Call to Action In Solidarity with the Working People of FergusonPosted: September 20, 2014
Responding to the call to action issued by organization the National Moment of Silence 2014, a local group of local parents, students (middle school through university), and community members organized an action on September 6th. Below is their statement of purpose and list of demands on the political class in Binghamton.
Our Call to Action: Not One Step Back
We, the working people of Binghamton, stand in solidarity with the working people of Ferguson, Missouri. Like those in Ferguson demanding their freedom, we are sick and tired of being shot, arrested, beaten, mis-educated, criminalized and pushed into poverty. Right now money is taken from our children’s schools and youth programs to fund more police. Then the police turn around and terrorize these same children and their parents. This keeps no one safe but those in power and it must stop!
We stand in complete solidarity with the working people of Ferguson, Missouri fighting against the illegal occupation of their community by the police and National Guard. They are our sisters and brothers in struggle. Their fight, is our fight because we are one and indivisible. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by this inappropriate state response.
As parents and concerned members of the Binghamton community, we are sick and tired of feeling our children are not safe in OUR schools, parks and streets. We demand more say in how the police are deployed in our schools and public spaces. From experience, we know that the police are used more to scare and intimidate our loved ones in the name of protecting property, than to cultivate our children’s capabilities as caring and responsible future adults.
We are resolved to take a more active role in our schools and so are demanding new program(s) be created. Police are to be removed from schools and replaced with a Community Engagement League made up of young adults FROM our community and parents along the lines of an Explorers Program. We demand Restorative Justice training for all people in Broome County that work with children and for all police officers.
We want funds diverted back to our youth (the Binghamton Youth Bureau, for example)! We want more money put into after-school activities, mentoring programs, and counseling services for our children.
We demand a public accounting for how funds are spent on so called “public safety” at the city and county level. This is to be done with the purpose of re-funding PUBLIC youth programs and programs that support working parents (i.e., public daycare).
No more military grade equipment be purchased or acquired by police agencies in Broome County. All military weaponry currently owned must be dispensed with as we are not a war zone.
All police officers, those of the County and in Binghamton, must wear personal cameras while on duty and that those cameras be switched ON at all times. The video must be accessible to the public and viewed at will.
All police stops be recorded, whether an arrest is made or not, with the race, gender, age, and reasons for the stop being explained in detail. This data must be stored in a publicly accessible manner.
We demand a Community Review Board be formed to review complaints, and questionable behavior and practices of police.
See Our Next Issue for Coverage of this Demonstration