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For two years now, PJALS has been networking and collaborating with Portland’s NAACP and Seattle’s Mothers for Police Accountability to form the Northwest Community Coalition for Police Accountability In order to strengthen our regional solidarity and develop a long-term, strategic framework, a Summer Gathering of activists will held in Portland at Portland State University on Aug. 12-13, a Friday and Saturday.
We hope a huge Spokane contingency will be there. People like you and your friends and allies.
This will be the time we celebrate and affirm progressive youth (budding high school activists, the Black Lives Matter organizers, MECHA students, graduates of our Young Activists Leaders Program, radical and sensitive poets, the emerging Latino youth activists of Pasco, WA., among others). The next generation is not just waiting on the bench to get into the game, they are consciously developing their skills, analysis, voice, and connections in order to sustain and enhance our collective will and drive to transform this movement for justice and peace into a cultural and political reality.
Technology (body cameras) and training alone will not transform the interwoven culture of prisons, prosecutors and police. We have learned that law enforcement is incapable of reform without political pressure and community guidance and education. Freedom is a constant struggle. Angela Davis says, we need to infuse the movement with “a consciousness of the structural character of state violence.” There is a real and bloody chain linking Ferguson to Palestine.
We need new legalities for the new realities of the 21st century, a new model of policing which re-defines law enforcement’s role, self-identity, and relationship to the public. We demand an end to intransigent authoritarianism.
We will plan and coordinate a regional Day of Action for some time in the fall in solidarity with the victims of police violence and to demonstrate our serious, collective, intention to achieve reform and justice, to educate the public about police militarization.
Nationwide, a serious rupture of trust now exists between the public and law enforcement. Regionally, we will focus on the installation of police chiefs around the region who respect human dignity, who enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding the culture of violence and abuse within the department and the community, who accept this as a fundamental responsibility of the job. For the first time in decades, if ever, on this scale, law enforcement is faced with a crisis of legitimacy and for good reason. Now is the time to act, to fill the vacuum of broken trust. Spokane needs to raise its voice at this gathering.
We are convening to deepen and strengthen our message content and discipline.
For more information regarding cost (we’re trying to keep it low if not free), please call 838-7870 or contact [email protected]