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Vienna, 04.06.2020

We, students, teachers, assistants at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and community members of Austria, stand firmly against the violence of the police, not only in the U.S. but also here in Austria and in the European Union, where Black people are being killed by racist police officers and white supremacists.

The death of an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody sparked protests across the US. The police murdered George Floyd, ignoring his plea, “I can't breathe."
 
George Floyd is the name that resounds strongly in our minds and bodies while we are revolted by such horrifying and unpunished police systematic violence. But the excessive usage of violence did not stop. Protesters these days should not be met by more police aggression and the announced military aggression.
 
We stay in solidarity with the protesters asking for a profound, systematic change of inequalities that are violently, continuously exercised on people because of their color of the skin. Racism protects those on power and inequalities produced trough racism differentiates and harm, kill and deprive.
 
The murder of George Floyd is a part of a long list of people killed by the police since the murder of Eric Garner in 2014 by NYPD.

We cannot stay silent anymore in the face of such continuous and unstoppable racial injustice, whether it is within our society or outside of it. No one should feel threatened or afraid because of the color of the skin, or because he, she or their* are what they are.
 
Structural racism is not something unique in the US society. Institutional racism has long since arrived in Europe and Austria. Discrimination and injustice are unacceptable and have no place in our societies, institutions, communities. We ask for being alert of and against the structural racism as well here and now.
 
We stay in solidarity with the protesters who are in the streets confronting structural racism and with Black Lives Matter and Black Visions Collective and other organizations who support them.


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