You might be asking, what do police accountability and violence prevention in DC have to do with Palestine?
We're so glad you asked! Ending abusive policing and reducing violence on the local level has everything to do with standing against oppression in Israel and Palestine.
Occupation in Palestine and police “occupation” in DC produce terror for some and true safety for no one. In the US, 1 in 3 black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes under the current system, while in Palestine 2 in 5 men have been jailed under occupation. Not to mention that Washington, DC is the most heavily policed city in the country. So, if you care about occupation and apartheid in Palestine, you should care about militarized policing and unjust sentencing at home.
Supporting the NEAR Act is our chapter's first local action under the umbrella of JVP's #DeadlyExchange campaign, which tackles the dangerous connections between policing in the United States and in Israel and Palestine. To learn more about the #DeadlyExchange campaign, visit: deadlyexchange.org
After years of work by local activists of the Stop Police Terror Project DC and the DC Movement For Black Lives Steering Committee, Mayor Bowser has partially funded legislation that would use a proven model to empower neighborhoods to ensure their own safety. The NEAR Act takes the first step to transform our city’s approach to violence prevention to empower communities to address structural causes of violence rather than sending police to target symptoms. The legislation would replicate a model that reduced shootings 40% to 70% in cities as diverse as Chicago, New York, Baltimore, and Richmond, CA.
In order to fully fund the effort, the people of DC need to raise their voices to tell the DC Council: “Public safety can’t be produced through mass incarceration or racial profiling, but it can be created through community-led violence prevention efforts. Fully fund the NEAR Act as originally written!” The Committee of the Whole will meet to mark up the budget on May 16, with a final budget vote expected on May 24. The DC Council needs to hear from people who live or work in DC that the NEAR Act must be fully-funded in order to ensure its success.
Sign up to call DC Council on May 15! tinyurl.com/JVP4NEARACT
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Read our full call-to-action and learn more about why we’re supporting the NEAR Act here: https://jvpdc.org/near-act
Study on the racial disparities within the US Judicial system - The Sentencing Project
Analysis of Israel's unjust incarceration of Palestinians- Samidoun
Statistics on police officers per capita in the US- Next City