The following blog entry is an introduction to what will become our next NWNM Initiative (“GOOD TROUBLE”). Please give this and the accompanying resources your careful attention. We need to research, educate, and examine our feelings surrounding these issues so that when immediate action is required, we are ready and equipped to make an impact.
This is what we do.
HOW WHITE ALLIES CAN SUPPORT MBL ON POLICING & JUSTICE ISSUES
NWNM was invited to discuss ways we can “stand with” Movement for Black Lives (MBL) and other justice groups addressing police violence here and elsewhere in the US. The solutions and policies being discussed are wide-ranging and look at everything from police reforms (in the short-term) to defunding, possibly leading to “abolition” for the long term. Of course, all of this has to be in the larger context of addressing inequality, structural racism and the justice system.
Congress, the NM legislature and the City Council, County Commission, as well as the Mayor’s Office, all have, or will soon have policy changes and legislation in the works addressing over-policing, prisons, and funding of social programs. NWNM is making this policy research and legislative actions one of our initiatives for the next year. We will be demanding action and accountability from our candidates and elected officials on these issues.
The most immediate concern: the negotiations that will be happening by the City Administration with the Albuquerque Police Officers Union on their contract, which expired on June 30 but is in effect until a new one is signed by the CAO (which could happen in August or September.) The contract shields police officers against whom complaints are brought, making disciplining and firing officers almost impossible. https://www.joincampaignzero.org/contracts
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has a history of violent and discriminatory policing and is currently under a Court-Approved Settlement Agreement stemming from investigation of their use of force by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ monitor has found APD very resistant to change. www.cabq.gov/police/documents-related-to-apds-settlement-agreement
What are the protests & demonstrations here about?
The large protests that started here May 29 were, like elsewhere, triggered by outrage over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd by a police officer’s knee pressed on his neck for over 9 minutes while fellow officers watched.
APD officers have been involved in or accused of everything from shooting unarmed or fleeing civilians, racial profiling and over-policing of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), brutal treatment of LGBTQ people, people living with mental illness, drug & alcohol addiction, and those without housing, plus other abuses of power. (The State Auditor is even investigating their overtime pay system.) There is evidence some officers coordinate with or welcome armed white militias, much as is the case in Portland, OR. So, the protests here have been about the history of local policing as much as about nationally known cases. https://www.cabq.gov/mayor/news/city-sends-formal-request-to-doj-demanding-transparency-limits-on-scope-of-operation-legend?mc_cid=df28f7a32a&mc_eid=ef968e996c
Added to this is the sending of federal agents by the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ) in operations “to combat violent crime” at the behest of the US Attorney and the Bernalillo County Sheriff (who met with President Trump recently to request more federal assistance.) These Federal agents and contractors aren’t trained for crowd management or de-escalation tactics, so if they engage with protesters, they’re likely—perhaps are meant—to provoke violence for political reasons, a serious concern for local leaders and civilians.
Who is involved here?
While Albuquerque actually has a smaller Black population (3%) than Portland (6%), it has a larger Native American and Latinx/Hispanic population than most US cities. It also has a large low-to-no income population in one of the poorest states in the country, and sizable immigrant populations—documented and otherwise. Organizers and advocates for all of these groups are coming together to advocate for change in policing, the justice system, immigrant and detention policies, social, gender and racial equity, environmental justice, and human and civil rights. Younger activists communicate and organize mostly through social media on Facebook.
– Marianne Dickinson
All African People’s Revolutionary Party of NM- https://www.facebook.com/aaprpnewmexico
Black Lives Matter ABQ – Nikki Archuleta – https://www.facebook.com/BLMABQ
Black Voices ABQ – https://www.facebook.com/blackvoicesabq,
The Red Nation – https://www.facebook.com/therednation
Pueblo Action Alliance – https://www.facebook.com/puebloactionalliance
Indigenous Rights Center – http://indigenousrightscenter.org/
NM Dream Team – https://www.nmdreamteam.org/
Coalitions, Campaigns and Advocacy groups–Local
ABQ Forward https://www.apdforward.org/who_we_are
New Mexico SAFE https://www.nmsafe.org
Millions for Prisoners https://www.facebook.com/MillionsforPrisonersNM
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) www.showingupforracialjustice.org
ABQ Interfaith https://www.facebook.com/abqinterfaith/
Coalitions, Campaigns and Advocacy Groups–National
Movement for Black Lives https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/
8 Can’t Wait https://8cantwait.org
Campaign Zero https://www.joincampaignzero.org/research
Equal Justice USA https://ejusa.org/what-is-justice/
The Marshall Project https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/06/10/a-major-obstacle-to-police-reform-the-whiteness-of-their-union-bosses
Restorative Justice—what it means https://sfdistrictattorney.org/restorative-justice
NM Media Covering Policing/Justice Issues/Protests
KUNM-FM https://www.kunm.org News, interviews
Daily Lobo https://www.dailylobo.com/article/2020/08/expansion-of-operation-legend-into-albuquerque-prompts-hundreds-to-protest-downtown
NM In Depth http://nmindepth.com/series/the-justice-project/
Generation Justice https://generationjustice.org/our-story/
SF Reporter https://www.sfreporter.com/news/2020/08/05/symbolic-but-powerful/
NM Searchlight https://searchlightnm.org/life-behind-bars/
KNME-TV/PBS NM In Focus
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Pls Note: GOOD TROUBLE has been added to our Initiatives tab. Please check there for updates, actions, articles, etc.