Image Credit: Paris Fresh (Twitter)
CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–January 19, 2016 – On Saturday, January 16th, members of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), We Charge Genocide, Assata’s Daughters, Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY), and the #LetUsBreathe Collective, shut down the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union for an hour. BYP100 and fellow organizers linked arms in front of the credit union’s front desk to stop business as usual at a credit union where the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers bank. BYP100 and allied-organizations shut down the credit union to emphasize the millions of dollars wasted on policing that should be spent on programs and policies that keep Black people safe such as: quality education, mental health clinics, affordable housing, and jobs that pay a living wage.
The casualties of the police misconduct of the CPD has cost Chicago taxpayers $521 million dollars over the last decade. “In the wake of a state and city budget crisis, resulting in closed mental health clinics and closed schools, $521 million dollars instead went to settlements, judgements, legal fees, and other expenses. FOP’s advocacy for the Chicago Police Department has helped perpetuate cycles of criminalization that especially plague low-income Black communities.”, says BYP100 National Public Policy Chair, Janae Bonsu.
On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, BYP100 and other organizations a part of the Movement for Black Lives led demonstrations across the country to reclaim King’s radical organizing for economic justice. BYP100 Chicago’s demonstration uplifted King’s overlooked economic justice organizing in Chicago and throughout the country. “King didn’t believe that a country as wealthy as ours should have a homeless or starving population. This country and this city is more invested in dollars for policing and its influence than it is in sustaining its citizens”, said BYP100 Chicago Communications Co-chair, Paris Fresh.
BYP100 also announced the release of their economic justice policy agenda, The Agenda to Build Black Futures on King’s birthday weekend to connect and extend King’s unfinished economic justice work from the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement and how it is still needed today. “The Chicago Freedom Movement essentially held the same tenants 50 years ago – yet the needs are still obviously here. The Agenda To Build Black Futures is updated to include and uplift Women, Queer, and Trans Folks and include them in the message calling for economic justice”, says BYP100 organizer Hannah Brooks. The Agenda to Build Black Futures will be officially released on February 1st on BYP100’s website.
BYP100 is committed to continuing the fight for economic and racial justice through demanding a divestment from the police and an investment in the lives of Black people.
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy and education using a Black queer feminist lens. We are an organization affiliated with the Black Youth Project.
www.byp100.org – @BYP_100 – facebook.com/BYP100
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