NARN Supports the Movement to Defund the Police
In light of the recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and indeed the violence that continues to happen all over this country, the NARN Board of Directors expresses our unequivocal support for the movements to #DefundthePolice. Defunding the police does not necessarily mean abolishing all police, but it does mean a significant reallocation of resources. To learn more about what exactly defunding the police means, please check out the resources : here and here.
We support defunding the police because the police, and indeed law enforcement in general, is there to uphold the status quo. Furthermore, law enforcement in the U.S. started with slave patrols, and later derivations were tasked with controlling the lower classes. This is not about “good cops” or “bad cops,” but about an institution that is designed to allow the “bad cops” to thrive. There are endless examples of police officers who have committed violence and violated individuals’ civil rights but who were allowed to stay on the job or simply get a job in another police department. And let’s not forget that old saying, “One bad apple spoils the barrel.” The police, at their core, are antithetical to progress and the fight against institutions as powerful as animal agriculture. Despite what numerous TV shows have told you, the police work to maintain systems of power.
Activism—including animal rights activism—is all about disrupting the status quo. Animal rights proponents throughout history have experienced police backlash when we have engaged in activism. To cite just a few examples: Members of the Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC) were targeted law enforcement because their work challenged the profits of the industries engaged in animal testing, and animal agriculture was worried they’d be next. Police departments across the country have ignored the threat posed by far right groups and instead targeted more “left-leaning” groups. Closer to home, Seattle activists have been stalked by members of the Everett police department simply for being engaged in animal rights activism and have been intimidated by Seattle police officers while they were handing out anti-fur leaflets outside of Nordstrom, while others have been fined and cited by the Kirkland police department for protesting against animal research on a public street. This is just a short list. To read more about how law enforcement has targeted activists, please see the work of Will Potter and his Green Is the New Red blog. In sum, law enforcement is not the friend of animal rights activists, because again, the police are tasked with protecting those in power, and squashing anyone who dares to challenge the systems of power.
As activists, our mission is to change this world for the better, and we are driven by our desire for justice. We believe in justice for all because we can’t leave anyone behind if we truly want a more just and equitable world. Nonhuman animals will never be given any serious consideration while human animals are fighting for their very lives. Most important, the NARN Board of Directors advocates for defunding the police because it’s the right thing to do. We cannot be silent while any sentient beings experience violence at the hands of those in power. We must do better.