In the midst of powerful uprisings across the country in defense of Black lives lost to police murders and vigilante violence, the time to reimagine safety and practice solidarity is now. One way we can act today to stop killing Black people is to stop calling the police, and to make sure our loved ones stop too. We’ve asked our community to pledge to stop calling the cops, and created a support tool for you to use when talking to your family about this issue.
But we know the work does not stop there, nor is it that simple. This is an ongoing process of education, discussion, and action. It requires us to be thoughtful problem-solvers, engaging with big ideas and concrete actions. There’s no expectation that it’ll be perfect the first time – this is an adventure in reimagining the way we think about safety.
The 18MR team put together a list of resources for you. Whether you’re dealing with difficult “what ifs” about different kinds of crime or ready to jump in and start making your household or family safety plan, there’s a little bit of everything.
This list is an introduction to this work, and by no means a comprehensive list of resources. We know that this marks the beginning of a longer process of learning and unlearning. Our goal with this list is to help find alternative ways to keep ourselves and our families safe without calling the police.
How Can We Stay Safe Without the Police?
Use the resources below to make a safety plan and learn how to avoid calling the police. There are a lot of reasons people may think they need police. Safety plans are tools that map out different “what if” scenarios and emergencies, and identify what actions are needed to be safe.
You might also want to map your “pod,” or the group of people you call on in difficult situations to support you, and have intentional conversations with them about some of these materials.
- To start, learn about the how and why of mapping your pod.
- Try out Buoy: a community-based crisis response app to help you organize your folks.
- MadQueer/Elliot Fukui put together a toolkit for pod planning with your housemates or family, with a pandemic response frame.
- Here are 5 ways to help someone in a mental health emergency without calling the police.
- This zine has 12 quick tips for how to respond to common scenarios that don’t involve calling the cops.
- We’re proud to co-sponsor Hollaback’s free Bystander Intervention trainings for Asian Americans to stop racist and xenophobic harassment.
How Does Policing Harm Us?
We’re told that the police are here to help us and keep us safe, but they actually make things worse. Use these resources to learn more about why activists and communities are seeking alternatives to policing.
- MPD150, a Minneapolis-based effort to end policing in the city, has created a zine that explains the basics about what “prison abolition” means.
- In this 5-min video, community organizer Kamau Walton responds to the question “What’s Wrong with Community Control of the Police?”
- Take a look at 6 practical, real life alternatives to our current police system from around the world.
- Learn the basics of a Restorative Justice approach to repairing harm caused by crime.
- How do we prevent and stop violence and harm without creating more violence and harm? Learn about the power of Transformative Justice in this 10-min video.