Calls to abolish and defund the police are rapidly gaining traction across the world after the murder of George Floyd. There has been a realization that the problems is in what the police are tasked with doing — not how they are doing it. In the US the Minneapolis City Council has voted to disband it’s police department, while Los Angeles and other cities are already making cuts to police budgets to fund other social needs. In Scotland authorities are under pressure to reform a police force that is responsible for the death in custody of Sheku Bayoh – just one more example of the racism that pervades Scottish institutions.
But could we really abolish the police? What would an alternative justice system look like? Is it a viable option or just utopian dreaming?
Conter is bringing together a panel of global experts to discuss defunding and abolishing the police. By learning from examples across the world we can start to build a mass movement at home to end police violence.Speakers include:
M. Adams is a community organizer, the co-executive director of Freedom Inc and a leading voice in the national movement for Black Lives. Adams is a leading advocate for police abolition, having campaigned on the issue for many years. M comes from a community that has been a target of extreme police violence. And their dad has been incarcerated most of their life. M is the author of numerous papers and articles including “Community Control Over the Police: Race, Politics, Justice”, “Forward from Ferguson” and “intersectionality theory: Why Killing Unarmed Black folks is a Queer issue”. Adams is a leading figure in the Take Back the Land Movement, and has presented at the United Nations for the Convention on Eliminating Racial Discrimination. As a queer Black person, M has developed and advocated for a strong intersectional approach to the black liberation struggle. In the US Adams can regularly be seen on TV, in newspapers, and energizing crowds at protests.
Marissa Glidden is the President-Elect of United Teachers of Richmond (California).
Omar Ceesay is a 20 year old songwriter born and raised in Minneapolis. He has long been part of youth groups mobilizing anti-racism efforts including getting school officers out of K-12 schools.