Statement of the Historians for Peace and Democracy (H-PAD) on the Current Struggle

H-PAD condemns the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

We stand with many, many others to demand justice for George Floyd, his family, and his community. We stand with many others to demand that the historic and structural racism of the U.S. police and justice systems–that has led to the arbitrary, violent abuse of many African Americans and other people of color for many, many years—be abolished.

We stand with and applaud the multi-faceted, diverse uprising, led by Black activists often associated with Black Lives Matter, that has exploded across the U.S. and countries abroad in protest of the murder of Floyd and too many others, and the racism that produced these. And we stand against attempts of reactionary and establishment forces to suppress that protest movement through police and military action, to delegitimize it, to demean portions of it, and to undermine and split it through the use of racism, radical-baiting, and saboteurs/agents provocateurs.

We call on historians, historically-minded activists, and progressive intellectuals to increase their involvement in this movement in all ways possible, especially through offering analyses, mounting educational efforts, engaging the mass and the new media, producing historical understandings, and through participation in direct political action. We also call for all of us to channel the resources and contacts we have made through our professional and political activities into the movement.  And we call on all to join the crucial fundraising efforts for bail and legal defense for the many movement activists who have been and are being detained for protest activities.

We are in the midst of two massive, interrelated crises of great historical proportions: the continued abuse and murder of people of color by the U.S. police system, and the astounding mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic by those authorities concerned with their own power and wealth, not the health and survival of working people and people of color. The good news is that the movement that is growing is pressing hard to resolving these crises on terms favorable to all the people of this country.  H-PAD is committed to participating in and building this movement.

In subsequent communications, we plan to send information, provide resources, and offer ideas on networking and organizing.

Steering Committee, Historians for Peace and Democracy