Ferguson National Visionary Platform and Demands
In 2014, we saw rage and resistance sweep across the country and we’re humbled to step into 2015 with a resolution to continue fighting for racial justice and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We want to begin by honoring the black queer women who created #BlackLivesMatter: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, who created it as “an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” (Check out the herstory of #BlackLivesMatter in Alicia Garza’s article.)
We stand with #BlackLivesMatter because racial justice IS climate justice. We say #BlackLivesMatter because black and brown communities disproportionately suffer from coal plants, incinerators, refineries, and tar sands pits in their back yard. We say #BlackLivesMatter because white supremacy has been a tool used to separate black mothers and white mothers from fighting together against the poisoning of their children.
We’re excited to see climate justice organizers making the connections between the climate crisis and police violence (see Deirdre Smith’s article), and we must continue to offer our bodies, skill sets, and resources to the growing Black Lives Matter movement. As a matter of taking one of many necessary steps in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter, Maypop has signed on to these visionary demands coming from organizers on the ground in Ferguson:
OUR VISION FOR A NEW AMERICA
WE WANT JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL BROWN. WE WANT FREEDOM FOR OUR COMMUNITIES
We Want an End to all Forms of Discrimination and the Full Recognition of our Human Rights
The United States Government must acknowledge and address the structural violence and institutional discrimination that continues to imprison our communities either in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. We want the United States Government to recognize the full spectrum of our human rights and its obligations under international law.
We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And the Murder Of Black, Brown & All Oppressed People
Every 28 hours a black person in the United States is killed by someone employed or protected by the government of the United States. Other communities are also criminalized, targeted, attacked and brutalized. We want an immediate end to state sanctioned violence against our communities.
We Want Full Employment For Our People
Every individual has the human right to employment and a living wage. Inability to access employment and fair pay continues to marginalize our communities, ready us for imprisonment, and deny us of our right to a life with dignity.
We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings
Our communities have a human right to access quality housing that protects our families and allows for our children to be free from harm.
We Want an End to the School to Prison Pipeline & Quality Education for All
We want an end to policies that criminalize our young people as well as discriminatory discipline practices that bar access to quality education. Furthermore, we want all children to be able to access free, quality education. Including free or affordable public university.
We Want Freedom from Mass Incarceration and an End to the Prison Industrial Complex
We want an end to the over policing and surveillance of our communities. This will hasten an end to the criminalization of black and brown people and hyper incarceration everywhere. Policing in the United States has historically helped to enforce racist laws, policies and norms. The result is a massive prison industrial complex built on the warehousing of black people. We call for the cessation of mass incarceration and the eradication of the prison industrial complex all together. In its place we will address harm and conflict in our communities through community based, restorative solutions.
The De-militarization of Local Law Enforcement across the country
Strict limits on the transfer and use of military equipment to local law enforcement and the adoption of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2014. The federal government should discontinue the supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement and immediately demilitarize local law enforcement, including eliminating the use of military technology and equipment.
A Comprehensive Review of systemic abuses by local police departments, including the publication of data relating to racially biased policing, and the development of best practices.
A comprehensive review by the Department of Justice into systematic abuses by police departments and the development of specific use of force standards and accompanying recommendations for police training, community involvement and oversight strategies and standards for independent investigatory/disciplinary mechanisms when excessive force is used. These standards must include a Department of Justice review trigger when continued excessive use of force occurs.
A comprehensive federal review of police departments’ data collection practices and the development of a new comprehensive data collection system that allows for annual reporting of data on the rates of stops, frisks, searches, summonses and arrests by race, age, and gender. These standards must also include a DOJ review trigger when departments continue discriminatory policing practices.
Repurposing of law enforcement funds to support community based alternatives to incarceration and the conditioning of DOJ funding on the ending of discriminatory policing and the adoption of DOJ best practices
The repurposing of Department of Justice funds to create grants that support and implement community oversight mechanisms and community based alternatives to law enforcement and incarceration—including community boards/commissions, restorative justice practices, amnesty programs to clear open warrants, and know-your-rights-education conducted by community members.
The development of a DOJ policy to withhold funds from local police departments who engage in discriminatory policing practices and condition federal grant funds on the adoption of recommended DOJ trainings, community involvement and oversight strategies, use of force standards and standards for independent investigatory/disciplinary mechanisms.
A Congressional Hearing investigating the criminalization of communities of color, racial profiling, police abuses and torture by law enforcement
Congressional hearings investigating the criminalization of communities of color and systemic law enforcement discriminatory profiling and other abuses especially at the local level—including an examination of systemic structures and institutional practices and the elevation of the experiences and voices of those most impacted. Congressional hearings will allow for a continuation of the national discussion about police abuse and it’s underlying causes.
Support the Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act
Support for the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) which in law would prohibit the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by law enforcement agencies.
The Obama Administration develops, legislates and enacts a
National Plan of Action for Racial Justice
The development and enactment of a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice by the Obama Administration. The National Plan of Action for Racial Justice should be a comprehensive plan that address persistent and ongoing forms of racial discrimination and disparities that exist in nearly every sphere of life including: criminal justice, employment, housing, education, health, land/property, voting, poverty and immigration. The Plan would set concrete targets for achieving racial equality and reducing racial disparities and create new tools for holding government accountable to meeting targets.
Footage from Ferguson
A member of Maypop, Alexa Ross, went to Ferguson during the mobilization weekend in October. Here is a compilation of videos she took during that weekend:
To take a step in solidarity, take the New Year’s Revolution Pledge at fergusonaction.com
With love, rage and hope,