Over the past few days, we in Defund WPD have been reflecting on the insurrection at the United States’ Capitol on Wednesday. We saw a police force ill-equipped to hold accountable neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and others who wanted to overturn a democratic election. Furthermore, on-duty Capitol Police reported that off-duty police officers were among those storming the building and displayed their badges while doing so.
None of this should surprise us. Since this country’s founding, white supremacy and policing have been deeply entangled. The ruling class has deployed police on Black, indigenous and POC communities specifically to stifle dissent, to subjugate, to intimidate, and to cause harm. Furthermore, we’ve seen Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities and those in solidarity with them incur imprisonment, violence, and death in the process of protesting for living wages, spaces in which to eat and sleep safely, and a life free from fear of police violence.
This insurrection is further evidence that we must organize to find alternative visions of community safety from the ground up, rather than expecting the state to do it for us. It will take a lot of hard work, uncertainty, and discomfort; it begins with reductions to police budgets, amplification of BIPOC demands, and reconfiguration of resources toward organizations that uplift and support our interdependency.
Worcester may be hundreds of miles away from Washington, DC, but the foundations of policing maintain the traditional economic and social status quo everywhere. In 2021, we hope you will join us in fighting for reductions to WPD’s bloated budget and the rerouting of funds toward community organizations, city services, and other programs that will lead to a more just, equal, and peaceful city.