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Uniting to build peace for future generations

Current Activities

Movement for Black Lives: SixNineteen Demands & Actions!

SixNineteen is coming up! See SixNineteen demands and actions (virtual and in-person)

Join the M4BL’s National Call to Action:
“The killing of Black people at the hands of the police is taking place against the backdrop of a pandemic that is taking Black lives at an alarming rate. Our communities continue to be disinvested in and our people continue to be vulnerable to every harm in our society. This is why we call to defund police departments across the country and demand an investment of those resources into the needs of our communities.

We know what is happening in Minneapolis is a product of what has happened to Black people for decades.  We are paying attention and we are ready to rise.”

Sign M4B L’s Petition calling on Congressional leadership to ensure that future action prioritize our communities over corporation and pushes back against the use of militarization in our communities as a response to this crisis. View recent virtual events here, sharing our demands and ways for folks to take action.

Some immediate local actions you can take:

1. 50-a NYS (police secrecy law) has been repealed! Gov Cuomo has signed the package of legislatoin in the Safer New York Act, in particular repealing the NYS police secrecy law (CRL section 50-a).

2. Defund the Police! Contact your City Councilmember to demand that they redirect NYC funds from police to summer youth employment and other needed community programs. Check out Communities United for Police Reform and the #DefundTheNYPD campaign. Find your city councilmember here. For call script and more info click here.

3. Keep up the momentum in the streets!  Join local protests, as you are able, with precautions for keeping safe from COVID-19 (wear a mask, and keep 6 feet between yourself and the next protester.) Follow leadership of Black-led organizations and community members. Check out this post re participation of white people in #BlackLivesMatter protests

Go here for info on locations of planned protests; also see @protest_nyc or NYC Protest Updates 2020 on Twitter or Instagram.

Follow BFP Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

Justice for George Floyd, Tony McDade,
Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery,
and All Black Lives:
Solidarity Actions You Can Take Now

This information comes to us from Indivisible:

“On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for seven minutes, suffocating him as Floyd pleaded repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe. Videos of the murder went viral with many noting the devastating similarities between Floyd’s killing and that of Eric Garner in 2014. In response, Twin Cities residents took to the streets to protest both Floyd’s death and the long legacy of anti-Black racism and police violence in the city and in our nation.

“While the four officers responsible for Floyd’s death were fired, we know justice has not yet been achieved.

“The protests have persisted, despite being met with increasing violence from the Minneapolis Police Department. Protestors have been tear-gassed and met with disproportionate use of force.

“George Floyd’s death is horrific, but not unique. America’s police and criminal justice systems are the legacies of our country’s white supremacist, slave-owning history. Structural racism persists across every facet of American life and is perhaps most evident in the way that law enforcement interacts with communities of color. All across the country, Black people are more likely to be harassed, arrested, and killed by police than their white counterparts.

“We have a national crisis of white supremacist violence against Black people in this country. In the past 10 years alone, we witnessed the deaths of thousands of Black people at the hands of police. Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castile are just some of the names of those we’ve lost to racialized police violence.

What you can do right now to help:

“At Indivisible, we believe Black Lives Matter without qualifications, asterisks, or add-ons. We also believe in the right for communities to protest and protect themselves against state-sanctioned violence.

“To support Black people in the Twin Cities fighting for their community, we recommend donating and supporting these local organizations:
    Black Visions Collective: Supporting Black activists on the ground    
Reclaim the Block: Community fund
    Northstar Health Collective: Medical donations    

“In addition, we encourage Indivisibles to pursue their own anti-racist education. Here are a few resources we found helpful:
    Anti-Racism Resources for White People
   White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh    Qualified Immunity: Explained

A note for social media: You’ll notice we didn’t link to video of any of these horrific incidents. That’s on purpose. Out of respect for those affected by these acts of violence, we urge readers not to continue sharing these traumatic videos and instead focus on lifting up the right voices, taking the right actions, and supporting the right organizations.

What can Congress and candidates do?

