redefining and practicing safety …
…” a different society, build on cooperation instead of individualism, on mutual aid instead of self-preservation”
Organizers across the country are deploying a multitude of tools to collaborate with people imagine and enact that vision through community surveys and engagement, participatory budgeting, and people’ movement assemblies. They are doing the work of meeting each others needs through mutual aid, and practicing transformative justice.
The ultimate goal is to organize our society to meet material needs and to build and resource community-based safety strategies and infrastructure. While some groups are responding to the backlash against defund demands by shifting their focus away from cuts to police budgets to securing greater investments in meeting community needs, both are required. Police do harm every single day, including by looting resources from and sabotaging community safety, we need to limit their power and resources to do harm.
Defunding police means investing the billions currently poured into policing and industrial complex into community based safety strategies: meeting basic needs that including housing, health care, access to care for disable people, childcare, elder care, a basic guaranteed income, and accessible, sustainable living-wage jobs that enable people to prevent, escape, intervene in, and transform the conditions that make violence possible. It is a process of creating, building, and resourcing tools, skills, relationships, and institutions that will create genuine and lasting safety for all.
No More Police. A Case for Abolition by Mariame Kaba & Andrea J. Ritchie
Defunding police is neither the beginning nor the end of the story. it is simple a step toward a longer-term abolitionist horizon of dismantling police departments and abolishing policing, the prison industrial complex (PIC) that requires it, the economic system that produce it, and the social order it fabricates, while rebuilding a society organized around meeting our individual and collective needs, as well as the needs of the planet. The demand to defund is just the basement floor, abolition is the sky we are reaching for.
Rooted in the black radical tradition and the lived experiences of criminalized people and communities, PIC abolition is a structural analysis of oppression, a political vision of a restructured society, a “theory of social life” or how we can relate to one another, and a practical organizing strategy.
Simply put, PIC abolitionists want to end the whole system of mutually reinforcing relationships between surveillance, policing, the courts, and imprisonment that fuel, maintain, and expand social and economic oppression, structural racism, patriarchy, ableism, and imperialism. It’s not just about prisons or even police, but the entire world they reflect and produce…”No More Police. A Case for Abolition by Mariame Kaba & Andrea J. Ritchie
Just Together We Can Do It
Solidarity & Anarchy
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