In May 2018, with the weather getting warmer, SURJ-NYC’s monthly chapter meeting was a potluck picnic in Washington Square Park. We also supported and encouraged folks to attend various events and workshops around the city, including a day of deep canvassing, a rally to demand accountability for Saheed Vassell’s death, and a fundraising concert for the Elected Civilian Review Board.
Wednesday, May 2: Justice for Saheed Vassell Rally
May 2nd marked four weeks since Saheed Vassell was killed by the NYPD. SURJ joined Saheed’s family and community in rallying to demand the names and disciplinary records of all officers involved, the release of all unedited surveillance video of the shooting, and an explanation for why SRG officers were on the scene.
Sunday, May 6: Anti-Gentrification Deep Canvassing - Park Slope
Deep canvassing is a tool for breaking through white supremacy culture and calling in our white neighbors to the fight for racial justice. This day of action was part of an ongoing collaboration with two central Brooklyn SURJ neighborhood groups to deep canvass our white neighbors in gentrifying communities about our attitudes toward the police and alternatives to getting them involved in conflicts.
Ongoing Until May 11th: Mama’s Bail Out NYC
All over the country, communities are coming together to show love and support to Black mothers who are separated from their families because of the punitive cash bail system. Here in New York City, bail bonds companies take advantage of those who are most vulnerable—and unfortunately due to the inaction in City Hall and Albany, that won’t stop anytime soon. VOCAL-NY’s goal for this year’s Black Mama Bail Out Day is to raise $30,000 by May 11th to pay the bail of as many mothers as we can.
Saturday, May 12: Court Watch NYC Training
Court Watch NYC is a collaborative project of VOCAL-NY, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and 5 Borough Defenders. Court Watch volunteers collect real-time data of what is actually happening in courtrooms, record narratives that are not captured by the data, and contribute to accountability actions. On this day, people learned to be the eyes and ears holding District Attorneys accountable in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Thursday, May 17: UPLIFT! BROOKLYN: feat. Bajah, Resistance Revival Chorus & more!
The NYC Campaign for an Elected Civilian Review Board hosted a fundraising concert as part of the Sound Mind Collective's Uplift! Brooklyn series. The ECRB campaign seeks to hold police accountable for their misconduct through more equitable and transparent oversight structures. All proceeds supported the campaign. It was a night of music and activation, where we celebrated movement towards a safer, more just NYC.
Thursday, May 31: Survived & Punished Letter-Writing Night
On this night, folks joined Survived and Punished, NYU Prison Education Program, and Project NIA to write letters to survivors of gender violence who are incarcerated in New York State prisons, and learn about the #FreeThemAll Mass Commutations campaign.