Support grows for brain-damaged activist Erica Garner

Rights groups, artists and politicians have rallied around Erica Garner, an activist and writer whose father’s death at the hands of police ignited huge protests, as she fights for her life in hospital.

The 27-year-old daughter of Eric Garner, the New Yorker victim of a police chokehold in July 2014, was hospitalised on December 24 after suffering a major heart attack.

She went into a coma and on December 27; a member of her team said that she had suffered “major brain damage from a lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest”.

Sending messages from Erica’s Twitter account, the team member asked her 38,000 followers to pray for her health.

Thousands of people have sent in their well wishes, including Democratic politician Bernie Sanders, rapper Common, actress Rosario Dawson, anti-racism activists DeRay Mckesson and Shaun King, NGOs the American Civil Liberties Union and Color of Change, and civil rights advocate Al Sharpton.

The hashtag #EricaGarner has trended worldwide on Twitter, with more than 50,000 people writing messages about her online.

Erica appeared in a video for Sanders’ campaign to lead the party in the 2016 US presidential race.

“My thoughts are with Erica Garner, her family and friends in hoping that she has a full recovery and rejoins the struggle for justice as soon as possible,” Sanders tweeted. “I have had the privilege of joining with her at a number of events and was deeply impressed with her courage and insights.”

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