Defund Divest Reallocate: Resources & Readings

Defund the Police: getting started

Mariame Kaba Oped NYT June 12, 2020: “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police”

Recent Interview by Rebel Steps with Mariame Kaba on meaning and history of the call to “Defund the Police” [includes links to a lot of other resources!]
#8toAbolition offers an abolitionist vision and program for “defunding,” in lieu of the 8 Can’t Wait campaign, which they critique for offering “a slate of reforms that have already been tried and failed, that mislead a public newly invigorated to the possibilities of police and prison abolition, and that do not reflect the needs of criminalized communities.”

Radical Histories of Policing:

In-depth Report produced by BYP100, Center for Public Democracy & Law for Black Lives (100 pages). From the Executive Summary: “Over the last 30 years, at both the national and local levels, governments have dramatically increased their spending on criminalization, policing, and mass incarceration while drastically cutting investments in basic infrastructure and slowing investment in social safety net programs. The choice to resource punitive systems instead of stabilizing and nourishing ones does not make communities safer. . . This report examines racial disparities, policing landscapes, and budgets in twelve jurisdictions across the country (including Chicago!) . . . Each profile also highlights current or prospective campaigns that seek to divest resources away from police and prisons towards communities and their development.”

In 2018 Chicago youth conducted a “grassroots, community-driven research project” in West Garfield Park, the intended location for a new “Cop Academy” as a “corrective to the mayor’s misinformation campaign” about the project. As Mariame Kaba says in the Preface to the Report: “No Cop Academy is about more than resisting a new training facility for CPD. The young Black people driving this campaign offer a vision and are asserting their demand for real community safety.” You can download the Report here:

The DOJ findings on anti-Black racist policing in Ferguson, MI, after the uprisings protesting the murder of Michael Brown by the police in 2015. The report begins: “This investigation has revealed a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct within the Ferguson Police Department that violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and federal statutory law.” This 100+ page report documents the ubiquity of abuse (often in the name of generating revenue) in detail.