LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tuesday marked Louisville’s first “Good Trouble Tuesday,” a weekly workshop that trains protesters. It's led by the New York City-based social justice group Until Freedom.
The group, which moved to Louisville over the weekend, is training protesters in Kentucky and beyond on how to do what they do, which is address systemic and racial injustice. In this case, the goal is justice for Breonna Taylor.
“So organizing for us is about science,” said Until Freedom Co-Founder, Linda Sarsour.
Reverend Stephen Green of Greater Allen Cathedral of N.Y. and Sarsour and Sarsour will lead the trainings that will take place every week until justice is served.
The focus is to teach methods and strategies on how to achieve “kinging” or non-violent direct actions, like Martin Luther King, Jr. organized. Direct actions are peaceful, but not quiet, and disruptive but not violent.
Direct actions, like the sit-in at Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s house, require organization on the backend leading up to such a protest, hence the weekly training.
Tuesday’s first “Good Trouble Tuesday” drew in novice to experienced protesters from Kentucky and beyond, such as California, New York, and Navajo Nation, to name a few.
The day’s focus was canvassing. Just like politicians knock on doors to spread their campaign’s message, protesters must do the same. Sarsour said the group noticed that canvassing wasn’t happening, since much of downtown has been boarded up and not as many people live there compared to surrounding neighborhoods.
“You don’t even walk by anybody sitting on the porch drinking a sweet tea to be even ask what you were doing down here,” Sarsour said. “Who is with the people? Who is explaining to the people what’s happening?” she rhetorically asked.
Also, just like politicians knock on doors for votes, protesters must do it to garner community support.
“There might even be people in the community very mad at you, being like 'Y’all got downtown boarded up, and I can’t get this. I can’t get to the store. I can’t get to do nothing, you’re just blocking the highways.' I guarantee you there’s some grandmas talking about you at home,” Sarsour explained in a joking but also matter-of-fact manner.
To put the training in practice, there is also a practical component. This time, canvassing. Until Freedom had a bus organized that took just over two dozen attendees to Louisville’s West End to knock on doors and hand out flyers that stated the organization’s demands for justice for Breonna Taylor. They include the detective and officers involved with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged. The second demand is the resignation of Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer. The last demand is to end qualified immunity and no-knock warrants throughout Kentucky, not just in Louisville.
One of the residents approached was Gina Andrews. She was sitting on her porch to get some fresh air after a day of Zoom meetings. Andrews said she hasn’t participated in any protests, but has been cheering on the sidelines from inside her house.
“And with them coming out, there’s a chance for everybody to really share, and we can really be a part of it. Even though we are not actually down in Jefferson Square and somewhere like that,” Andrews told Spectrum News 1.
Dana Aiyanna has organized and attended trainings before, but she said she still learned something new during this training.
“You know, being an example and just the power, more powerful it is to be a non-violent than it is to be violent,” Aiyanna said.
The goal of "Good Trouble Tuesday" is to gain support and apply pressure to key leaders that will lead to justice for Breonna Taylor.
It’s also an opportunity to turn the students of today into the teachers of tomorrow.
“And as you all have been trained, now you all have been dispatched to be trainers of other people, and so we want to help you all to be resourced to do that,” trainer Green said during the first “Good Trouble Tuesday” meeting.
The Tuesday trainings and efforts are also meant to build support for Until Freedom’s “Day Of Action” that will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 25.