by Center for Global Justice
Webinar: “Police vs. The People: Are there Alternatives?” Monday July 20 at 1:00pm
When we all saw the police murder of George Floyd there were still some who said it was due to a bad apple. But when peaceful protests swept through the cities and even small towns of the US and were met by militarized violence from police forces, it was as if they were determined to demonstrate the truth demonstrators were protesting, viz. police forces are all too often purveyors of violence. First amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly were met with hostility by police in riot gear welding tear gas and rubber bullets. Police seemed determined to prove the inditement against them.
Police lost legitimacy in the public mind. Black communities have long known racist police violence. Now it was in full view to white Americans as well. A huge movement to stop police murder and other forms of racism is dramatically expanding possibilites for change. What is to be done about the police has become a burning question. How can the police be held to account? Is it possible to diminish, or take away completely, their state sanctioned ability to use violence? What do the calls to defund and abolish the police mean, and what opportunities do those calls open? Can we turn many of the functions now performed by people with a gun and a badge over to mental health professionals, social workers and drug councilors … even to community organizations? The Minneapolis City Council is leading the way by promoting community based security and violence prevention.
Discussing some of the alternatives will be Cynthia Kaufman, author of a new book Challenging Power: Democracy and Accountability in a Fractured World, and activist Bill Fletcher, executive editor of globalafricanworker.com and author of Solidarity Divided. The webinar can be accessed from www.globaljusticecenter.org