We believe that the current criminal justice system was and is a means of control rooted in slavery and Jim Crow, and designed to create an exploited underclass. We believe that this system thrives off the criminalization of many peoples’ daily lives and disproportionately affects black and brown people, poor people, transgendered and queer people, people with a history of mental, developmental or emotional disabilities, women and youth, Muslims and people of other U.S. religious minorities, and activists.
We believe that violence is largely caused by a lack of access to resources and opportunity, and that the current system based on retribution and punishment hijacks resources that could provide essential services–housing, food, education, and health care–in favor of caging human beings, routine torture, and perpetual punishment that denies the humanity of those affected. We believe that a denial of any person’s humanity injures the humanity of each of us, and all of us collectively. Hurt people hurt people. This must stop.
The only way to stop this madness is through building up the power of those affected so they can lead a movement that challenges the status quo and provide not just a vision, but a blueprint for a new social order. We believe that we need a critical mass of people, those most impacted along with like-minded lovers of justice, of every hue and class, who join in demands for change and the accountability of those responsible.
We believe that you are essential to that movement for change.