Moving Beyond Policing

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Executive Budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year calls for 32% budget cut to the Department of Youth and Community Development, a 35% budget cut to the Department of Cultural Affairs, but only a .32% cut to the New York Police Department.

A city budget is demonstrative of a city’s values. The NYC executive budget as it currently stands does not adequately reflect values of safety, health, and recovery, especially in the wake of COVID-19 and rampant police brutality that has shook our city to its core.

Hyper-policing does not safely protect and serve our city, and efforts to reform the NYPD have proven ineffective. Our path forward must prioritize investment in social and cultural services as the solution for building resilient and safe communities.

The creativity of local citizens, grassroots organizers, artists, environmentalists, and the like have opened up the possibility for us to envision a world without police.

The resources below were generously compiled by our colleagues at FABnyc.

 

Re-imagining Policing in America

NYC Budget Justice — Communities United for Police Reform (changethenypd.org)
State of Emergency: End the War on Black People – from Color of Change (colorofchange.org)
Policy Platforms – Movement for Black Lives (m4bl.org)
How to Change Policing in America – by Sherrilyn Ifill
The Reader Guide to Police Abolition – by Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader

Below is an extensive list offered by MPD 150 (mpd150.com) – a participatory horizontally-organized effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists working towards a police free Minneapolis.


MPD 150 Publications

“Building a Police-Free Future: Frequently-Asked Questions” – a short, powerful introduction to the concept of abolition, available as text, as a printable/foldable zine, and page-by-page at our Instagram.

“Ten Action Ideas for Building a Police-Free Future” – available online and as a printable, two-page handout.

“On Community Policing: Whose Community?” – a brief history of the idea of “community policing” and exploration of the tactics currently being employed by police to control and subdue communities.

Articles (Specific to the 2020 Uprising)

No More Money for the Police (New York Times)
The Only Solution Is to Defund the Police (The Nation)
The Police Don’t Change (Slate)
The answer to police violence is not ‘reform’. It’s defunding. Here’s why (The Guardian)
Defund the Police Now (The Appeal)
After four nights without police presence, neighborhoods protect themselves (Star Tribune)
‘You Can Only Demean People So Much.’ Minneapolis Activists Aren’t Surprised a National Movement Started There (Time)
Minneapolis City Council members consider disbanding the police (City Pages)
What a World Without Cops Would Look Like (Mother Jones)

Books

The End of Policing by Alex Vitale
Are Prisons Obsolete? By Angela Y. Davis
Abolition Now! Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex (Anthology; also available directly from Critical Resistance here)
Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America by Kristian Williams
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Police Unbound: Corruption, Abuse, and Heroism by the Boys in Blue by Anthony V. Bouza

Articles (Perspectives on abolition)

Thinking about how to abolish prisons with Mariame Kaba: (Chris Hayes’ podcast & transcript)
Video: Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison-Industrial Complex (Films for Action)
What Abolitionists Do (Jacobin)
This Study Found That Major U.S. Cities Spend Millions More On Policing Than On Social Programs (Blavity)
We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops (The Nation)
Policing doesn’t need reforming. It needs to be abolished and created anew (The Washington Post)
The Myth of Liberal Policing (The New Inquiry)
Abolish the police? Organizers say it’s less crazy than it sounds (Chicago Reader)
Responses to Violence Must Move Beyond Policing (The Appeal)
Police “Reforms” You Should Always Oppose (Truthout)
How Can We Reconcile Prison Abolition With #MeToo? (Filter)
The Domestic Violence I Survived Taught Me the Importance of Prison Abolition (Transform Harm)
Surviving Rape as a Prison Abolitionist (Transform Harm)
BEYOND REPAIR: While Republicans & Democrats Unite to Increase Police Power, Others Point to New Way Forward (Ricardo Levins Morales)
Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (New York Times)
A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation (TruthOut)

Further Reading and Tools

Cop-Free Bystander Intervention: A Video Resource (Prison Culture)
Critical Resistance’s Abolitionist Toolkit (Critical Resistance)
Transform Harm
Survived and Punished’s Analysis of Gender Violence + Police Violence +Incarceration
What to Do Instead of Calling the Police (collaborative Google doc)
Thinking Through the End of Police: Reading/Resource List (Prison Culture)
Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World (Rolling Stone)
This list of readings and resources provided by Abolitionist Futures
This study guide at A World Without Police
12 Things to do Instead of Calling the Cops by Mayday Collective and Solidarity and Defense
5 Ways to Help Someone in a Mental Health Emergency Without Calling the Police by Katie Tastrom