As part of Avalon Sexual Assault Centre’s commitment to addressing legacies of racism and white supremacy – including within our own organization – we are joining today with Anti-Racist organizations calling for the defunding of police services and reinvestment of funds to community organizations that promote social and racial justice.
As Educators, Nurses, Counsellors, and Advocates, working on the frontlines of sexualized violence prevention and intervention, we know that public safety is of extreme importance, and we urge HRM, as well as Provincial and Federal governments, to re-invest police funding into a model of public safety that supports our communities. Community-based core services are essential to creating safety and combating the anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and racist violence that is prevalent here in our communities, across the country, and around the world. We ask that decisions on how tax-payer money is spent reflect the needs of our communities and our responsibility to address racism, white supremacy, violence, and oppression.
We have made publicly available our letter to Mayor Mike Savage, Justice Minister Mark Furey, and Halifax Member of Parliament Andy Fillmore. It calls for:
- Disarming and defunding local, provincial, and national police services
- Financially investing in community-based Anti-Racist groups and organizations
- Immediately dropping the charges against Santina Rao, who is a survivor of racist police brutality in HRM witnessed by her young children
- Revitalizing the Mayor’s Roundtable on Violence and engaging communities in developing and implementing recommendations specific to protecting the safety of BIPOC communities
We have also posted a general version of the letter that others may use to join this call for our systems’ and organizations’ policies, practices, and structures to advance greater inclusion, equity, and justice.