“We know that true safety comes from everyone having their needs met, and there’s nothing natural, inevitable, or just about how resources are currently distributed.“
On Saturday dozens of cars- perhaps close to 100 – and one unicyclist, circled the Providence Public Safety complex to call for the defunding of the Providence Police Department. The protest was organized by SURJ RI (Showing Up for Racial Justice), a “collective of people working at the intersection of whiteness and gender oppression to disrupt racism and white supremacy.”
In their Facebook post describing the protest, SURJ RI writes:
In order to make #BlackLivesMatter, we must #DefundThePolice. As the call for dramatically shifting how we think about community safety grow stronger, with significant victories in Minneapolis, LA, and New York City, it’s time for white people to stand on the right side of history and take action in our own communities to divest from policing and invest in real community safety and wellbeing.
We are answering the call of demands from the national organization Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and the Providence-based organization Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) to defund the police and invest in communities. Policing takes a huge share of almost every city budget, while many crucial community supports like health and mental health care, affordable housing, and education go without.
We know that true safety comes from everyone having their needs met, and there’s nothing natural, inevitable, or just about how resources are currently distributed. It’s time for white people to rise to the call of the moment and join in solidarity with Black-led, multiracial movements for the just future we all need.