End the War Against Black Philadelphians NOW!

Mayor Kenney & City Council President Darrel Clarke

We Want Freedom

During this time of rebellion against police terrorism and state violence, we, the radical Black organizing community in Philadelphia, make the following immediately actionable demands upon the City of Philadelphia to abolish--by which we mean to permanently and holistically eliminate--the structures of policing and related state violence endangering our communities. Until our the demands are met, we will be in the streets demanding justice for the Black community:

Our Demands

NO to Philadelphia Police Department Budget Increase

We demand that the City of Philadelphia immediately cease all plans to increase the police budget by $14 million. We specifically demand that City Council vote “no” on the proposed police budget increase. Our city has already significantly defunded our public schools, libraries, recreation centers, and other community institutions. We want public funds to enrich our neighborhoods, not the police. Programs like Operation Pinpoint and Focused Deterrence must be defunded immediately. We demand the proposed $14 million budget increase go instead to the Philadelphia School District budget for the removal of environmental hazards from schools, namely, asbestos and lead paint, which is estimated to cost $25 million per year.

Immediately Cease the Criminalization of Black Resistance

We will not permit the Black community’s legitimate struggle against white supremacy to be criminalized during this time of rebellion. We demand an end to the use of tear gas, grenades, assault rifles and surveillance in our neighborhoods. We further demand that DA Larry Krasner drop all arrests and charges against community members and activists in relation to the rebellion and no future detainment, arrests or charges be made.

Immediately & Permanently Remove All Symbols of State Violence

After decades of work by Philadelphia’s Black organizers and community members, Mayor Kenney has finally conceded to the demand to remove the statue of Frank Rizzo. We further demand the immediate public destruction of this white supremacist symbol of hate, oppression and violence so that it can never be erected elsewhere. The street sign honoring Wilson Goode is an equally flagrant symbol of state violence against Black Philadelphia, as former mayor Goode presided over the bombing of our city and the murder of 11 members of the MOVE family, including 5 children in 1985. We demand that the street be reverted to its original name. We further demand legislation that removes all other existing monuments of state violence and ensures that no future symbols of state violence against Black, Indigenous, or Brown people be permitted in the city of Philadelphia.

End the Military Occupation of the Black Community

We demand the complete demilitarization of the Philadelphia police and the police occupation of Black communities. The Black community is consistently targeted by SWAT teams armed with military grade equipment. We demand the city end any participation in the US Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, and return any equipment acquired through it, and refuse any participation in Operation Relentless Pursuit, the Department of Justice’s newest “war on crime” tactic. A local police force should not have the ability to engage with community members like enemy combatants.

Protection for Black Philadelphia

We acknowledge the severity of gun violence in our communities. Dismantling the structural violence of poverty, and not applying discriminatory gun laws is the only way to create safe communities. Anti-Black violence, which is emboldened in the current white supremacist climate, is an ever increasing threat to Black communities. Pockets of white Philadelphians are currently roaming the city with guns, axes, and other deadly weapons in the wake of the rebellion. These extralegal white terrorist groups pose a significant risk to the Black community. We assert that Black Philadelphians have the ability to defend ourselves. We will no longer be criminalized for enjoying the 2nd Amendment rights that are permitted to all other Pennsylvanians. We demand that no current or future conceal/carry violations are registered as a felony in Philadelphia.

End All Carceral Systems

The destructive effect of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and communities extends beyond the prison walls. We demand an immediate end to the criminalization of poverty through the multiple carceral systems that target Black Philadelphians. We demand the dismissal of warrants, cash bail, and the end to probation and parole systems that target our community members for prison retraumatization rather than provide support for individual and communal restoration. We demand an end to the separation of Black families through the forcible removal of our children by the Department of Human Services. Children must be returned to willing parents and caregivers without ransoming their return with bureaucracy. We demand the City of Philadelphia live up to its promise as a Sanctuary City, immediately disband all Immigration and Customs Enforcement activities, and reunite individuals and families that have been separated as a result of ICE detainments in Philadelphia.

Fund Communities, Not Cops

We demand an immediate decrease in the Philadelphia Police Department’s budget over five years until the PPD is fully defunded. We demand these resources be diverted from policing to longstanding community-led organizations working to support returning citizens and build strategies that enable Black people to address their own conflicts and struggles in a manner that centers transformative justice and eliminates punitive systems of behavior change. We demand the redistribution of these funds be decided by those who are directly impacted by the criminal legal system, including returning citizens, sex workers, our members of the disabled community, our LGBTQIA+ communities, and members of undocumented communities.

