#SafetyIs Caring For Our Community!

Community rallying at Brook Park, Bronx NY before marching to the 40th Precinct. Photo Credit: Jake Ratner

On Tuesday August, 1st, Enlace joined dozens of organizations from across the country to participate in the Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL), a community-driven alternative action to the National Night Out—a police-centric event that highlights “police-community partnerships” as the pathway to safety. From coast-to-coast, the Enlace community came together to redefine what safety truly means for the people who have been most targeted by state and corporate violence.

To us, safety is divestment from policing and militarization, and reallocating our taxes to programs that support our communities, including housing, jobs, quality public education, mental health and harm reduction services, and healthcare. Safety is freedom from criminalization. Safety is public protections for all oppressed communities including immigrants, Black people, Muslims, queer and trans communities, women, and workers. Safety means political power and community control over the institutions that we interact with daily, exploring alternatives to state policing, and strengthening the accountability of public agencies meant to serve us. Safety is economic justice, including workers’ rights and self-determination.

Report-back from PDX:

 

The Family of Quanice Hayes, speaking in honor of Quanice who was murdered by Portland Police in February 2017.

In Portland, 200 people took over Laurelwood Park and SEIU 503 to redefine safety. The park was filled with people sharing food, music and dialogue, getting arrests and criminal convictions off their records, accessing information on their rights as tenants and as immigrants, learning self-care practices from youth leaders and community medics, creating art projects with children, letter writing to people in prison, smashing AllLivesMatter and Trump administration piñatas, and sharing their visions of safety in a video booth.

 

We recognized that defining safety must include recognition and respect for indigenous culture, pride and self-determination, our ancestors whose shoulders we stand on, Black pride and liberation, and youth leadership. We brought together Black, environmental justice, tenant, houseless, youth, queer and trans, immigrant and Palestinian rights solidarity communities.

Agunda Okeyo of HaterFreeNYC protesting the NYPD 40th Precinct. Photo Credit: Jake Ratner

Report-back from NYC: 

This year we brought NOSL to the Bronx where we gathered alongside community members, our partner organizations within the New York Workers Center Federation and members of the Freedom Cities movement for our 3rd annual NOSL. We united in a beautiful showing of solidarity as we stood in our visions of what safety looks like beyond policing. We were blessed to have been able to host the action at Brook Park, a community space and cornerstone in the South Bronx.

We first assembled in Brook Park and later marched to the National Night Out hosted by the NYPD 40th Precinct. We were well over 75 people when we rolled through their block party chanting, “Black Lives Matter!” and “when people of color are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” Despite the NYPD’s attempt to bar us from entering, we made our way to the front of the party with our posters and signs held high! After crashing the party we returned to the park where we enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by our allies from the Street Vendor Project while we enjoyed a powerful open mic featuring some incredible poets and artists. Our energy filled the park with love, laughter, and a spirit of liberation.

Members Chase and Lexi of Million Hoodies for Justice and Freedom Cities. Photo Credit: Jake Ratner

We all deserve to live with dignity and have the opportunity thrive. Together, we are creating our own true visions of safety that are simultaneously and unapologetically pro-Black, pro-immigrant, pro-queer and trans, pro-Muslim, pro-different ability, and pro-worker. We are committed to building this vision and will keep fighting for Freedom Cities!

Check out more photos from the actions here

Memorial for Quanice Hayes, Portland OR. He would have been 18 on August 2nd.  Photo Credit: Kathryn Kendall

 In memory of Quanice Hayes and all victims of state, corporate, and vigilante violence.

Rest in power.

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#FreedomCities Activists Crash NYPD Event to Protest Police Brutality

Advocates for people of color and immigrants protesting police brutality showed up to the NYPD’s annual “National Night Out Against Crime” to outline their “vision of safety” for their communities, which they said should center on community investments rather than a heavy police presence.

“Night Out For Safety and Liberation,” established by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization that advocates for racial and economic justice for low-income individuals and people of color, is an annual event that occurs on the first Tuesday of August.

The New York Worker Center Federation, a multiracial movement of workers and immigrants organizing across sectors and issues, has been running the New York City event for three years. This year, the event took place in Brook Park in the South Bronx.

While the NYPD’s “National Night Out Against Crime” unites local precincts and residents every Aug. 1, the activists believe safety comes from having basic needs met, including quality schools, clean water and affordable housing.

Basma Eid, lead trainer for Enlace — part of Workers Center Federation — said they are shifting the conversation about “what safety is, what safety looks like.”

