IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - The Iowa Freedom Riders, a youth-based organization in Iowa City fighting for systemic change, announced Friday it is forming a Truth and Reckoning Commission to further its goals.
IFR led dozens of local Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020 to protest the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African-Americans at the hands of police.
This reckoning commission is being called "The Peoples TRC", because the group says it has lost hope in the city-created Ad Hoc Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The city's TRC has seen four members and its facilitator resign since March 8. The body was also suspended by the City Council for one month on March 17.
According to a Friday announcement from IFR, the Truth and Reckoning Commission has goals of truth-telling, reparations for marginalized groups, creating a space for healing and education.
City Councilors --specifically Mayor Bruce Teague-- have said they support IFR and thank them for drawing attention to racial issues in Iowa City. But Teague has also said he does not agree with several "tactics" IFR chose to use during the summer of 2020; specifically occupying Interstate 80 in June.
While the group has not held a protest in several months, its members have been very active in calling-in to virtual City Council meetings to disagree with councilors and accuse them of ignoring systemic issues.
The Peoples TRC is scheduled to begin on April 15; the same day the city-created commission is also slated to resume its work.