UUJAZ invites you to join a multi-part discussion about the BREATHE Act and its proposals, including a nationwide defunding of police. This national legislation has been presented by the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives, which says “this visionary bill divests our taxpayer dollars from brutal and discriminatory policing and invests in a new vision of public safety—a vision that answers the call to defund the police and allows all communities to finally BREATHE free.” We hope that participants will gain new understanding of the call to “defund the police” and become strong advocates for the BREATHE Act through study and discussion of previous attempts to reform police which have not delivered the systemic change needed to protect Black lives across the United States.
We will be covering what the BREATHE Act proposes, including a discussion of the demand to defund the police from a historical perspective. Our discussion will be based on the experiences of organizers attempting to reform the Minneapolis Police Department as written in the MPD150 Report, described by the compilers as “a participatory, horizontally-organized effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists.”
This will be a guided discussion, facilitated by UUJAZ staff member Thoi held across three one and a half hour sessions, Wednesday nights, 5:30-7:00pm. Our first session will cover the BREATHE Act and its specific proposals, as well as introduce the MPD150 report by taking an overview of the MPD150 project and report. The second section will focus on the “Past” section of the MPD150 report, which looks at 150 years of policing in Minneapolis and its outcomes. The final session will wrap us up with a look at the “Present” and “Future” portions of the report, which go in depth to discuss community perspectives on policing through interviews, and presents alternatives to policing and a path to get there through political action.