We need transformative change in our country—and there’s no silver bullet. But here are a few things that elected officials and candidates can do right now: Ask your representative to co-sponsor the Omar-Pressley resolution. Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) have introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning police violence. Call your representative and demand that they co-sponsor the resolution and speak out publicly about the need for the need for the House to pass it without delay.”

We received this message and the information below from the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance:

“Grassroots Global Justice Alliance joins community voices from across North America and around the world collectively condemning the murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Florida, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and so many more Black lives lost to white racial violence, police militarism, and structural racism in the United States.  We stand with our family in Minneapolis, and the youth on the frontlines who have taken to the streets to demand true justice and system change.”

    ” As we bear the wounds of a murdering virus COVID 19, we also bear the lynchings of unarmed innocent Black people by police and vigilantes. The pandemic isn’t just COVID, the  pandemic is white supremacy, police and prisons, capitalism, militarism, colonialism, patriarchy and mass displacement. Now more than ever we should be supporting Black-led organizing to defund the police, abolish prisons, and build communities of collective care not cops and cages. The revolution is draped in righteous anger and resilient dignity! We will not be stopped!”

    —Siwatu Salama-Ra, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the Freedom Team

    ” There is a long history of resistance to police violence in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Of course, the recent police murders of Philando Castile and Jamar Clark are widely known, but the list goes back for decades. Time and again the Black community has fought back while bearing the brunt of police brutality in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. These are the Cities that present a liberal face in the midst of the dirty underbelly of bad education, economic dispossession, criminal injustice, deep health and environmental disparities in Black communities. And now there is George Floyd, another police killing. The fissures are wide open. The rebellion is on.”

    —Rose Brewer, Activist Scholar with Afro-Eco and leader in GGJ

Support Local Demands

The Minneapolis Police Department, like other police departments throughout the United States, has a historically notorious and racist track record. It would be wrong to view the murder of George Floyd as one singular event, rather the product (result) of systemic racism.  Local organizers in Minneapolis are calling on the Minneapolis City Council to become visionary leaders by pledging to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in the resources that really keep us safe and healthy, especially in Black communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color.

Check out Reclaim the Block and sign their petition: Bit.ly/DefundMPD 

GGJ Member About Face: Veterans Against War has also issued an open letter to the Minnesota National Guard to Stand Down for Black Lives and refuse the call to deploy.  “A moral choice lies before you. As veterans who have faced similar tests of conscience, only to realize too late that we chose wrong, we cannot stress enough the impact this decision will have on the rest of your life.”

If you, or someone you know, are considering refusing activation orders to deploy to Minneapolis, contact the GI Rights Hotline: 1-877-447-4487 or visit girightshotline.org. It’s run by civilians and offers free, confidential counseling and information.

More Readings and Info:
Amid Minneapolis Uprising, Anti-War Veterans Call on National Guard to Stand Down
National Black Justice Coalition Statement mourning Tragic Death of Tony McDade by Police
Minneapolis Bus Drivers Refuse to Transport George Floyd Protesters to Jail
“Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail.” 
Minneapolis Public School system to vote on terminating contract with city’s police
Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group letter to Minneapolis Police regarding George Floyd

COVID-19’s Effect on Mental Health in Communities of Color
Follow-up actions and resources

Our second town hall focused on how COVID-19 has specifically affected the mental health of communities of color.

Our keynote speaker was Katherine Ambia, who is the Clinical Site Director for a school based mental health clinic. Katherine counsels high school students and their families in a school in Western Queens, and spoke about her experiences as a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussion followed about what it would mean for mental health services to be better supported, and how we can organize to reach this goal.

These action items were identified:
Sign the petition to reinstate summer youth employment program.
Keep police out of schools! Check out the  Dignity in Schools Campaign.
Call for #NYCBudgetJustice by contacting your city councilmember.
Check out these resources:
Reach out to NAMI-NYC.
Call or text NYC-WELL 24/7
For more resources, check out these groups:
Girls for Gender Equity; Soul Sisters Leadership; VIP Mujeres; Trevor Project; Day One; Anti-Violence Project; Obsessive-Compulsive Annonymous; Victims Voice

If you have any questions or other suggestions please reach out to the Town Hall Team at townhall@brooklynpeace.org

Digital Town Hall on May 6:
Addressing the COVID Pandemic:
Did you miss it?

