The theme of day two of the DNC is “A lifetime of fighting for children and families.” In line with the theme Mothers of the Movement were brought to speak at the DNC stage about gun violence and gun control. These mothers included the mothers of victims that have become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement in light of police shootings and other types of police brutality such as Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Sandra Bland. It also included mothers of gun violence victims.
The mothers are: Gwen Carr, Sybrina Fulton, Maria Hamilton, Wanda Johnson, Lucy McBath, Lezley McSpadden, Cleopatra Pendelton, and Geneva Reed-Veal.
The crowd immediately began to chant Black Lives Matter once the mothers appeared on stage.
Geneva Reed-Veal (Sandra Bland’s mother)
She recalled how one year ago yesterday she buried her daughter Sandra Bland. Bland was found dead hanging in a jail cell in July 2015 after she was arrested following a traffic stop.
Reed-Veal named other women who like her daughter died while in police custody: Kendra Champan, Alexis McGovern, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell.
Speaking about Clinton Reed-Veal called her a “leader” and a “mother” who “will say our children’s names.”
“What a blessing to be standing here tonight so that Sandy can still speak through her momma,” Reed-Veal said fighting back tears and earning a standing ovation.
Sandra Bland's mom says she's with Clinton because "she's a leader and a mother who will say our children's names." https://t.co/RZl1lrDy8e
Lucia McBath (Mother of Jordan Davis)
Jordan Davis was a 17-year-old fatally shot in 2012. Davis was killed when a man opened fire at him and his friends while they sat in a car for playing music too loudly.
McBath talked about how she hasn’t stopped being a mother after Davis’ death and how she didn't want her son's death to overshadow his life. “I lived in fear that my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young black man he would meet people who didn’t value him or his life,” she said.
McBath said Clinton isn’t “afraid to say Black Lives Matter.” She added, “She isn’t afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn’t build walls around her heart.” McBath also took a moment to note that most police officers are doing a good job.
Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother)
Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old fatally shot by George Zimmerman in February 2012.
Describing herself as an “unwilling participant” in this movement Fulton said she was there for her son Trayvon Martin and his brother Jahvaris Fulton.
“She has the courage to lead the fight for common sense gun legislation,” Fulton said of Clinton.
“This isn’t about being politically correct, this is about saving our children.”
The other women on stage tonight included:
Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother)
Eric Garner was killed in July 2014 after police put him in a chokehold in an attempt to arrest him suspecting Garner was selling loose cigarettes. His last words were "I can't breathe," which he repeated 11 times.
Lezley McSpadden (Michael Brown’s mother)
Michael Brown was fatally shot by former police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014.
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton (mother of Hadiya Pendleton)
15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton became a victim of Chicago gun violence in 2013 while at the park. A week before her death she performed in Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration.
Maria Hamilton, (Dontre Hamilton’s mother)
Dontre Hamilton was shot by a police officer 14 times in Milwaukee in April 2014.
Wanda Johnson, (Oscar Grant’s mother)
Oscar Grant was fatally shot by a transit police officer on New Year’s Day 2009.
In March Mothers of the Movement appeared in an emotional campaign video talking about the children they’ve lost while also calling for police reform and gun violence prevention saying Clinton is the best candidate to bring about those changes.
Clinton previously met with some of the mothers that appeared at the DNC tonight in November.