Save the Kids Official Statement – On Rioting in Minneapolis in Response to the Extrajudicial Murder of George Floyd (Rest in Power, King):
“Revolutionaries didn’t choose armed struggle as the best path, it’s the path the oppressors imposed on the people. And so the people only have two choices: to suffer, or to fight.” – Fidel Castro, 1967
Derek Chauvin being arrested and charged for murder is exactly why the establishment hates rioting and looting: Because it works. As penal abolitionists and transformative justice organizers, while we support the arrest of Derek Chauvin in the current way to remove a danger to Black people, it is an insufficient substitute for the wholesale transformation that must occur in order to come remotely close to justice much less reparations.
As organizer Marcelo Clark from Oakland states:
“the goal is abolition not new reforms.not charges.not cops being fired.but abolition.”
3 Points that Save The kids supports in protection of rioters:
1. Riots and armed struggle create social change–white liberals often cite this axiom by pointing at apartheid in South Africa despite the newfangled resurrection of Apartheid through racialized economic struggle.
2. Riots bring attention amidst the neoliberal impulse to call for interracial harmony despite the stagnation towards change.
3. There is no correct way of self defense when anti-Blackness is an ubiquitous threat to our society. This requires accountability by redirecting the ownership of verdict from cishet white supremacist capitalist penal institutions to the very stakeholder removed from this process: community. In the case of George Floyd we demand that his family and extended community members hold permanent power to decide the outcome in response to Derek Chauvin. But this hyperindividualized case reminds us that the penal justice system including the state sponsored police force requires wraparound abolition and is irrevocably threatening to the lives of Black people on earth.
As two Afro-Indigenous and non-Black comrades from the organizing struggle write in absolution to the trauma reverberating from counter-insurgent violence, Save The Kids supports and uplifts the following demands for systemic change so that protest in all forms is rendered an outcome of justice:
“DEMANDS, NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS:
Abolish the police: Put an end to the racist police order, decriminalize sex work, end cash bail, stop harassment of black and brown communities. Stop any form of stop-and-frisk, inluding jump out squads. Stop sweeps of homeless camp. Defund the police.
Health care for all: Remove the obstacles that keep people from accessing the health care they need. Arrange free testing, treatment, and medical care for all.
No rent, no debt: Stop all rent, mortgage, utilities, and loan payments. Block all foreclosures and evictions. Open up unoccupied housing to all in need.
Free all prisoners: Get everyone out of jail, send every prisoner home, get communities the resources they need to repair racial violence.
Open The Border: Block all ICE operations, abolish ICE/Border Patrol, stop letting people die in the desert. Welcome refugees.
1. Echo Black Voices, especially the Poor, Working Class, Trans, Non-Binary, and Femmes; 2. We oppose any state repression/extra-state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others; Including the label of black-identity extrists, and antifa terrorists. 3. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics;4. We believe our liberation is wrapped up in the liberation of others”
Abolition is wholesale dismantlement of violence and policing of Black lives in all sociopolitical cultural and gendered permutations. Abolition requires a hard conversation that forces white folx to make a choice between discomfort or self defense. Understanding that Black commodification, pain, and death are inversely proportional to white privilege livelihood and gluttony in the U.S. is to understand that milquetoast responses to historically consistent racialized violence has fallen on deaf ears in the courts and public discourse writ large. As Dr. King said, “riots are the language of the unheard”, we must adhere to the continuum of resistance that portends there is no singular form of self defense and resistance, but rather, a spectrum of voices that communicate and villify and underscore the urgency of our current state of oppression and merge around the idea that escalating protest is proportional to the inert and docile response of a white supremacist judicial system. Save the Kids officially demands the protection of all insurgents in the struggle against anti-Blackness and that includes the most escalated forms of self-defense, as long as the reigning settler of this colony continue to violate the human rights of all members of the Black diaspora.
Finally, if Black people are fed up with being commodified at the whims of a white supremacist economy, then it is well within their rights to expose and bring attention to the commerce built by their physical psychological and emotional labor.
Director of Publications, Save the Kids
Editor, Transformative Justice Journal