San Francisco, California

8 to Abolition

Reading over the 8 to Abolition website made me gasp this morning because I had never even considered a world without police:

The end goal of these reforms is not to create better, friendlier, or more community-oriented police or prisons. Instead, we hope to build toward a society without police or prisons, where communities are equipped to provide for their safety and wellbeing.

The prison industrial complex is an evil stain across this country but it’s bonkers that I’ve never even considered a world without police. Before reading this site, I had not even once considered whether the police as an organization should exist. I just assumed they must, like oxygen.

It’s so rare for me to encounter something like that—not just new information, but a whole new thread of ideas. A vast network of arguments to have, of threads to follow. As many have noted on Twitter however, these ideas aren’t new, as Mandy says: “because you didn’t see their work doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.”

So I have an awful lot of catching up to do.

Anyway, all of these steps seem extremely reasonable but—question!—why is an outright ban on personal firearms not one of these steps? Perhaps I’m missing something, as by far the scariest part of moving to America for me was watching regular cops stroll down the street with guns on their hips. In the UK the police are frightening, sure, but there’s not that same hum of violence as there is here in America.