Immediate Permanent Release of Mumia Abu Jamal, Major Tillery, Arthur Cetawayo Johnson, Russell "Maroon" Shoatz, Omar Askia, Joseph "Jo-Jo" Bowen, and all Black Political Prisoners

The Philadelphia “justice system” that arrested and tried Mumia is the same racist and immoral system that dropped a bomb on 11 civilians including 5 children of the MOVE family 35 years ago. The fact that Mumia’s trial was built on false evidence is without question, and serves as proof of the history of Philadelphia police targeting those who speak out against state violence. This denial of justice will no longer be tolerated as a stall tactic. In this period of COVID19, we demand that Mumia, Major, Cetawayo, Maroon, Omar, Jo-Jo, and all Black political prisoners be immediately released. They are all seniors, members of a vulnerable population whose incarceration by any measure does not serve our communities or justice.

Swift Firing of Killer Cops and Community Response

We demand an end to superficial policies that assign desk duty and administrative leave for officer-involved shootings. If a police officer murders someone, they should be immediately and permanently fired and referred to counseling. The retirement funds of killer cops must be frozen during all parts of the legal process. If the officer is convicted, their pensions will be seized and transferred to victims and the victim's families.

Abolish the Fraternal Order of Police & the Police Advisory Committee

The current overlap of financial and personal relationships between elected city officials, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Police Advisory Commission paired with the PPD’s ability to conduct internal investigations on itself when misconduct arises makes it impossible for police to be held accountable for their actions. The PAC should not be simply reformed, repackaged, and presented to the community as a progressive change as indicated by the recent city and state police reform proposals. We demand that the Police Advisory Commission be abolished, and replaced with a fully funded Community Control Board provided from the budget of the Philadelphia police. The Board must have the exclusive power to hire and fire police officers. Board members will be elected through a transparent process that is created by individuals whose leadership is accepted by the community they will be representing. The members of this Board cannot be law enforcement or elected officials. The Board must also comprise community members most directly impacted by the system of policing. Their ultimate charge must be to remove all cops from our neighborhoods within five years. We also demand the FOP be dissolved immediately and police bargaining shifted into the municipal unions of the City of Philadelphia until the police are disbanded. The Fraternal Order of Police, its President, and agenda is more committed to defending police violence, terror and mass incarceration than it is in protecting and serving Black Philadelphians. Through intimidation, bullying and political intrigue it has set itself up as an unaccountable power bloc and political lobby that is a threat to our city's democracy.            

Immediate Release of All Vulnerable Individuals in Prison

Accelerate the release of the 1,800 individuals eligible under the reprieve order signed April 10, 2020 and expand this order so that all eligible individuals are released by the end of June, 2020. Include in your reprieve all individuals who are medically vulnerable regardless of their offense. Secretary Wetzel estimated that there are approximately 12,000 people currently incarcerated that the CDC would be considered “medically vulnerable.” The order signed April 10th states: “Vulnerable inmates shall include inmates at risk based upon age, anyone with autoimmune disorders, who is pregnant, or who has serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, bone marrow or organ transplantation, severe obesity, kidney disease, liver disease, hepatitis, and cancer, or other medical condition that places them at higher risk for coronavirus, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Disband All Private Police Departments

Black Philadelphians are policed in virtually every area of our lives. Due to jurisdiction overlaps, a Philadelphian may be policed by PHA police, transit police, university police departments, and city police simultaneously. We demand that the Philadelphia Police Department immediately end all Memorandums of Understanding with private police which allows access to JBAND frequency. We further demand that legislation be passed that mandates all public and private institutions, including educational institutions and transit and housing authorities, disband their police forces in the interest of public safety.

Economic Justice NOW!

We demand reparative economic justice for the aforementioned harms to Black communities. The government must repair the damage it has done. Current policies are designed to perpetuate racial and economic injustice against Black communities. We demand a participatory approach to public budgets that is under community control to ensure that resources are equitably distributed and meet the needs of Black communities which have been purposefully and systematically under-resourced.

To: Mayor Kenney & City Council President Darrel Clarke
From: [Your Name]

It's time for Black lives to matter in the City of Philadelphia.

In support of the demands from the Black Philly Radical Collective:
Say their names!

#JusticeFor: Philly
David T Jones.
Joyce Quaweay
Khalil Lawal,
Brandon Tate Brown
Tree Africa
Netta Africa
Delicia Africa
Phil Africa
Tomas Africa
Rhonda Africa
Teresa Africa
Frank Africa
Raymond Africa
Conrad Africa
John Africa

#JusticeFor: Our People
George Floyd
Breonna Taylor
Ahmaud Arbery
Botham Jean
Tamir Rice
Trayvon Martin
Eric Garner
Philando Castile
Samuel Dubose
Sandra Bland
Walter Scott
Jordan Davis