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In Defense of Black Lives: Uprising 2020


What’s happening?
 

For many decades, we’ve seen state-sanctioned violence including murder of Black people at the hands of police. In recent months, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and others have lost their lives to extra-judicial killings by the police. SPD has a long history of murdering Black people and people of color, and we mourn the losses of Charleena Lyles, John T. Williams, Che Taylor, Shaun Fuhr, and so many others. In fact, even during COVID-19, when fewer people were out in public, the numbers of police killings have remained steady in 2020. Black-led organizers are rising up in protest, showing us the way to a pro-Black world, and we join them in grief, anger, and action. Keep scrolling to find out what actions you can take now.

Training isn’t the answer: a brief history of policing and police violence, and what we should do instead

Modern policing has not existed for very long, and has been an unequivocal failure. The police force as we know it is a direct legacy of slavery—before we called them police, they were called “slave patrols” and “Night Watches,” tasked with controlling Black and Native people. [source]

In Seattle, following Native-led organizing after the murder of John T. Williams, the police department was placed under consent decree by the Department of Justice in order to decrease Seattle’s biased policing. This has been a complete failure.

Police do not make communities safer; instead, they escalate violence. In New York City, a police slowdown in 2014-15 led to a decrease in major crimes. [source] According to scholar David Bayley, “The police do not prevent crime. This is one of the best kept secrets of modern life. Experts know it, the police know it, but the public does not know it.” [source] Powerful police unions and politicians looking for re-election and accolades from mostly white donors uphold the false narrative that police benefit communities.

The result of racist policing, unjust law, and a criminal justice system steeped in white supremacy is the prison industrial complex in the United States, where 2 million people are incarcerated. One out of every five prisoners in the world are incarcerated in the US, even though we only hold about 4% of the world’s population. [source]

In this moment of uprising and action, groups like Defund SPD and King County Equity Now are showing us how we can all be here to create a world where defending Black lives is the rule and not the exception.

Ready to learn more and take action? Find up-to-date events on our Facebook.

The Asks:

Take action now: start by filling out this form.

PETITIONS:

  • Defund Seattle Police Department
  • Organizational Sign-On here.
    • Sign this petition to defund the Seattle Police Department. “To stop police violence, the police must be reduced in size, in budget, and in scope. The police have never served as an adequate response to social problems. They are rooted in violence against Black people. In order to protect Black lives, this moment calls for investing and expanding our safety and well-being beyond policing.” This year alone, the “public safety” budget is over $360 million dollars. These demands are prepared by COVID-19 Mutual Aid Seattle, a network of organizations and individuals who came together in response to COVID-19 to demand an abolitionist, anti-racist public health response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Invite BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color] union members you know to Remove SPOG from King County Labor Council: This is a call from BIPOC leaders to remove Seattle Police Officers Guild, SPOG, from the King County Labor Council. “Unions are meant to protect workers and their labor. By including SPOG as a member, the labor council is legitimizing the idea that police officers’ labor is justifiable at the cost of the lives of Black and Brown people.”
  • End Seattle Schools Relationship with Seattle Police Department
    • Police do not belong in our public schools. Seattle’s “school emphasis officers” have a long history of assaulting Black children. End district-wide support of the school-to-prison pipeline and complicity in racially-biased policing.
  • End UW’s relationship withe Seattle Police Department by calling on UW President Ana Maria Cauce and others to protect Black people and other people of color from police violence.
  • Support the Black-led campaign King County Equity Now
    • Support the campaign to bring members of the African Diaspora in King County to equity across key metrics including the redistribution of land

SHIFT YOUR MONEY TO BLACK-LED ORGANIZATIONS:

Donate to CARW. We are shifting funds directly to Defund SPD / Black-led organizing who are doing the work on the ground.

Seattle / King County BLM FreedomFund:Community bail fund created by local grassroots organizers in Seattle.

PROTEST:

Take action now: start by filling out this form.

If you’re new to protesting, here is some excellent information to make sure you’re well-equipped to take the streets.

Stay Informed

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We acknowledge that we are on Duwamish / Coast Salish Tribal land. The peoples and cultures of these tribes are still here, surviving and thriving in spite of hundreds of years of colonization and attempted genocide. We honor their strength and resilience.

Visit DuwamishTribe.org to Learn More