RALLY: Communities Not Cops! Divest from Police, Invest in People
Rally outside Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave
Saturday, November 24 at 2:00 pm
This event is taking place in Surrey on the unceded territories of the Kwantlen, Qayqayt, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Semiahmoo, Tsleil-Waututh, Tsawwassen, and Musqueam Nations.
We’re told the police exist to keep our communities safe, but this story falls apart when we consider the day-to-day activities of police officers. They surveil and harass homeless people, arresting them for survival activities like panhandling. They enforce the catastrophic war on drugs, responsible for countless deaths. And they terrorize racialized and Indigenous communities, profiling and brutalizing young people of colour with impunity.
Crime rates are falling in Surrey and across the country, but police budgets continue to expand. The police and their supporters play on Surrey residents’ fears of gang violence to justify funding increases. But the City of Surrey is already home to the largest RCMP detachment in the country, and the proposed municipal police force will be even bigger. This overwhelming police presence does nothing to address the systemic roots of gang involvement: poverty, racism, and drug prohibition. Instead, the cops profile and criminalize youth of colour, making the situation worse.
Massive funding for police comes at the expense of social programs and resources, like community centres and youth programs, which could actually address some of the root causes of violence in our communities. By divesting from the police, we can invest in real community solutions. It is up to us to decide what form those solutions take.
ANTI-POLICE POWER SURREY is new organization that formed to push back against the relentless expansion of police power and call for the City of Surrey to divest from the police and invest in the people. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. Anti-Police Power Surrey is supported by Alliance Against Displacement.