“Instead of asking whether anyone should be locked up or go free, why don’t we think about why we solve problems by repeating the kind of behavior that brought us the problem in the first place?” [...] why, as a society, we would choose to model cruelty and vengeance.” — Ruth Wilson Gilmore
A movement to defund, demilitarize, and abolish the police is gaining momentum across the nation! Activists, organizers, and people from all walks of life have taken to the streets to protest police brutality against Black Americans. As a result of these protests, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council announced on Sunday their plan to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, promising to create a new system of public safety. But we cannot stop there.
Black people have been disproportionately targeted, prosecuted, and murdered by the police for centuries under an intrinsically racist, capitalistic system. In Oakland, the police budget eats up 44% of the general fund, more than any other city in the nation. For context, housing, transportation, and human services receive less than 5% combined. This is why organizations like APTP have spent the past five years working to reallocate funds from the Oakland Police Department back into the community.
The Oakland City Council will vote on budget adjustments for 2020-2021 on July 21st. We must demand that they defund the police and refund services that enhance Black lives, instead of taking them away. We must louden our collective voice by bringing our neighbors into this movement.
Want to get your friends, family and coworkers into the fight? Here is a sample text bank script!
“Hi, __ this is ___ with East Bay DSA! In Oakland, nearly 44% of the budget goes to funding the police. Help end racial profiling and invest in our communities instead. Email or call your Oakland City Council Person and tell them to defund OPD. Text me back if you’d like a script!
This month East Bay DSA will participate in many different actions in support of the campaign to defund the Oakland Police Department. Watch your inbox and our events page for event info!
Want to get more involved? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org