Mark Ruffalo virtually joined activists in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin to back their campaign for justice for a local African-American man who was shot seven times by police.
Last month (Aug20) footage emerged online of the attempted arrest of Jacob Blake, 29, showing a white officer grabbing his shirt before seven gunshots are heard – leaving Blake paralysed and in hospital.
The shooting sparked riots in Kenosha, but on Tuesday (01Sep20), activists held a peaceful Justice for Jacob Community Celebration at the site where the 29-year-old was shot – with Mark joining the gathering via Instagram Live.
"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," "The Avengers" actor said, according to Variety.
He also responded to U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the city, accusing the leader of inciting violence by whipping up anger against those protesting against police violence.
"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," Mark added.
He closed with a message for residents of his hometown, saying, "Lord love you. Be strong. Stay in your hearts. Stay in your love. God bless everybody who's fighting for this most important cause."
The Justice for Jacob Community Celebration also included a community clean-up session and has raised funds for voter registration, Covid testing, hair-cut services, therapy circles and a food drive from local businesses.