There is a mountain of change in the air ready to explode when we exit this pandemic. One of the biggest changes is a long overdue desire to rid our nation of racism. “Defund the Police” is becoming a big part of our nation’s anti-racism chorus.
“Defund the Police” essentially means to minimize military style law enforcement responses and maximize de-escalation and problem-solving responses. We First UUs are destined to be part of this movement. We need to prepare for our role. We have some learning to do. A course is being offered to our congregation. The local SURJ organization has invited us to participate in a class put together by a group of organizations that will inform us what “Defund the Police” is. It is risky for them to invite us so let’s not disappoint!
From Course Creators:
“As part of our work to end systemic racism, you may have seen our calls to defund the police. For some of us, this demand is a new one, an unfamiliar one. One we may not yet fully understand how it would work, or what it means for our communities. We know we are our best advocates when we fully grasp what we are asking for, why we need it, and how we get it. That’s why we have a special invitation for you to join a four-day crash course on what it means to #DefundthePolice.
Abolition is not about destruction, but about what we can build. When we think about safety, we must ask what our communities consider safe. Safe communities are not the ones with the most police. They are the ones with the most resources. Communities in which everyone has food, housing, education, income, art, liberation. To believe in abolition means that we have a clear sense of the power dynamics at play. In this case, it means taking power and resources from the police and giving it to our people.
If you’ve been wanting to engage but aren’t sure how to step in, or want to better understand this demand before organizing with us, this course is perfect for you.
Here’s what you can expect. Mijente, Dream Defenders, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), The Sunrise Movement, Critical Resistance and AfroSocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus will host this 4-day crash course in which you will:
- Understand what exactly the demand to #DefundthePolice means
- Deepen your understanding of an abolitionist organizing framework and envision what a world without police could look like
- Get ready to take action to defund the police in your community
Sessions will be offered twice a day, Monday, July 13 through Thursday, July 26 at 4:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm EST.
There will be workshop tracks for middle- and high-school students and there will also be Spanish-only workshop tracks.