‘Defund the police’ has emerged as a key demand of the mass Black Lives Matter mobilisations continuing across the United States. Around the world, solidarity demonstrations have taken up this call in their own contexts, demanding that funding and state capacity be withdrawn from criminal justice infrastructure, and instead used to meet their communities’ needs.
This panel considers what this campaign means for policing in the UK context. Participants will discuss how policing in the UK operates, what current campaign demands are coming from community activists, and what a future in which communities are invested in, rather than policed, might look like. Discussions will be informed by campaigners who work on police violence and the manifestation of policing and state racism in health, peace and criminalised work.
Victoria is a board member for SWARM (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement) and a PhD student researching sex worker's experiences of domestic violence.
Sonia is an NHS doctor and campaigner from Docs Not Cops, a group fighting xenophobia and racism for bringing borders to the NHS & restricting access to healthcare.
Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper is a researcher in policing and criminalisation at Greenwich University and a board member of the Monitoring Group, an organisation fighting state racisms and racial violence.