We are learning in real time the power of direct action.
Since the horrific filmed murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police on May 25th, the long fight of marginalized communities against the police state has reached its tipping point.
Coast to coast, hundreds of thousands have been in the streets for weeks, with solidarity actions happening across the globe. And this has further lifted the veil of the problem of policing in the US, as we've seen endless footage of peaceful protestors and journalists being met with incomprehensible militarization, cruelty and violence. Many are finally starting to see with their own eyes what occupied communities experience every day.
And this uprising has coalesced into a clear demand: #DefundThePolice
Move to Amend stands in 100% solidarity with this Black-led, multi-racial uprising -- and we give full-throated support to their demands.
What does #DefundThePolice mean?
The slogan has launched a huge debate into what it means to "defund the police." While some people certainly do ultimately want abolition, the word defund does not imply either "all" or "some." We can understand the concept of defunding by looking at the success of the movements to defund our commons over the past few decades -- schools, healthcare, the safety net.
We can understand the clarity of the call to reduce funding by the quick responses from cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Boston to start reallocating police funding back into communities. We can also see the example of Minneapolis choosing to dismantle their police department and replacing it with something new.
This movement is for community sovereignty and control over resources. This movement is against an oppressive, unaccountable white supremacist system that protects property above people and communities.
Why does Move to Amend support this uprising?
The "Move" in our name denotes our deep commitment to movement-building and solidarity as a strategy for deep and lasting systemic change. Fighting against corporate rule means we are fighting for democracy, and there is nothing more democratic than a massive uprising pushing back against oppressive institutions. We deeply respect the power of this movement, for it has accomplished more in two weeks than most of us have seen in our lifetime. Respecting the power means respecting the demands, and doing the work to push back against the censorship and watering-down of the messaging. Believing in community sovereignty means we believe communities when they state what they need.
We also know that policing is an extension of corporate rule. The origins of police go back to the "Runaway Slave Patrol" -- since Black people were considered "property" of the owning class, their job was to protect that "property."
With the abolition of chattel slavery, we now see this relationship in the form of criminalizing and warehousing humans -- disproportionately Black and Brown -- for cheap labor, and corporate support of heavy policing and funding "tough on crime" politicians.
Beyond the property rights vs. human rights lens, this is also a money in politics issue.
Police unions have an incredible amount of political power. This is why you'll find many of the District Attorneys, mayors and city council members who refuse to prosecute or condemn egregious abuses of power by police were very likely propelled into power by large political contributions from police unions.
These unions have also successfully bargained their way into having almost no consequences for their behaviors -- in other words, communities foot the bills for their crimes. We pay the settlements while they get suspended with pay, and are eligible for work in the next town.
What will Move to Amend's solidarity look like?
This is developing! Meaningful support can look different from day to day with how quickly things are changing. Keep an eye out as we will be lifting up different campaigns and actions that folks can plug into. We encourage you to show up on the front lines, as well as through material donations and financial support of the grassroots organizations doing this critical front-line work toward our collective liberation.
Genuine solidarity is how we grow and how we win.
Greg, Jessica, Keyan, Milly, Kaitlin, Shelly, Alfonso, Daniel, Leila, Jason, Tara, George, Joni
Move to Amend National Team