On the 4th of July I attended a protest in Sacramento that (to my surprise but certainly not my displeasure) resulted in the toppling of the Junipero Serra statue on the Capitol Grounds. I have always been a proponent of direct action, and It was a pleasure to see such well-organized and passionate direct action at work.
One of the striking things about this moment is how much figures that have long been (undeservingly) venerated as moral or spiritual leaders are finally receiving the critical attention that is long overdue. Junipero Serra (the leading pioneer of the California Mission system which, contradictory to the whitewashed history taught in California schools, systematically abused native peoples--abuse Serra presided over), Mohandas Ghandi (largely responsible for the split between India and Pakistan, deeply racist and classist, and whose legacy has been whitewashed and used in recent years to further propagandistic narratives by the totalitarian Indian government) are finally getting their due.
It's been amazing to me to see so many people go from zero to sixty on police defunding and abolition in recent days. I've been peripherally aware of the movement myself for a long time, but it wasn't until these recent protests I looked into the movement in greater depth (and had my support for it solidify).
It's also been amazing to me (though not surprising) to see neoliberal pundits and lawmakers try so hard to co-opt the push to defund law enforcement, making it about "reform" and "demands poorly spoken in anger".
No, thank you, we know quite well what we want.
So to help this newfound support for the de-funding and abolition of police, I made a pamphlet on the subject--a sort of "beginner's guide with resources", for people to hand out at protests or community meetings, to give to the older folks in the family who are being radicalized for the first time watching Martin Gugino thrown to the ground by Buffalo police.
You can download the pamphlet here. It's licensed under Creative Commons Universal 1.0 [CC0 1.0]--In other words, public domain. So please take a look, read, print, and share.
This afternoon the UC Davis for COLA movement held a rally and march in solidarity with recently fired UC Santa Cruz graduate student strikers. UCD students gathered at the Memorial Union flagpole where several organizers spoke. The crowd was led first in a prayer, then updates on and hope for the movement, followed by chants and song.
A march followed after to the Mrak Hall administrative building where additional students spoke. At the end of the rally students were led once more in song before breaking into affinity groups for discussion.
Visit the UC Davis for Cola website for more information.
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Coverage and content from my twitter account. View more from this event here.