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New Toolkit on Defunding the Police from the Movement for Black Lives

June 16, 2020

The Movement for Black Lives has recently created a wonderful toolkit for communities that are considering a campaign to defund their police.

This is a powerful resource, which not only provides very practical and useful tactics and strategies for actually defunding police departments, it provides great examples of what other communities are doing. In addition, their analysis is rooted in the lived experience of the black community, which is reflected in the introduction of the toolkit:

#DefundPolice is a demand that has gained popularity in response to recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. It is rooted in the failure of decades of commissions, investigations, police reforms, and oversight to prevent their deaths.

It is also a response to the fact that, in the face of a pandemic and the most devastating economic crisis of a generation, in which cities, counties, and states are experiencing drastic losses in revenues, many life-saving programs are on the chopping block while o cials increase or maintain police budgets.

It is a demand to #DefendBlackLives by shutting o resources to institutions that harm Black people and redirecting them to meeting Black communities’ needs and increasing our collective safety.

#DefundPolice is a demand to cut funding and resources from police departments and other law enforcement and invest in things that actually make our communities safer: quality, affordable, and accessible housing, universal quality health care, including community- based mental health services, income support to stay safe during the pandemic, safe living wage employment, education, and youth programming. It is rooted in a larger Invest/Divest framework articulated in the Movement for Black Lives’ Vision for Black Lives.

#DefundPolice is a strategy that goes beyond dollars and cents—it is not just about decreasing police budgets, it is about reducing the power, scope, and size of police departments. It is about delegitimizing institutions of surveillance, policing and punishment, and these strategies, no matter who is deploying them, to produce safety. It is a strategy (part of the HOW) to advance a long term vision of abolition of police through divestment from policing as a practice, dismantling policing institutions, and building community-based responses to harm, need, and conflict that do not rely on surveillance, policing and punishment.

Please, share this toolkit as a valuable resource in your community and help us to Defund the GRPD!

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