During this COVID-19 pandemic, it is important, as it always is during times of crisis, that we center the most marginalized folks in our communities. History shows us that during these times, Black people are hit hardest and face unique challenges due to the countless ways in which federal, state, and local governments neglect, mistreat, target, and undervalue us. The loss of Black lives due to COVID-19 or any other crisis is political and is a direct indictment on the state’s gross negligence and failure to serve our communities. The reality is that they won’t protect us, so we have to fight for and protect each other... and we must act NOW!
One Struggle KC acknowledges that it is imperative that we push forward
with our bail-out work. In Missouri alone, Black people make up 11.6%
of the state’s population, yet we make up nearly 40% of the number of
people behind bars. Many of our people remain in cages simply because
they cannot afford to post bail. The criminal (in)justice system has
never served us and is grossly unprepared for the COVID-19 health
crisis. It is important now more than ever that we get our folks free!
These funds will be directly used to free Black people in the KC metro area and to support them upon their release.
Additionally, One Struggle KC stands in solidarity with our comrades at the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and their National Demands for COVID-19 relief. We will continue to apply pressure to KC metro officials and hold them accountable to better serve our community. None of us are expendable to this crisis, and we expect you (Kansas City Missouri Police Department, Chief Richard Smith, Mayor Quinton Lucas, David Alvey, Sheriff Darryl Forte, Sheriff Donald Ash, Kansas City Kansas Police Department - KCKPD, Judge David Byrn, ICE, Jean Peters Baker, Mark A. Dupree Sr.) to leverage your power to protect those most impacted.
These demands are--
The People First: Economic (for formal and informal workers):
Our communities are extremely vulnerable in times of crisis because of long-standing oppression and inequality. Because of systemic discrimination, Black people already face unequal pay in the workplace and have higher rates of unemployment.
We must mold long-term economic solutions that not only address the immediate crisis but pave the way for a just recovery that doesn’t prioritize corporations and leave our communities behind.
Free Em All:
Now more than ever it is undeniable that incarceration is a public health problem. Over 2 million people are in cages today in the United States. Most of them do not have access to adequate healthcare and are incredibly vulnerable to this epidemic.
In this moment, we must get our people out of cages and ensure they have what they need to be healthy and free.
[One Struggle KC also demands the freeing of political prisoners and undocumented, refugee, and asylum seekers being held in detainment.]
Housing For All:
Many Black people are in unstable housing situations because of decades of redlining and predatory lending from banks. We have higher mortality rates and less access to healthcare because of systemic discrimination. Many of our communities do not have equal access to food, technology, or other needed resources at this moment.
We must ensure that Black communities have housing, healthcare, and access to education.
Healthcare NOT Warfare:
In times of crisis, whether Katrina or the uprisings in Ferguson, often state and federal governments misuse resources and militarize response against our communities. Crisis becomes an excuse for criminalization.
In national disasters, protecting the people and the broader public health and safety is priority. We must ensure that public protection is not abused or militarized.
We encourage you to visit https://m4bl.org/covid-19-platform/ to learn more about these demands and sign the M4BL petition.
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