Uniting Against Police Violence

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Every June, thousands of trans and non-binary people across Washington State gather with us for Trans Pride Seattle. It is important to remember pride commemorates the Stonewall, Compton’s Cafeteria, and other riots in response to police violence. With riots and ongoing protests against police violence happening now, it’s clear that as much as things have changed, a lot has stayed the same. Trans people, especially Black trans people, Indigenous trans people, and other trans people of color continue to face police violence and harassment.

For many of us, police do not make us safer, but contribute to the problem of violence. Police departments are unwilling to fundamentally change, and the larger movement for Black Lives has shown us that it is time to take more radical action.

We are asking City Councilors across Washington to engage in a complete re-envisioning of what public safety means for our communities, beginning with these actions:

  • We know that large governmental budget cuts are coming on every level due to the economic impact of COVID. Protect health, housing, and other essential human services from upcoming cuts. During a health crisis, these services are absolutely essential. When cuts do need to be made, take it from police budgets first.
  • Ban the purchase and use of chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and other advanced/military weaponry and gear. Use the money saved in this manner for equipment for healthcare workers and other community services.
  • Stop relying on the police to be front line substance abuse and mental health workers. Take the funding they are currently using to do this work and give it to community-directed and explicitly anti-racist systems of crisis intervention.
  • Following Minneapolis and other cities as an example, investigate what public safety can look like without police. Prioritize listening to marginalized community members, especially BIPOC, disabled, trans, houseless, sex workers, and survivors of police violence. If we were to design public safety from scratch today, it would not look anything like what the police force has become.

In other words: disarm, defund, and disband the police. ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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