ST. PETERSBURG––Members of the Uhuru Movement, with the support of the black community, have chained themselves to the recently-erected TyRon Lewis Ave Street sign.
The street sign was erected by the black community in defiance of the city on October 24th to rename what was previously known as 18th Avenue to TyRon Lewis Avenue, marking the 20th anniversary of the murder of 18-year-ol TyRon Lewis by St. Petersburg pigs.
The African community erected a street sign without the permission from the city, exercising our right to be a self-determined people.
The city, however, outlined their intention to uproot the TyRon Lewis Ave street sign on November 14th at 10am, after being pressured by the police union.
The leader of the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association demanded that the city mayor take the sign down because of its “negative symbolic purpose.” He stated that the sign was a slap in the face to all law enforcement.
The black community is clear, however, that the police union wants to remove the TyRon Lewis Ave street sign because its presence brings the question of TyRon’s murder back to the forefront. It exposes the lies of the police, reminding them every day of the horrible crime they’ve committed against the African community.
The African community is in uproar over the police unions plans to remove the community’s new landmark. Is response, members of the community and the Uhuru Movement have stood in resistance with demonstrations held at the corner of TyRon Lewis Ave and 16th Street S since Sunday night.
Gazi Kodzo and Chimurenga Selembao attached themselves to the street sign on Sunday evening, with a clear conviction that the sign is important in commemorating the murder of young TyRon and solidifying the date into the minds of the people.
Chimurenga stated to The Burning Spear: This is a real step towards self-determination and self-government. We think its really important to defend the sign.”
He added, “If we are ever going to be free, we are going to have to take risks.”
With chants like, “The black community much have TyRon Lewis Ave,” “Fists up, fight back!” and “The pigs you our hood ain’t no good!” motorists and passersby were inspired to join the demonstration. They recognize that this is an attempt of the pigs to cover up their murderous tracks once again.
The black community made the decision to erect the TyRon Lewis Ave sign, and have made the decision to protect the sign.
As of this morning, the sign still remains firmly and defiantly embedded in the ground.