As a national multi-racial Latinx organization Mijente stands with all Black communities across the country who are calling out the injustice of the state sanctioned murder of Black people in the hands of the police.
Latinx communities must show up now, correct and powerfully. We must go beyond hollowed statements of solidarity and towards a genuine compañerismo. We must take concrete action that goes beyond addressing intra-community anti-Blackness. This is ongoing and must continue. The time now calls for modeling pro-Blackness and an embodied sense that our fates are linked. Our task is to stand shoulder to shoulder and put it out in the work.
Right now, across the country most of our cities budgets are tangled in over-commitments to police. There are little to few mechanisms to bring justice to families that have been irrevocably harmed. This is the right time to join or start efforts to defund the police in each of our cities and demand that those resources instead serve and protect our communities.
In the middle of the COVID pandemic our families are literally dying while police budgets increase, and then are used to surveil, criminalize, and kill members of our communities.
In Minneapolis, the city spends a quarter of tax-revenues on police funding. In most large cities, the chunk that the police budget takes up is much, much higher.
How much money does your city spend on its police budget? How could it be spent in ways that actually help our communities heal and survive? We are gathering names of people around the country who want to work on defunding their own police and surveillance, you can add your name to that list here.
This is, unfortunately and as it has always been, a long-term fight. But we must fight. As we mobilize to ask questions about our own cities, here are a couple of things we should also be doing:
- Support the local demands. Sign Reclaim the Block’s petition urging MN city council to defund the police, https://secure.everyaction.com/eR7GA7oz70GL8doBq19LrA2
- Donate to organizations on the ground that are responding to the anti-Black violence. In Minnesota, bail is being raised by the Minnesota Freedom Fund https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
- Support pro-Black elected officials who are trying to change the anti-Black system of criminalization. Here are some District Attorney races that we identified:
José Garza, Travis County (Austin) TX
Eli Savit, Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor-ish), MI
Victoria Burton-Harris, Wayne County (Detroit) MI
Kim Gardner, St. Louis, MS
Alonzo Payne. JD 12 in Colorado
This is a difficult time for many of us, particularly for those who have direct experience with police violence and criminalization. Many members of our communities are holding pain and anger that gets added to the grieving we are already going through during this pandemic. Let’s show up for each other, hold each other, and target the systems of violence that are killing us.