I'd like to turn this discussion back to the topic of alternatives to the police: communities coming together, identifying their needs on their terms, and making plans to intervene and provide safety, prevent and repair harm.
Like Lisa said today so many communties, espcially communities of color and poor communities, don't trust or call the police because of fear of harm, or death. This is likely more common than many people think.
There's a strong histroy of alternatives to the police in the US - and all over the world. Domestic violence response was community based before there was a formal movement and shelter system - because domestic violence wasn't considered a crime. Queer and women based groups, like Safe Outside the System in NYC and CARA in Seattle, have found ways to help themselves becuase the police harm them more then help them.
In South Africa during aparthide the cops didn't "serve and protect" Black South African communities. So the ANC, with the leadership of young people and women, came togehter and formed street committies to resolve disputes, address property crime, and provide for accountability.
Building alternatives will take time, intention and real work. But when police produce this much harm, espcially in communities of color, poor communities, queer communities, and against youth and individuals with mental illness, we have to realize that the institution is failing us. It is not preventing harm. We need a change.
Start talking to your neighbors and friends. Do a web search on alternatives to the police. Start with a safety buddy. Our communities have strength and skills that we can access.
Let's talk about what can we create Something that is both just and safe, and truly accountable to our community. Let's keep talking.
Thanks to the Skanner for giving this important discussion space.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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