Divest from Police Violence, Invest in Black Lives
Author: Decriminalize UW
Roundtable discussion on Tuesday, December 1 with scholar-activists Angélica Cházaro, Chandan Reddy and Dean Spade about Spade’s new book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next) (Verso, 2020). According to Spade, “Mutual aid is a term used to describe collective coordination to meet each other’s needs stemming from an awareness that the systems we have in place are not going to meet them. Those systems, in fact, have often created the crisis, or are making things worse.” Mutual aid projects have proliferated during COVID-19, and have been core infrastructure in the current uprising against racist policing and vital on the front lines of fires, floods and storms caused by climate change. As we face unprecedented times, this discussion offers insights rooted in friendship and solidarity to help us build collective power and the relationships we need as we look to 2021.
The first 10 minutes of video only show the ASL interpretation, but the video shows all panelist participants after that. Apologies for the technical difficulties!
Specifically, they endorsed all points from the UW Seattle and Bothell Decriminalize petitions. Further, they endorsed the Black Student Union’s (BSU) platform to allocate more funding to Black RSOs and the Ethnic Studies Department; increase the tri-campus diversity requirement; create a cluster hire that addresses police violence; increases funding for the GO-MAP program for Black, Indigenous and other students of color; and remove statues celebrating white supremacy.
Special thanks to Danielle Brown and Frances O’Shaughnessy to seeing the work through.
In a major victory for the Decriminalize UW coalition, President Cauce promised to cut UWPD patrols by 20%. At the same time, she dismissed Black faculty, staff and student experiences of discrimination, vowing only to minimize the “visibility” of campus policing.
Here is a conversation amongst undergraduate student leadership, graduate students and faculty about the impact of armed police officers paid for through the University of Washington’s Office of Student Life.