A Dual Project

An excerpt from a recent DemocracyNow interview with Mariam Kaba. #LentenAbolition

I always tell people that when we talk about prison-industrial complex abolition, we’re talking about a dual project. We’re talking about, on the one hand, a project that is about dismantling death-making institutions, like policing and prisons and surveillance, and creating life-affirming ones, putting resources and investing in the things we know do keep people safe — housing, healthcare, schooling, all kinds of other things, you know, living wages…

In terms of the people on the ground, I do want to point out — you had a conversation earlier with Congressman Jones about the George Floyd Justice Act. And I think if you talk to people who have been on the streets all last year, basically, half the year, and continue to be struggling now in their communities, they would tell you that that bill, which is really just a set of procedural reforms, is woefully, woefully insufficient. And I also keep thinking about the cruel irony of naming a bill after — a police reform, supposedly, bill, after someone who was killed by the police, and then to include a whole set of so-called procedural reforms that would not have prevented that person’s death. So, you know, this particular offering that they’re making, supposedly, in Congress wouldn’t have kept George Floyd alive. And I think that’s just cruel irony. And I really recommend that people take a look at Derecka Purnell’s yesterday great column that she wrote about this very issue.

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The Only Option Left

A Letter from Joshua Weresch to the Corporate Services Department, Tax Division, of the City of Hamilton, Ontario (February 26, 2021). #LentenAbolition

Good day. I hope this finds you well. My name is Joshua Weresch. My family and I live in Ward 8, non-Indigenous people on Indigenous Anishinaabeg land, and I write as a Christian, a socialist, and as a parent to my wife and I’s four children. I write particularly in regards to the payment of property taxes and use of those taxes for the support of the Hamilton Policing Services. I have carbon-copied my ward councillor’s office as well as the city clerk so that my letter to your department can be included as public correspondence on the agenda of the next city council meeting.

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