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Our digital town hall/community meeting on May 6 started with a presentation by William “Bill” Hartung on how the prioritization of militarism in the US’s budget has meant very inadequate investment in community and social development and housing. This lack of investment is particularly felt in low-income communities and communities of color in Brooklyn. (Check out the presentation he made last year on this topic. The situation has only gotten worse since then. Also check out his recent article in Forbes on impact of military spending, and why it’s bad for business as well as for our communities).

 The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the lack of resources in these communities. Our goal from this meeting was to come up with actionable items and ideas for BFP and our community for a grassroots response.

The primary concern which emerged was concern of reports of abusive police actions in communities of color while enforcing the guidelines for preventing community transmission of COVID-19 by social distancing and wearing of masks. As an immediate response, meeting attendees agreed to contact Mayor DeBlasio with the urgent message to GET THE NYPD OUT OF SOCIAL DISTANCING ENFORCEMENT and bring in PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS instead.

If you haven’t contacted the Mayor yet, please do as soon as possible.  You can reach the Mayor at 311 (get the 311 Confirmation Number and send it to us so that we know you called) or you can send a message on line.

Here’s a suggestion of what to say:

“I demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio rescind his policy of using the NYPD to enforce social distancing, which has led to violent police abuse and the arrest of people of color while white non-compliance is treated much differently. Years of public health studies show that compliance with health directives is better achieved through education and peer pressure than through punitive enforcement.”

Other actions you can take:
Join the movement to pass City Council Resolution 747A  (Move the Money) that would put the city on official record to demand from Congress a serious reduction to spending for war and to “move the money” to our communities.  See it on Facebook.

Learn more about the shocking discrepancy in deaths related to COVID-19 between Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and white New Yorkers: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-deaths-race-ethnicity-04302020-1.pdf

Learn about basic changes in the economy which would strengthen community response tp COVID-19 and future pandemics. One book suggested was The Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

Support Domestic Workers United. Check out their Facebook page   All are welcome to join their Saturday calls. Click here for more info and to sign up. Also, contributions are welcome to support members who have been laid off or are unable to work  because of COVID-19.

Contact your City Councilmember and Mayor de Blasio to ask that the City fund the Summer Youth Employment Program for 2020 and allow the program to shift to safe and remote work sites.

Support workers at Downstate Hospital who are in need of Personal Protective Equipment and other resources. If you can donate equipment or supplies, visit here  
If you are able to make a financial donation, visit here

Going forward:
Think locally, check on your neighbors, think citywide, think statewide, think globally. Get in touch with folks. Find out what they need as opposed to what you think they need. Meet people where they are.

We’ll be planning future town halls soon. Please let us know what issues you would like to address at the next Town Hall

Masks & Social Distancing – YES!
Violent Police Enforcement – NO!

 Urgent calls are needed right now to Mayor Bill de Blasio protesting recent incidents of NYPD violence in communities of color in the process of enforcing social distancing.
 Brooklyn For Peace urges you to tell the mayor that police violence and abusive attitudes used to encourage the use of masks and social distancing is NOT appropriate. Tell the Mayor to speak out loudly and clearly and to end the use of police for that purpose.
 ★ Please call or write now!
   To Call the Mayor: 311
   To Write the Mayor: bit.ly/msg-the-mayor

Call  or Write the Mayor NOW!

Donations Needed for Downstate Hospital!

SUNY Downstate has been designated as Brooklyn’s main hospital for treating coronavirus patients, one of three such hospitals in New York state. It’s located in central Brooklyn, a community that is medically underserved. CNN has reported on this hospital.

We’ve learned that SUNY Downstate is in need of all types of PPE (Protective Personal Equipment) and other medical equipment.

If you can donate equipment or supplies, visit here

If you are able to make a financial donation, visit here

 
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