Around the country and world, protesters and communities are lifting the demand to #DefundPolice and reallocate resources to the social programs that create real public safety. We are ecstatic about this development, yet recognize that the battle is far from over.
Lori Lightfoot has used this moment to spur violence in our city by mass arresting protesters for Black lives, shutting down access to the Loop and wealthy surrounding neighborhoods, while deploying the national guard and private security forces to the south and west sides. Currently she’s allocating upwards of $300 million in federal funds meant for COVID-19 relief to pay for police overtime, rewarding CPD for the brutalizing of protesters demanding justice for their murdered loved ones.
We are tired of explaining. We are tired of asking nicely. We are tired of begging for basic human dignity and the bare minimum in community resources.
This is an uprising. It is not random or senseless, it is inevitable. We demand justice for Laquan, Damo, Rekia, Bettie, Quntonia, Ronnieman, and all our people who CPD has murdered. We demand justice for George, Tony, Breonna and all our people who’ve lost their lives to police, prisons, and the violence that sparks from the embers of divestment. We demand justice for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
Justice is more than an apology. Justice is more than punishment. Justice is nothing less than a complete transformation of society. And that begins with a sweeping divestment from the police and prison systems, and investment in the programs and services that affirm life & well-being for Black communities like housing, education, restorative justice hubs, and so much more. Abolition is not just the absence of police, but the presence of alternatives.
We are fighting for nothing less than:
• No Cop Academy. Construction on the cop academy hasn’t started yet. If you don’t want it to go the way of the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis, don’t build it.
• No Mini Cop Academies. All closed schools should be reopened as resources for young people, not police.
• Defund CPD. Lori Lightfoot has increased CPD’s budget to $1.7 billion despite their continued terrorizing of our communities. This is unacceptable.
• Demilitarize Now. Why can CPD afford to throw unlimited canisters of teargas at protesters and deploy thousands in riot gear and military weapons, while nurses in our city are using trash bags as PPE?
• Get Cops Out of Our Schools. CPD should not have any officers nor mini police stations based inside nor outside of any CPS school. #PoliceFreeSchools now!
• Cops Off CTA. Make CTA safer by making it accessible. Make trains and buses free for youth, make stations accessible for those with disabilities, and keep cops out of them.
• Get Private Police Out of Our Neighborhoods. University of Chicago has the largest private police force in the world, except for the Vatican. We fight alongside #CareNotCops in demanding the defunding of UCPD, and their immediate expulsion from the Washington Park neighborhood.
Many of these demands have been fought for and already won by the movement in Minneapolis. We see our comrades in the Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, and we thank them.
#BlackLivesMatter. No justice, no peace.