If you find yourself saying “defund the police” is unrealistic or a bad slogan or the wrong goal, STOP.
Have you devoted years of your life to studying the prison industrial complex (PIC) or spent years organizing for abolition? If yes, OK, talk about your research or analysis on #DefundThePolice, but for the love of God, please locate yourself in that conversation as a person of racial privilege whose experience of policing is radically different than that of Black people (and BIPOC people more broadly).
If you don’t have this expertise, sit down. This is a moment to learn, and then to act on your learnings. I’ve been trying to do that myself, and would like to share a few resources I am finding helpful.
- On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way — recording of an excellent panel discussion/webinar from June 12, 2020, with Mariame Kaba from Project NIA, Dean Spade, Woods Ervin & Kamau Walton from Critical Resistance, and K Agbebiyi from Survived and Punished NY. It offers a basic understanding of abolition as a vision and a praxis, and was enormously helpful in offering ways to assess reform proposals, including the Biden campaign proposal
- 8 to abolition — an abolitionist critique of the “8 can’t wait” campaign with a substantive program towards abolition
- Transform Harm — an excellent resource to learn about transformative justice, community accountability, restorative justice, abolition, and more
- Movement for Black Lives — if you’ve never read the Movement for Black Lives 2016 Platform, treat yourself; this is what radical vision and leadership looks like. There is a section on defunding the police, for the more immediate moment and demands
- As calls to defund the police grow louder, joe biden wants to give them more money — more about Biden’s proposal and the problem with “community policing” proposals more broadly
- Abolish the Police to Fulfill the Promise of U.S. Democracy — my modest contribution here, a brief overview of the origins, history, and function of U.S. policing, and the necessity of abolition to the democratic project
- MPD150 Resources page — from short FAQs to books, this resource page is up-to-the-minute current and a great way to find the info you are looking for
- Six nineteen: Defend Black Lives — this Friday is Juneteenth, and M4BL is calling for actions all over the country. Sign up here and get involved here
- https://www.instagram.com/justiceforgeorgenyc/ — this account lists daily anti-racist protests for NYC
- Critical Resistance — a national abolitionist organization. They have projects, campaigns, resources, and local chapters. It is one possible way to get involved