppressed people in this city do not accept the capitalists’ racist agenda.