Safety Beyond Policing

In Minneapolis the campaign to defund the police was one in which that was met with praise from long term community organizers and activists who have been continuously working towards a world without police but this campaign was also met with skepticism from some community members and a plethora of elected officials at all levels due to the fact that violent crime rates were surging to levels that we have not seen since Minneapolis was named “Murderapolis” by time magazine in 1999. The calls to simultaneously slash MPD’s budget while increasing police efforts to reign in violent crime seemed to clearly combat each other.

As a movement we must be clear internally that to end the police state as well as build a base of new folks to lead our movement into the future we must build a “Big Tent” meaning we must bridge the ideological divide by utilizing broad organizing tactics, organizing people directly impacted by state and community violence all while organizing those that will combat our narrative of a world without police that means grandmothers, school teachers, small business owners to form a rainbow coalition of voices; it also means doing the political education work needed to inform these groups on police violence, city, county and municipal budgets and the concept of abolition.

Next Steps

The New Justice Project will run a campaign focused on deep-canvassing, political education and community healing. The aim of the program is to build a base of everyday Black Minnesotans committed to organizing around community safety, pushing for decreases in public safety budgets at the city, county and state level and organizing their community to win the gains they see necessary to build thriving communities.

1. Hosting community events focused on bridging the ideological gap related to abolition, educating the community on public safety budgets, abolitionist principles and reimagining community safety as a whole.

2. Running a city wide canvass program designed to survey 5,000 community members with the goal of building data sets related to police violence and municipal, county and state public safety budgets as well as introduce and educate Black community members on the concept of abolition as a long term goal.