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What does "Defund the Police" Mean?
The call to "defund the police" is a widespread response to police brutality and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmuaud Arbery. It is now the foremost demand of the Black Lives Matter movement. Defunding the police is a call to strip the budgets and completely abolish local police departments, and in turn invest those resources into community services like education, medical access and social services. The idea is that when cities invest in community services, and people's needs are met safely, the need to call the police is drastically minimized. The defund movement moves beyond police reform, to completely rethinking the way that policing operates systemically, and calls for eventual abolition: a world without police or prisons, and one that is based on systems of safety and community accountability.
Abolitionist Organizations & Resources
Abolition Journal Study Guide
A six-week study group guide, with themes for each week. Includes tips for for abolitionist power to match your knowledge with practice.
Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.
Reclaim the Block
A Minneapolis-based community organization formed in 2018 that is organizing community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that support community health and safety.
Black Visions Collective
Minnesota-based Black-led organizing based on Healing Justice and Transformative Justice models.
Models, resources and demands towards abolition.
MPD 150 Resources
MPD150 is a participatory, horizontally-organized effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists. Provides some great places to start if you’re looking to learn more about what a world without police might look like, and how we might get there.
Resource Guide: Prisons, Policing, and Punishment (Medium)
This resource guide offers sources on policing, prisons, and punishment
Perspectives on Defunding the Police
Mariame Kaba: Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police
An argument on why reforming police will not stop police brutality, written by a long-term activist and abolitionist (New York Times, 6/2020).
What does “defund the police” mean?
Overview of commonly asked questions to understand financial and legal logistics for defunding the police (The Guardian, 6/2020).
How to Defund the Police
From lawyers Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieko, the Boom! Lawyered podcast episode is a helpful framework for understanding the current movement, historical contexts, and legal ramifications.
What does it mean to defund the police?
What Could Defunding the Police Look Like?
Black Lives Matter Seattle- King County
Local demands are to defund the Seattle Police Department by 50%; fund community wellness; no new youth jail; and to dismantle the school to prison pipeline.
Divest and Decriminalize UW
Rooted in the work of abolition and the elimination of police violence, the petition demands are to 1) stop handing people detained by UW PD over to SPD; 2) Stop using SPD to respond to public safety needs, including referrals for welfare checks with the Safe Campus program; 3) Stop using SPD for additional security for any events, including football games, concerts, and ceremonies.
Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) or CHAZ
An occupation protest and self-declared autonomous zone without police, established on June 8, 2020 after the Seattle Police Department (SPD) vacated its East Precinct building. The collective demands of the protest include abolition of the Seattle Police Department. While this space was dismantled by Seattle Police July 1, the demands still remain.
No New Youth Jail
Since 2012, people in King County have been resisting the county’s plans to build a new youth jail located on 12th Avenue in Seattle. Construction is currently underway and county officials are still considering movement forward.
No New Women's Prison
No New Women's Prison demands Washington stop trying to build a women's prison at Maple Lane AND commit to a moratorium on all new women's prisons across the state.
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