[This text was originally published in AREA Chicago #15 in December 2015]
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), Assata’s Daughters, We Charge Genocide, #Not1More and Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) are taking action today to shut-down the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Chicago to demonstrate the urgency for a fundamental shift in the way this country invests in our most valuable resources – our people.
Together, we’re organized to demand that our lives, our communities and our futures be made a priority. The police chiefs who belong to the IACP, and their local departments have a debt to pay for the lives and the resources they’ve stolen and we’re here to collect.
From Chicago to Oakland, New Orleans to New York City, Black people live under police occupation everyday. Black folks who are poor, women, formerly incarcerated, working class, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming, differently abled, and/or undocumented are particularly vulnerable to police violence and hyper-surveillance. As a people living in Black bodies, state-sanctioned violence is always a clear and present danger. This must end.
Among the many measures we believe are needed:
We demand all local, state and federal budgets to defund the police and invest those dollars and resources in Black futures.
We want reparations for chattel slavery, Jim Crow and mass incarceration.
We want to end all profit from so-called “criminal justice” punishment – both public and private.
We want a guaranteed income for all, living wages, a federal jobs program, and freedom from discrimination for all workers.
We want the labor of Black transgender and cisgender women (unseen and seen, unpaid and paid) to be valued and supported, not criminalized and marginalized.
We want investments in Black communities that promote economic sustainability and eliminate the displacement of our people.
The global nature of the IACP conference is not lost on us. We know that American police officers train with defense agents occupying other lands where Black Palestinians and African migrants experience double oppression. State violence is connected not just from local police station to police station, but also globally among various occupying forces.
Black people deserve to live with human dignity. We are building a movement rooted in people who understand why we must fight. We are constantly at risk of experiencing anti-Black violence by state and its accomplices.
Today, we are putting ourselves at risk to take power over our futures because we know that our liberation will not be handed to us, we have to build it ourselves.
With Power and Love,
BYP100, Assata’s Daughters, We Charge Genocide, #Not1More and OCAD
October 24, 2015