Mark Ruffalo virtually joined Tuesday morning’s Justice for Jacob Community Celebration in his hometown, Kenosha, Wis. He appeared via Instagram Live to support Jacob Blake’s family and community leaders, who organized a peaceful gathering at the site of where Blake was shot by police.
The event kicked off with a press conference and a community clean-up session. It also provided community resources including a voter registration booth, COVID testing, hair-cut services, therapy circles and a food drive from local businesses.
Ruffalo made a concise speech over Instagram Live, then opened up his platform for organizers to share their experiences from Kenosha.
“I just wanted to reach out to my family and brothers and sisters in Kenosha and just talk a little bit about what’s happening today and how my experience has been of how these demagogues play this and how we can keep from playing into their game,” he said.
The “Avengers” actor spoke to his experience organizing at Standing Rock, highlighting the importance of “peaceful civil disobedience.” He emphasized how community organizers and moderators have always been trained to avoid violent responses and support one another to remain calm.
In response to President Donald Trump’s visit to Kenosha on Tuesday, Ruffalo said, “The president is there wanting to incite violence so that he can show his followers — and the people that follow him on television and Fox News and all of that — that what the movement we’re doing is about violence. When, in fact, it’s about peace and it’s about equality and it’s about public safety for all Americans.”
Ruffalo gave a shoutout to organizers in Kenosha, where his father still resides, reminding them to resist the bait from the police and media. “There will be agitators there,” he added. “None of them will be Black, and they will be the ones who are acting out.”
He closed with a word of support, celebrating the work of his hometown community: “Lord love you. Be strong. Stay in your hearts. Stay in your love. God bless everybody who’s fighting for this most important cause.”