Buffalo, NY – In response to Saturday’s massacre at the Jefferson Avenue Tops in Buffalo, organizers and members of the Western New York Chapter of Citizen Action of New York released the following statements:

“We, the Buffalo-based members of Citizen Action, are devastated and mourning the deaths of our community members. Our love goes out to everyone who is hurting from this tragedy, especially the Black community. The fact that a white supremacist went to the Tops grocery store on the East Side, an area long segregated by design, to kill Black people, weighs heavily on all of our hearts. All of us are impacted and will be for a very long time.”

“I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that has struck our city. As a Latino man, I believe it is best that we turn to the Black community, the target of this violence, and do our best to support them,” said Western New York Citizen Action Lead Organizer Angel Rosado. “They need more love, support, and passionate action coming from folks that consider themselves allies. As we move forward, we must center the families and the Black community as a whole, as their voice was the one this white supremacist was seeking to silence.”

“This tragedy in our city bears so much pain and sorrow down on our entire community. We send our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of those we lost on Saturday afternoon,” said Citizen Action Member Tamea Dixon “Hate will not win! Calling for our City of Good Neighbors to extend love, solidarity, and peace that surpasses all understanding as we work together in healing.”

“Our caregivers play essential roles in our society, sustaining our working populations and giving life to the next generation. It disgusts me that someone with so much hate in their heart for Black people came to a heavily segregated city to target our Black caregivers at the only grocery store in a food desert,” said Western New York Citizen Action Community Organizer Kelly Camacho. “This was a modern lynching and we need real solutions for our grieving community. If we look at this situation and do nothing more than think it is sad, we are already doomed to let it happen again. How will you personally support the Black community during this time?”

“We must call this attack what it is: a violent act of white terrorism. White supremacist rhetoric fueled this terrorist to carry out this attack,” said Citizen Action Member Yubin Han. “We have to recognize that white supremacy is not a fringe ideology in this country; it is the core ideology that this country was founded on. This shooting would not have occurred if not for the de-facto segregation of Buffalo. I stand in solidarity with the families affected by this massacre and the Black community, who will continue to feel the ripple effects of this act of violent terrorism. We must support and seek justice for the grieving Black community and face the fascist issue we have at hand.”

“I am still in shock and disbelief that a mass shooting has occurred in our city. Blacks have been racially discriminated against and criminalized for far too many years, not only here in Buffalo, but across the entire country,” said Citizen Action Member Leslie Bishop. “Yet as Blacks, we continue to raise our voices, from chanting “We Shall Overcome” to screaming this at the tops of our lungs! Many of us have faith to believe that one day, we will be treated fairly — humanely. As our community and church leaders gather to bring us together and begin the healing process, we must continue to remain focused on the fact that racism still exists for Blacks and is, in fact, a part of our everyday lives. We must work together, tirelessly, and with pure hearts, to stomp out this evil mindset. My sincerest condolences go out to the families directly and indirectly impacted by this act of terrorism and to our community as a whole. We Shall Overcome!”