Justice for George Floyd – Defund the Police

Our love and rage is in Minneapolis, Louisville, Georgia and Tallahassee with the loved ones of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade.

We extend our full solidarity to Black communities who are grieving and enraged after the latest murders of Black people by police, and during a pandemic that has claimed 1 in 1,850 Black people’s lives in this country. We stand with the wave of resistance that is rising across the country, once again demanding justice and an end to state-sanctioned violence. We are activated into deeper commitment to racial justice by such courage, militancy and care. We see acts of cross-racial solidarity everywhere — bus drivers refusing to transport arrested protestors, small business owners saying justice is more important than property. We are inspired by the decision made by the University of Minnesota to end their contract with Minneapolis Police Department. We know such decisions are the result of years of steadfast Black-led abolitionist organizing to defund the police. 

As we witness the repression being brought to bear on protesters, we urge you to keep the injustice of racism at the heart of your understanding. If you are feeling concerned about damage to property or people violating stay-at-home orders, we encourage you towards empathy with those whose calls for justice have for so long gone unanswered. Injustice produces rage, as it should. This uprising is an expression of people fighting for their dignity and value in the face of dehumanization — this is an indispensable element of where change comes from.

We call on you to tap into your own rage and sadness and allow it to fuel you. Bring your support and solidarity to the movement for racial justice for the long haul. Join the movement by connecting with an organization, and put your resources–your labor, your time, your money–into the struggle against racism. If you’re already in an organization, invite more people in your life to join you. We encourage people in this moment to follow the lead of organizers on the ground and tell Minneapolis city council to defund the police and support Black-led abolitionist work in your area.

If you are wondering where white people can start, Showing Up for Racial Justice has put together an excellent list of 5 Ways White People Can Take Action In Response to White and State Sanctioned Violence. You can also watch the livestream of SURJ’s Call to Action for White Folks webinarlast night and join the Movement for Black Lives National Call In Defense of Black Life today (Saturday) at 1PM EST.

This moment in particular calls on us to ramp up our efforts to defund the police. The police are functioning exactly as they are designed to–enforcing white supremacy and protecting property. As we enter what promises to be a sustained economic crisis, it is clearer than ever that the resources invested in policing need to be reallocated to the things that create true safety. What can your organization be doing in this moment to get in greater alignment with the movements to defund police and abolish policing?

We know that this country is racist to its core and we are committed to standing with Black communities as they demand dignity. Join us in this fight.

Clare Bayard, on behalf of Catalyst Project

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