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Creating Justice Together: Defund the Police

June 25, 2020

“When some people hear defund the police, because of years of indoctrination and propaganda they hear ‘take away my safety and security’ and that’s not at all what we’re saying. In fact, what we’re saying is that for Black communities and for Indigenous communities the police do not provide safety and security whatsoever (and they barely provide it to anybody else), and aren’t Black people and Indigenous people worth it? Aren’t our lives worth considering a completely new way of approaching this issue?”

Sandy Hudson
Defunding the Police Panel, Progress Toronto

We stand with those calling to defund and dismantle the police and prison industrial complex. The call to abolish the police asks us to imagine a future different from our current reality. Alternatives already exist; Transformative Justice is one such model. As writer, educator, and community organizer Mia Mingus wrote, “Transformative Justice seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence. [It] can be thought of as a way of ‘making things right,’ getting in ‘right relation,’ or creating justice together.”

Image of panelists sitting in chairs in the theatre holding microphones

In 2018, we presented Out the Window in partnership with Luminato. The work investigates the lives lost at the hands of the police, and the system’s inability to help people in crisis. As part of the programming, we held a number of post-show discussions, including Sandy Hudson hosting a Black Lives Matter panel, which brought the topic of abolition to the conversation. Two years ago that idea was considered by many to be radical. Today it is part of the mainstream conversation.

It will take creativity, community, and a desire to change but it can be done. Now’s the time artists and art-lovers; let’s create a future where police don’t target, surveil, brutalize and murder Black and Indigenous people. How creative are you?


What is Transformative Justice?
Barnard Centre for Research on Women

Indigenous Peacemaking
Native American Rights Fund



Abolish the police
Sandy and Nora Talk Politics
June 2, 2020


The words "Defund Demilitarize Disarm Dismantle The Police" in a white square with a burgundy, red, beige, and black patterned background

Not Another Black Life and Black Lives Matter Toronto is calling for the defunding, demilitarization, disarmament, and the dismantling of the Toronto Police Services, starting with a 50% reduction in funding. We support this call.

A motion put forward by Councillor Josh Matlow would reduce the police budget by 10%. On June 29, Toronto City Council will meet to vote on this motion. Anthony Truong Swan created phone and email scripts urging city councillors to support the demands of Not Another Black Life and Black Lives Matter Canada. Make your voice heard; contact your city councillor today.

Keep Learning

Image of Sandy Hudson standing at a city crosswalk with a fist raised in solidarity

“The origin of policing here is to control and restrict Black and Indigenous people’s movement through genocide, removing Indigenous people from their land, killing them, and through kidnapping Black people who had liberated themselves. That’s an irredeemable institution. There are obviously reverberations today where they continue to try to control and restrict our movements and kill us. That is an irredeemable institution. Over centuries it has shown itself to be unchangeable and irredeemable.”

Sandy Hudson
Defunding the Police Panel,
Progress Toronto

This is a living document compiled by Elly Belle, with help from K & Micah Herskind.
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