|For years, the Movement for Black Lives has demanded investments in the education, health and safety of Black communities, instead of in institutions that criminalize, cage and harm Black people.|
Stop the Money Pipeline supports the demand to defund the police, and invest instead in Black communities.
Cities across the United States spend a mind-boggling portion of their budgets on policing. In many cities one in three tax-payer dollars is spent on policing. Minneapolis policing accounts for 35.8% of the city budget; in Oakland it’s over 40%. In some cities, like LA, police account for half of the city budget.
When we talk about defunding the police, the question isn’t just if we should be funding the police at the current levels. The question is also about what we as a city, county, state and nation should be spending our money on.
Few documents say more about who we are than our budgets. Budgets are a concrete expression of our values and our priorities. Every dollar we spend funding the police is a dollar not spent on mental health programs, social workers, rehabilitation programs, community empowerment programs, education, the arts, and local Green New Deal programs.
These are the same types of questions that calls for divesting from fossil fuels are concerned with — it’s not only what shouldn’t we do, it’s also what we could do instead. That’s why Stop the Money Pipeline strongly supports the call to defund the police. Here are 3 things you can do right now to support the call to defund police: Sign this Black Lives Matter petition demanding the defunding of police Sign up for updates at Defending Black Lives Donate to the Movement for Black Lives. If you’ve been inspired by the wave of uprisings sweeping the world and want to keep the momentum for defunding the police moving, the next step is signing up to join Six Nineteen, a series of actions across the country starting June 19th and continuing throughout Juneteenth weekend.
Want to learn more about defunding the police? You can read more at the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter, as well as in these pieces in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Nation, The Atlantic, and Rolling Stone.
Want to learn more about the connection between defunding the police and climate justice? Mary Annaïse Heglar published a piece this morning about why “We Don’t Have To Halt Climate Action To Fight Racism.” Ayana Elizabeth Johnson explains how racism derails our efforts to save the planet. Here is a piece in Common Dreams that Stop the Money Pipeline ran on why climate activists should support the demand to defund the police. Finally, here is a great resource from one of our partners, 350.org: What we must do to dismantle white supremacy.
There are already a string of initial wins during the uprisings: The Minneapolis school board is terminating contracts with the police. LA is cutting up to $150 million from the LAPD budget and investing that money in communities of color instead. A majority of the Minneapolis City Council has pledged to disband the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a new model of public safety. In Atlanta, county commissioners have denied a proposal for a $23 million expansion of Fulton County jail in Atlanta. Confederate statues have come down in at least 7 cities, and as the antiracist uprising goes global, statues of slave traders in the UK are going the same way.
Climate justice is about far more than reducing emissions. It is about building a fairer and more just world. It’s about following the leadership of those that are most impacted by injustice. At Stop the Money Pipeline, we believe that can start by getting behind the demand to defund the police.
Climate justice is also about accountability ― and we need to take some accountability. In our last email, we perpetuated a behavior that upholds white supremacy and harms people of color: We misspelled Ahmaud Arbery’s name. We apologize and deeply regret this mistake. We recognize that misspellings and mispronunciations are common microaggressions, often perpetuated by white people, that harm Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. As we all continue to learn the hard work of dismantling white supremacy in ourselves and in our broader society, we would like to share this article about how misspelling and mispronouncing the names of People of Color is a harmful act that upholds white supremacy.
We’ll have more soon — especially about next weekend’s Juneteenth actions.
Stop the Money Pipeline