Below are the minutes from our November 21 public meeting in Atlanta. The next Atlanta meeting will be held on December 5 at 6PM, at Big House. The event page is on Facebook. Hope to see lots of you there. At the bottom there is also a list of further upcoming events.
A World Without Police Meeting. Atlanta.11/21
75 people in attendance
Why are you here? Some people upset about election of Trump. Some went to anti-Trump rally week prior and met each other. Some first time in political meeting.
How would you describe Trump in one word? Bigot, fascist, scared shitless, misogynist, American.
Trump as emblematic of this system: oppression, homophobia, etc. It’s not just about Trump though. We’re here because a moment helped us realize that we can’t let this shit stand. They have a lot of power, but we have more numbers and that’s powerful. Fuck Trump, but I’m thankful we’re all here.
How did we feel at rally? Powerful, connected, unified.
The anti-Trump rally was a success. There were about 1000-2000 people. Started at 6, marched at 7, roamed all over city. Cops tried to choke it out and stop people but it kept going. People say “protesting doesn’t get you anywhere” but those feelings of power are important. We took the streets and it couldn’t have happened if people didn’t show out.
Agenda Read Aloud:
1. What is A World Without Police?
2. Ideas for working groups.
3. Group breakouts.
4. Report backs from group breakouts.
5. Announcements for next meeting and other events.
1. What is A World Without Police?
A network of police abolitionists nationally and now local in Atlanta, trying to put out a police abolitionist poll. Cameras on cops and other reform ideas have their limit: they don’t stop cops from killing people. There are endless videos of cops killing people, and the cameras haven’t stopped it. Trying to reform an institution that feeds off of class oppression, white supremacy, transphobia isn’t going to work because the roll of the cops is to oppress us. The cops were slavecatchers originally. Rich white folks didn’t want to bring slaves back, so they hired poor white people to be slavecatchers. This the basis. We don’t reform slavecatchers. We’re not going to suddenly abolish police, but we can begin to dismantle structures to allow us to relate to each other in different ways. We’re trying to figure out how to fight together.
Question: There are people with malicious intent. How do you protect people against malicious intent? Answer: People commit harms out of need often. Our point of relation is mediated through capitalism. It’s not the intrisic desire of people to cause harm to others; instead, it’s the issue of protection of property and the state– upholding current system. This is what police are for. For example, drug crimes. Also, other nonviolent crimes: people are imprisoned for weed, and the prisons are violent and you learn violence through trauma in prison. The police and prison system breeds violence. Even as a system preventing crime, it isn’t effective. Also, we need conflict mediation and intervention skills to protect each other against sexual violence, domestic abuse, other interpersonal violence.
2. Ideas for working groups:
Action-– Rally like last Friday; protesting/picketting groups; boycotting; disrupting “coffee with cops”; sit-ins; disruption of police infastructure, for example the occupation of the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis; stop people from becoming cops; disrupt recruitment efforts;
Self-defense and security-– registry of law offices doing progressive work for immigrants, trans issues, etc– people with power who can help us and others; find facists and keep a list to disrupt their actions, etc; find out local right wing leaders trying to do anti-abortion stuff, etc, so we can more effectively counter what they’re doing; communication, like outreach; communication between groups; projections of things like “Fuck Trump”; banner drops; vandalism with political message; street theatre; getting our internal shit straight (don’t put photos on facebook, etc); physical self defense training; finding material needs that we can help meet and partnering with groups that do that; a self defense; organizing CopWatch crews; ICE watch– intervening when immigration raids happen; preparing and collecting resources for bond and bail if people get targeted by police; training for street medics; training for street tactics during protests; actually resisting immigration raids; creating sanctuary spaces/sanctuary platform– making Atlanta a sanctuary–creating space we want to live in;
Education/Skills training/propaganda-– set up shop outside and have like impromtu teach-ins and stuff; know your rights trainings; conflict mediation trainings at same time as don’t call the cops campaign; stickers to put over bad messages; supporting cultural arm of movement that raises awareness; not just reaching out to our friends, but trying to politicize those most affected by these policies; reach out to poor less educated white people to educate them about how they’re being used in class war to oppress others; finding grassroots ways to raise funds to support action; continuing these discussions with ongoing events; reaching out to college campuses and teaching them what they can do in their communities; growing online resources; need to educate high school students– sit in at Northsprings HS– people didn’t understand what we were sitting for; coalition building with other groups; bring your POC friends;
Small group breakouts to discuss actions, self-defense, education, etc. (30 minutes in small groups)
Report backs from smaller groups:
3. Group breakouts.
4. Group report backs:
– Projections: budgeting to get a projector to perform mass projections during sporting events/movies/or on building downtown. Succinct message that is both politically accessible without being politically neutral. Providing link to website.
– Disrupting events: Researching events to disrupt and getting a militant action training scheduled for all of us so we can be prepared to disrupt.
– J20 action: Collaborate organizing with other ATL networks to provide transportation to DC. BUT locally, shut stuff down on J20.
EDUCATION/ PROPAGANDA/ SKILLS TRAINING:
There were multiple ideas going around. December 3rd event where you can bash Trump pinata at MJQ.
Somebody has access to free printing and supplies. Get with them if you need it.
This group is continuing to make plans next meeting.
SELF DEFENSE and SECURITY:
Workshop for unarmed self-defense and cyber security. Going to send out email.
Intentional space for work against ICE. Going to send out email.
Reminder from crewL We say dangerous things sometimes when we’re in spaces like this, and there might be people who are against us, so be careful what you say and what you text.
Download SIGNAL! Or Semaphor for texting/email or Riseup for email or ProtonMail to encrypt email.
Next meeting: December 5th at 6 pm at Big House. Facebook
Street Tactics and Know your Rights training at Teardown on Saturday December 3rd at 2 pm and 4 pm. Facebook
Food Not Bombs every Sunday 2:30/3 pm at Woodruff Park; bring your instruments, come have a meal with people.
Wussy Mag: Self defense classes coming together; fitness class starts in December. Will post to FB.
Film Screening soon for AWWP. Will announce time and date on FB later.
Southern Fried Queer Pride trying to raise money. Donate through FB if you’d like.
For info on Sunday dinners or to open a new space or find existing ones to use: email@example.com
For more information: aworldwithoutpolice.org
Pathfinder for sale by Joan for cheap if anyone needs to transport people regular