When did your organization, OCAD, decide to join the No Cop Academy campaign? Why?
OCAD was one of the first endorsers of the No Cop Academy campaign. We were at the initial press conference at City Hall where one of our members spoke about the role the Chicago Police Department plays in abetting deportations. OCAD has primarily focused on deportation defense campaigns since 2012 but our work has expanded to address the many ways that Black and Brown communities in Chicago are criminalized and targeted, by ICE and also by CPD and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The Mayor touts that this is a sanctuary city but we know that no city is a sanctuary when Black people are killed with impunity by CPD and when the social services and schools our people need are closed left and right. We didn’t hesitate to support Black leadership in the No Cop Academy campaign because the demands are so close to the vision of the world we want– we need to invest in our communities not in more pol(ICE).
How has your organization contributed to the campaign?
We’ve created materials in Spanish and engaged in teach-ins and conversations with the Latinx, immigrant community in Chicago about the campaign and been present at many of the press conferences, city council sessions, and direct actions. We’ve also been proud to collaborate on direct actions in Chicago that highlight the way that our struggles are interlinked. One of the first actions we helped organize was outside of City Hall and the other most recent one was documented in this amazing video. As we demand abolishing ICE, and an End to the Gang Database in Chicago, we also uplift the No Cop Academy Campaign.
What has been your organization’s highlight of the campaign?
It has been an honor to organize alongside people in the No Cop Academy campaign to strategize and develop creative interventions. It’s been amazing to be a part of transforming our campaigns and to push for a more nuanced analysis of the ways that a call to abolish ICE cannot be separated from a call to abolish prisons and police. The most exciting highlight, however, is probably learning amazing chants, and moves, from No Cop Academy young people!
What strategies/tactics/frameworks does your organization bring to the campaign?
We come from a long history of civil disobedience led by undocumented immigrants. For years we’ve challenged the City and elected officials and haven’t been afraid to highlight how the City is complicit in criminalization and deportations. To the campaign we bring our analysis, organizing experience, and unwavering commitment towards creating a world without police, without ICE, without jails and detention centers, and without deportations.