The growing call to defund the police is inextricable from a wider push to democratize our institutions—from city governments up to the Federal Reserve Bank—so that they serve the multiracial working class rather than Wall Street. This, at its core, is what the Green New Deal is all about. But what does an abolitionist, ecosocialist program look like in practice?
This week, Kate and Daniel speak to Jasson Perez, Senior Research Analyst at ACRE (the Action Center on Race and the Economy) and organizer with the Afro-Socialists & Socialists of Color Caucus of DSA. They discuss why defunding the police is an essential step toward ending anti-Black violence; how the Fed could step in to end austerity from the municipal level up; and what leftists around the country can learn from the coalition-building efforts that are transforming Chicago. Perez, who has previously worked as an organizer at SEIU Local 73 and BYP100, and as a researcher at the Cook Center on Social Equity, explains why working toward police and prison abolition is key to building social movements more broadly and, ultimately, expanding the horizon of a vibrant working-class life.
Also, an announcement: our next episode will be the last in this season of Hot & Bothered. Many thanks to everyone who pitched in on Patreon to make the season possible. If you’re one of those generous people, look out for an email from us in the coming days with more details. And don’t miss our virtual happy hour on Monday, June 22.
The answer to police violence is not ‘reform’. It’s defunding. Here’s why (Alex S. Vitale, The Guardian)
Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police (Mariame Kaba, New York Times)
The Federal Reserve Can Help Workers in a Time of Crisis (Jasson Perez, Jacobin)
On “targeted universalism”: From a Tangle of Pathology to a Race-Fair America (Alan Aja, Daniel Bustillo, William Darity, Jr., and Darrick Hamilton, Dissent)
‘Cops,’ Long-Running Reality Show That Glorified Police, Is Canceled (Nicole Sperling, New York Times)
Aiming to Underachieve: How a Federal Reserve Lending Program for Local Governments is Designed to Fall Short (Center for Public Democracy)