For the first two months of summer, SURJ NYC focused on a wide variety of issues, including reparations to Black people, advanced court watch, the second anniversary of Delrawn Small’s death at the hands of the NYPD, action security training, and many others!
Tuesday, June 12th: COURT WATCH BEYOND THE BASICS: Drug Policy
As NYC DAs unveil new plans to "divert" people charged with drug possession and to also stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases - it's important that all court watchers are up to date on new DA promises so that we can hold them accountable. In this training, participants learned about DA policies and practices around drug crimes and got trained on what to watch out for in the courtroom.
Thursday, June 21: Monthly Chapter Meeting: The Why and How of Reparations to Black People
This month's chapter meeting drew on the leadership of the Movement for Black Lives, Safety Pin Box, and others to explore the case for paying reparations to Black people. We dug into how we as white people can do this both in the here and now and in bigger, structural ways in the future. We explored the meaning of reparations for white people with different class positions. As regularly happens at chapter meetings there was a 30-minute orientation for those new to SURJ prior to the main meeting.
Tuesday, June 19: Juneteenth Statewide Protests to #FREEnewyork
From our accountability partner, JLUSA: “June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, commemorates the abolition of slavery. But as directly impacted communities know, we are not yet free. On June 19th, we call out everyday injustice occurring in courthouses across the state: Unaffordable bails. Mass pretrial incarceration. Guilty until proven innocent. A price on your freedom. ” Protests occurred outside courthouses around the state and here in NYC.
Thursday, June 28: House Party for CPR
SURJ NYC threw a summer house party to raise money for Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), a comprehensive campaign to end discriminatory and abusive policing in New York City. People enjoyed food, drinks, music and an opportunity to hear more about CPR's current work. Suggested donation was $50, but donations of any size are encouraged—no one was turned away for lack of funds! Missed it? You can still donate here.
Monday, July 2: Vigil for Delrawn Small
On July 4, 2016, NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs murdered Delrawn Small, who was unarmed, on the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Bradford St. in East New York. In spite of murdering Delrawn in front of his family, letting him bleed out in the street without offering CPR or any other aid, and lying about what had happened, Isaacs is still an NYPD officer, collecting a city paycheck, and no charges have been filed against him. Protesters commemorated the second anniversary of Small’s murder on this day. More details in the Facebook event.
Tuesday, July 10: Action Security Training
At this training, people learned how to participate in a team that works to keep protesters safe from cars, the police, and counter-demonstrators at rallies, marches, and protests. Attending this training allows people you to support upcoming #FREEnewyork actions, police accountability demonstrations, and much more.
Saturday, July 14: Anti-Gentrification Deep Canvassing, Crown Heights
Deep canvassing is a tool for breaking through white supremacy culture and calling our white neighbors into the fight for racial justice. We collaborated with the Crown Heights neighborhood group to deep canvass our white neighbors in gentrifying communities about our attitudes toward the police and alternatives to getting them involved in conflicts. Attendance was welcome to all; no prior knowledge needed.
Wednesday, July 25: Phonebanking for Deep Canvass Recruitment
So many people have signed up for SURJ but don't know where to start. At this meeting, we called SURJ folks, connecting on our shared commitment to anti-racist action, and offering concrete opportunities to get involved. Folks were so glad to be given the opportunity to participate! Whether or not they have space in their lives in the immediate future, the conversation lifts up their stake in this work going forward - not to mention lifting up our own! This work is sometimes useful for the deep canvassing project, and always liberatory for ourselves and useful for the movement. It's fun and fulfilling because it's an act of relationship-building and solidarity, not sales.
Ongoing: Pledge To Build A World Without Police With SURJ National
SURJ is inviting white folks across the country to examine our relationship to policing, especially given the recent, high profile incidents of white people calling the police to report Black people for doing all manner of things, including: sitting in a Starbucks, having a barbecue, sleeping in their own dorm room, renting an AirBnB, eating at Waffle House, golfing, walking through their own neighborhood, driving with leaves on their car, and more. Learn more and sign the pledge!