May 2019 Event Highlights

Saturday, May 4th: NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally

The NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally's mission is to end the prohibition of cannabis at all levels, recognizing the profound effects that discriminatory enforcement of drug laws has had on communities of color. The event’s coalition partners included Empire State NORML and the New York office of the Drug Policy Alliance, which is working on a number of campaigns to shift New York’s drug policy away from the criminal justice system and towards a public health and safety approach. Whether you marched or not, the organizers ask you to support advocacy organizations like the Start SMART campaign, working to “stop the ineffective, racially biased, and unjust enforcement of marijuana prohibition and to create a new, well-regulated, and inclusive marijuana industry that is rooted in racial and economic justice.”


Saturday, May 11: Deep Canvassing for Police Accountability

When does a “hero cop” become a villain? On this day, canvassers asked folks about the Eric Garner case, and more broadly and deeply exploring what accountability means to us, and how that connects to the politics of policing. Deep canvassing means sharing vulnerably about our own stake in the issue, and listening curiously to the people we meet. Conversations tend to be long, in-depth, and responsive to what arises--not just angling toward an “ask.” Because of that, they have the potential to transform both our targets and ourselves. We also recruited folks for the trial (see below!). No prior knowledge was needed, we learn and practice together.


Monday, May 13th - Friday, May 24th: Showing Up for the Family of Eric Garner

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo faces charges for the murder of Eric Garner in an administrative disciplinary hearing with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. His family needs lots of volunteer support over these two weeks to ensure that there is some accountability for his death. During this time, SURJ members showed up to help pack the court, take notes, cover lunch for the family, and more.

Monday, May 13th: Our Plan: #CLOSErikers Bronx Community Forum

At this forum, directly impacted leaders from the #CLOSErikers campaign articulated their plan to close Rikers on the fastest possible timeline.

Wednesday, May 29th: Anti-Mass Incarceration Working Group Meeting

SURJ’s Anti-Mass Incarceration Working Group met to discuss ways to move into action against mass incarceration in NYC, New York State, and beyond. This month, we talked about criminalization and incarceration of pregnant people in the context of recent abortion bans passed in states across the country.