Care2 Protests Bill Cosby’s Atlanta Performance
On May 2, Care2 activists, Bill Cosby victims and their families stood outside the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Ga., to protest Bill Cosby’s last show of his “Far From Finished” comedy tour.
Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting, drugging and raping nearly 50 women. The protest was planned after a Care2 petition with nearly 34,000 signatures asking Outback Concerts, the show’s promoter, to cancel Cosby’s performance was ignored.
The protestors were joined by famed civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents 17 Cosby accusers. She was joined by Lili Bernard, an artist who came forward on Friday with allegations Cosby drugged and raped her when she guest starred on the last season of The Cosby Show.
I helped to plan and attend the protest on behalf of Care2, and overall it was a very successful event! We were joined by Kaya Thompson, a Cosby victim who shared her story with Care2 last week, as well as her loving and supportive parents, Bill and Judy Thompson. Brandy Betts, an executive assistant based in Chicago, was monumental in planning the protest in the weeks leading up to the event. Hats off to everyone involved for speaking truth to power!
The protest sought to bring attention to the plight of victims of rape and sexual assault, and a society that is often reluctant to believe them. Many of Cosby’s victims waited decades to come forward with allegations because Cosby’s privilege, fame and power made the victims assume they would not be believed. Even today, there are many people who continue to believe the victims are lying. This protest was our way to remind the world that victims of rape and sexual assault deserve to be taken seriously. Their stories need to be heard. And a just society is not one in which a violent predator is afforded a platform that provides him riches and fame.
About 1,700 people attended Cosby’s Atlanta show; the venue seats 2,750. There were rows of empty seats.
While the statute of limitations has passed in many states where alleged victims were assaulted, Allred now believes she has enough evidence to bring a criminal case against Cosby in New Jersey, where there is no statute of limitations for rape.
Check out some of the photos of the protest below.
Photo credit (all photos): Julie Mastrine, Care2 Activism Marketing and Social Media Manager