WASHINGTON — The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLM GNF) announced a campaign called Defund the Police Week of Action, tied to the 10-year anniversary of the Black Lives Matter movement on July 13.
Defund the Police Week is about centering true justice, joy and humanity over criminalization, and to affirmatively promote the Community Safety Legislative and Appropriations Agenda, a joint project of more than 50 civil rights, public health, racial justice, housing, violence prevention, economic justice and allied organizations nationwide. BLM GNF will use the week to challenge the current crime and public safety narrative and push Congress and local elected officials to support critical legislation.
“This week we are doing more than celebrating 10 years as a movement — we are taking action toward reaching our goal of Black liberation and showcasing what Black Lives Matter means,” said Shalomyah Bowers, a board member for BLM GNF. “Defund The Police Week is meant to answer the question, What has Black Lives Matter accomplished? Our intention is to answer the question simply: this week we are demonstrating that one of the main pillars of progress in our short 10 years as a modern-day civil rights movement is that we have made our demand, to defund the police, politically popular and achievable, and a mainstream demand. The new global center court is a core abolitionist policy articulation; divest from police and invest in us.”
To kick off the Week of Action, BLM GNF released a new ad called “Defund the Police,” which emphasizes the importance of the global demand that 26 million people protested for in 2020, calling for real systemic change that protects all communities, not just a wealthy, powerful few.
“As we continue our push to defund the police, invest in Black communities and reimagine safety in our communities, we need our elected officials to focus on the people, not police,” said D’Zhane Parker, a board member of BLM GNF. “The safest places around the world don’t have more police, more jails, more prisons or harsher sentences. They have better access to economic opportunities, quality education, stable housing and health care.”
As a way to honor the countless Black folks who have been injured, attacked, murdered and impacted by police and vigilante violence, BLM GNF declared July 13 as Black Lives Matter Day — by launching an interactive way for millions of people around the world to ask their local, state and/or federal politicians to introduce a proclamation that gives a historical account of the abuses Black people have endured, speaks to the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement with the acquittal of George Zimmerman after his murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year-old boy, and remembers the lives of those who have been murdered by state-sanctioned and vigilante violence. Nearly 10 cities across the country have already made plans to codify Black Lives Matter Day as a National Day and many more will follow suit.
“Our lives matter — period. If we can dedicate days to presidents who upheld slavery and racism, we can dedicate a day to the Black lives stolen at the hands of the state and racial terrorists,” said Cicley Gay, a board member of BLM GNF.
Throughout the week, BLM GNF will highlight the numerous reasons why funding the police doesn’t work — why militarizing the police doesn’t work, and why state-sanctioned violence enforces modern forms of slavery for Black people. We are challenging us all to instead, create a new system of care where Black people have all that they need to thrive.
About Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation: Our mission is to work inside and outside of the system to heal the past, re-imagine the present, and invest in the future of Black lives through policy change, education, healing justice, and a commitment to the arts. Our vision is to imagine a world where Black people across the diaspora thrive, experience joy, and are not defined by their struggles.