Statement concerning the protests in the United States

Last week, news of the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department and the subsequent protests in Minneapolis and other cities have reached us and left us shocked.

We, the Rust Berlin organisers, want to make a clear statement:

Why this statement

Our Code of Conduct clearly states: “[…] we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and religion (or lack thereof).”

This committment cannot be passive and it also cannot be selectively applied. And most importantly, it cannot be silent.

Technologist communities cannot, out of mistaken sense for neutrality, remain silent on issues of racism. Such an approach undeniably leads to alienation of members of our community experiencing racism and in need for support. These issues can’t be remained neutral on, and a stance must be taken.

Our stance is that we are in full support with Black people and those supporting them.

Police violence against people of color is not only a US problem and must be fought everwhere. For Germany and Berlin in particular, we’d like to highlight the death in custody project and the UN highlight of racial profiling in Germany.

Talk is cheap: What you can do

It is a common occurence to feel powerless, especially involving something a whole continent away. This doesn’t have to be this way, and you can use this moment as a trigger for support those that can impact this situation more effectively than you personally.

We call for everyone to support their local, with preference Black-led activist groups. As the situation in the US develops, we don’t feel like we’re in a good position to give recommendation here and follow @rustlang’s recommendation for the Bail fund network.

If you, for whatever reason, don’t feel comfortable with donating towards the US, we want to encourage you to donate to a support group at your place of living. As with all causes, it’s most effective to donate to groups led by people who actually experience racism.

For example, in Germany, we can highlight Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland Bund e.V.. The initiative provides documentation of Germany’s colonial past and also ways to take action on current issues, like the grave hygenic situation of the Lampedusa group in Hamburg (German) in the times of COVID19. Most importantly, they are part of a campaign to investigate deaths in custody. It also links to and cooperates with many more local initiatives.

The undersigned:

The Rust Berlin Organisers team and friends, namely:

If you want to sign this statement, as an organisation or as an indivdual, send us a Pull Request or open an issue and we will add you.