Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond remarks on local protests


Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond Provides Remarks During Full Council Meeting on June 1
ATLANTA — Post 1 At-Large Council member Michael Julian Bond provided the following remarks during the June 1 City Council meeting:
“I just want to briefly comment on the activities that have taken place in our city over the weekend. I applaud the peaceful protest and I abhor the violence and property damage that was done by those who took advantage of the peaceful protest.
Our nation is at a real crossroads on how to treat each American equally. I believe that this is the time for the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia to come to the forefront and show the country on how we’ve best done things here – through the “Atlanta Way.”
I’ve come through a history of activism, both through my personal life and my family and extended family. I understand how positive peaceful demonstration is what leads to progress. So, I hope that we as a city, along with our partners at the county and the state level, will reach out to our partners who are organizers who are peacefully demonstrating to work on solutions. Demonstrations are designed to bring attention to an issue. But there is work that needs to be done beyond the demonstration.
So, I want to applaud our mayor, our police chief, the governmental partners who assisted and continue to assist us in keeping the peaceful protesters and our citizens and our city safe.
I want to make a special comment on the officer who was struck by the ATV and we pray for him and his speedy recovery. We pray for the students who were maligned in a tragic traffic stop and the treatment that they received.
I applaud the chief and the mayor for the quick response in dealing with those who were at fault. And so, I hope that we can continue to be an example and a beacon to the country. I hope that sooner than later we can all gather around the table and work constructively to discuss the grievances that have been raised by the peaceful protesters.
I can tell you that I have been overwhelming sad this entire weekend when I see their movement co-opted, by whether their goals are in the left or the right, that have fought to malign and change what they have attempted.
I hope that City Council, along with the administration and our governmental partners, will reach out to make sure that we are moving forward in tradition of this city, to be a beacon of peace, of recognizing civil rights and progress and that we will do so as soon as possible.
This is my hometown, so I hurt, really my heart goes out to those who have been wronged, and feel as if they have no voice, and that the powers that be have not responded. I want them to know that they have been heard and that we are able to come to the table to help and address their needs. With that, the door is open. I hope that we will take the initiative to meet them at the table.”

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