Statement on the ongoing civil unrest in the wake of the murder of George Floyd
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, and countless other Black lives murdered by the state, the United States and Nassau County have witnessed a multi-racial mass movement of people in the streets--unified behind the idea that Black Lives Matter, appalled by state violence stemming from systeic issues within a racist police system, and demanding immediate and long-term changes.
Nassau County DSA stands in solidarity with this movement and has been actively in the streets. We believe that racism and capitalism exacerbate each other and must be fought in equal measure. We immediately demand the following:
No cop money. Elected officials must be accountable to the people they represent, not to profiteers and the police state. Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities on Long Island have been segregated and shut out from the political process, while police have become a reactionary constituency with a stranglehold on local politics. You cannot claim to represent the interests of working people while taking money from police unions and their supporters who oppose the necessary changes being demanded in this moment.
Defund the police. Re-invest money into services and goods that actually work toward eradicating poverty and inequality: health care, housing, education, and guaranteed jobs for all. Further, we support programs specifically for Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities who have suffered discrimination and police violence throughout the history of Nassau County and the United States.
Demilitarize the police. Local police departments should not be domestic occupying forces. The level of military weaponry and equipment (itself a surplus from wars abroad) are not only disturbing but a waste of money, as is the so-called "War on Drugs."
Our vision is a world in which state violence manifested through institutions such as prisons, policing, and the military are no longer used to enforce and maintain the hegemony of racism and capitalism.
Immediate Actionable Demands
Complete ban on evictions until at least after the pandemic ends
Universal rent cancellation during the pandemic
Pass the Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act
No Cop Money: End Bribes from Police to Elected Officials
Our elected officials are supposed to represent the people. We cannot expect politicians to remain impartial when receiving donations amounting to thousands of dollars from police.
All elected officials must refuse to accept any new donations from law enforcement and correctional officers.
All elected officials who have taken cop money should donate it to bail funds or mutual aid programs.
Defund and Demilitarize The Police
In order to abolish the police, we have to move away from a system of police violence that works to only maintain economic and political order.
Use divestments from police budgets to invest in community health (including mental health), education, affordable housing & living wage jobs.
Do not rehire police who have records of misconduct .
Get police, ICE, military recruiters, and metal detectors out of schools and off university campuses, and eradicate systems where schools become pipelines to prison and the military
Demand settlements against cops are paid from the police budget.
Abolish ICE. Get ICE out of Nassau and grant full immediate citizenship status for all immigrants.
End brutal military assaults around the world and end the American military empire.
Take away weapons, machinery, and end programs such as the “deadly exchange”+
Use Divestments from Police to Invest in Community Resources and Socially Beneficial Institutions
As we push for policy reform, we call for divestments from systems that harm our communities, like the police. We demand that money be spent on community systems that support the people and ensure housing, food, and living wage jobs for all. We must reallocate power and resources back to the people to help our communities thrive.
The full funding and expansion of public housing, combined with the decommodification of housing
On Long Island specifically: invest in Community Land Trusts (CLTs), establish government Community Land Trusts that buy blighted stock/zombie homes and permanently remove them from the market
Impose punitive vacancy taxes (to incentivise sales of zombie homes to CLTs)
A Zip Code should not determine one's quality of education and livelihood
Non geographic, equal funding for schools
Passage of Medicare for All on the Federal level and the NY Health Act on the state level
Decarcerate Our World
Having an abolitionist framework demands that we find ways to actively decarcerate our surroundings, and free as many people from prison as possible. We also need to create alternative systems for communities to have local control and be sustainable.
End the war on drugs:
Legalize marijuana and federally decriminalize all drug use
Treat the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics like a public health emergency.
Have programs that treat drug addiction instead of criminalize it.
Release all individuals incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses like simple possession and expunge their records. Pay reparations to individuals who were incarcerated or had property seized due to marijuana related offenses.
Decriminalize sex work
Federal Jobs Guarantee
Ban hiring discrimination based on criminal records
Community Control of Resources:
Participatory Budgeting (PB):
Establish community control boards to oversee the divestment of police funding and reinvestment
We demand that workers own the means of production and distribution as worker cooperatives are the best way to achieve worker ownership.