The Call for Abolition is Universal, Not Conditional

Barbed wire
Barbed wire
Photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

Following the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others whose names haven’t echoed across the world, the murder of George Floyd on May 25th at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department is one more in a centuries old assault on Black people under a racist, anti-Black political system. The resulting protests that are taking place in all 50 states, Washington DC, and around the world — from small towns to major cities — comprise the largest civil rights movement in modern history and include demands that seemed radical just a few weeks ago.

The calls to defund police, born out of abolitionist theories put forth by Black feminists decades ago, are gaining momentum and receiving real consideration. The Minneapolis City Council has said that it plans to dismantle its police department. Los Angeles has pledged to decrease its police budget and reinvest funds in Black and other marginalized communities. Two years ago, the demand to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gained momentum in the face of family separation at the border. Recognizing that the systems of policing and immigration enforcement are intertwined, we must show our solidarity with Black communities by joining in the calls from the Movement for Black Lives and others to defund the police. We must recognize that ICE and the police are related institutions of militarized racial terror.

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