“It’s always imposed on us and the police, they talk about building partnerships with the community but at the same time, they are the ones who are policing us, that are putting our communities behind bars, that are enforcing a racialized criminal justice system,” Eid said following the event. “And so for us, we want them to understand that we don’t want more cops in our neighborhoods.”

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People in New York City imagine a community free of police violence

A protester holds up a sign that reads “Safety Without Policing.”
Source: Princess-India Alexander/Mic

BRONX, NEW YORK People across the country participated in Night Out for Safety and Liberation events in 30 cities on Tuesday to demonstrate how they imagine a community without police violence. In the Bronx borough of New York City, NYC Freedom Cities and the New York Worker Center Federation hosted its own NOSL action.

Night Out for Safety and Liberation events began in 2013 as a response to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and the violence inflicted on black and brown communities by police. The event’s guiding mission is to promote the idea that police-focused solutions cause harm to people of color and don’t lead to better or safer communities. It also serves as a response to the annual National Night Out held by police departments across the country that aim to foster better relations between police and communities.

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On #NOSL17, the New York Worker Center Federation and #FreedomCities Movement Redefine Public Safety Beyond Policing

 

SafetyIs_OreeOriginolDozens of community members in New York City will join people in 30 cities across the country to define and demand a vision of safety centered on what communities need to thrive..

On Tuesday, August 1st ,community members and organizers from across the city will participate in the Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL), a gathering for community members to redefine what public safety means to them beyond policing. NOSL is a bold, direct response to National Night Out, the events sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch that highlight neighborhood watch programs and community-police relationships as the pathway to public safety.

The communities participating in NOSL have long faced the damage caused by criminalization, mass incarceration, police brutality and deportation, and know that increased policing does not equate to increased safety. NOSL began in 2013 partially as a response to the murder of Trayvon Martin and the ongoing and longstanding violence inflicted upon Black and Brown communities by law enforcement. NOSL participants instead call for us to shift our focus to the true primary drivers of public safety: affordable housing, education, good jobs, healthy food, and access to healthcare.

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How #FreedomCities Can Make All People of Color Safer

Via Yes Magazine | By Zenobia Jeffries

This summer will mark the third anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, a New York man who was killed by police officers outside of a neighborhood convenience store in Staten Island (he was suspected of illegally selling loose cigarettes). Garner’s death is one of many that has raised Americans’ concerns about the increasing number of Black men, women, and children killed by U.S. law enforcement officers.

At only 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans are killed by police, incarcerated, live in poverty, and have poor health at higher rates than White Americans, who make up the majority populace. These numbers and conditions are much the same as those attributed to other disenfranchised citizens, including Latino Americans, who are 17 percent of the population.

Contemporary movements continue to address these tragedies.

Black Lives Matter is campaigning against the criminal justice system, calling for an end to racial profiling, police brutality and killings, and for officers to be held accountable for their actions. The Movement for Black Lives policy platform, released last summer, is demanding the reallocation of resources to improve and protect the lives of all Black people in the United States—citizens, immigrants, cis, trans, queer, gender nonconforming, and differently-abled. And, in response to the Trump administration’s deportation machine, cities are looking for ways to create safe spaces for immigrants and refugees in the sanctuary movement.

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Freedom Cities: May Day in NYC

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Check out this video (click here) on how New Yorkers are fighting for a city without fear — a Freedom City! #FreedomCities

We have been working with the Freedom Cities movement because we know that none of us are free until ALL of us are free!

We demand #FreedomCities because economic injustice and criminalization march hand in hand. Check out this video on how New Yorkers are organizing and building power for a Freedom City!  #FreedomCities

City of Portland takes big step to become a Freedom City

To avoid doing business with socially irresponsible corporations, the city is willing to lose investment income—about $4.5 million a year.
Portland Corporation Investment.jpg

Renato Quintero, a 50-year-old janitor in Portland, Oregon, has firsthand experience with private prison corporations. Originally from Sinaloa, Mexico, Quintero immigrated to the United States and eventually became a citizen. But his family hasn’t been as lucky. One of his cousins, who came to the United States as a child but never became a legal resident, was sent to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, after being stopped for a traffic violation. The center provides service to Immigration Customs and Enforcement, but is privately run by a firm called GEO Group. Quintero’s cousin was eventually deported back to Mexico, which put financial and emotional strain on the entire family.

During a city council meeting last December, Quintero was one of several Portland residents who testified in favor of the city divesting from two corporations, in particular: Wells Fargo, for its financing of the for-profit prison operators CoreCivic and GEO Group; and Caterpillar, the construction equipment maker that provides bulldozers to the Israeli government. President Trump has also said that he will rely on Caterpillar to build a border wall with Mexico.

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