Public Forum | Break the Blue Chains

What: Voices from community struggles to end police violence, social worker control, and the colonial regulation of our bodies
When: Friday September 15, 2017 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where: Surrey Central Library Room 418 (Ambedkar Room, fourth floor) 10350 University Drive, Surrey (next to Surrey Central Skytrain Station)

After decades of neoliberal economics and government austerity policies inequality has reached record levels, characterized most clearly in the record number of people forced into poverty and homelessness. Social housing has been erased from public discourse, income assistance and wages have declined in comparison to ever increasing costs of living, and other social services have been downsized or scrapped altogether, leaving hundreds of thousands of people adrift in the harshly competitive and violent world of market forces.

In place of the social safety net, true to Canada’s practiced settler colonial policies, the state is using police techniques to control, regulate, punish, and displace those surviving outside of private property ownership and the disciplines of capitalist production. Strategies of containment and control are not only evident in the increasing presence (and budgets) of blue uniformed cops, crowded courtrooms, and the prison system swelling with Indigenous and Black people; our lives are also controlled by social agencies, our bodies regulated by powerful medical institutions, while we are killed by gender and sexual violence in or without private intimate spaces.

Can we imagine a world without cops, social workers and gender and sexual violence, where all people have what they need to thrive and where we can form solidarities of care and support for one another? By breaking the blue chains that imprison and invade our bodies and lives, we can build our collective power against these forces of domination and reclaim agency over our lives, homes and communities. These are the issues we want to explore in this community dialogue between grassroots communities, activists, and scholars.

Speakers: 

  • Police violence: Surrey Strip residents

  • Supportive housing and surveillance: Jade Boyd

  • Social worker control: Super InTent City (SIC) Society speaker

  • Regulation of the body and gender/sexual violence: Sugar Mountain Tent City resident

  • Border policing and Canadian anti-Black racism: Lama Mugabo

  • Colonial violence against women and gender non-conforming peoples’ bodies: Natalie Knight

Accessibility information:

  • Refreshments served

  • Free underground parking is available

  • Onsite childcare available

  • There are gendered, wheelchair accessible public washrooms available on each floor and one private, gender-neutral washroom that must be accessed through staff on the main floor

  • UPDATE: ASL interpretation will be provided. A professional interpreter will be working with a student volunteer from Douglas College to provide ASL interpretation. Please contact us if you have any questions!