Community Guards: Self-Protection And Peoples’ Autonomy

An interview with the guard leaders of the Peasant, Cimarrona and Indigenous communities about the processes they have implemented since the beginning of the National Strike in Colombia. For them, self-justice goes beyond exercising authority; it means protecting their territory and the lives of those who inhabit their lands.

The National Popular Assembly (NPA) that took place on July 17–19 at the University of Valle, in Cali, was systematically targeted and sabotaged by public forces. But, the intervention of the Cimarrona, Indigenous and farmer community guards and the front-line protesters guaranteed a safe and peaceful space for the meeting.

“Police officers know how to treat others as police officers, a guerrilla as a guerrilla, and the paramilitary as the paramilitary,” said Manuel Correa, “(…) they each have their own ideology, but they are far removed from the cosmovision of the black people.”

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Street Response Effective At Resolving Non-Violent 911 Calls

Portland, Oregon – The first six months of the Portland Street Response pilot project is meeting its lofty expectations, according to a Portland State University (PSU) study released Tuesday.

“Based on the findings… we feel very optimistic about the future of Portland Street Response and believe it is well on its way to becoming a citywide solution to responding to 911 and non-emergency calls involving unhoused people and people experiencing mental health crisis,” reads the report, conducted by PSU’s Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative.

The Portland Street Response (PSR) is an unarmed first responder team comprised of a mental health clinician, firefighter paramedic, and two community health workers who are dispatched to 911 calls regarding mental health crises or issues regarding unhoused people.

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What’s Happening With Nonviolent Cities?

What an exciting time for the Nonviolent Cities Project! For years, Pace e Bene has fostered the vision of communities that promote nonviolence in schools, businesses, cultural events and more. We organize with local cities/towns to implement nonviolent solutions and alternatives to physical violence as well as systemic, structural, cultural and other forms of violence. From Nonviolent Carbondale, Illinois, to Nonviolent Springfield, Massachusetts, groups are working to transform their communities. Here’s what’s happening in this ever-expanding effort.

We’re welcoming new groups in Nonviolent Opelika, Alabama, and Nonviolent Rochester, New York. We’re celebrating inquiries from Salford, in the United Kingdom; Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Lakewood, Ohio; Gresham, Oregon and more.

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Report: Incarceration Destabilizes Neighborhood Economies

A report released by the Maryland Center for Economic Policy suggests decreasing the state’s prison budget will lead to a healthier economy and increased public safety.

The report, released Wednesday, found that Black Marylanders are 4 1/2 times more likely to serve prison sentences than any other racial or ethnic group. Indigenous Maryland residents are twice as likely to be incarcerated than any other racial or ethnic group.

“None of what we’re doing is making any of us safer and it’s most certainly not making those Black communities that are being robbed of human capital ― it’s not making them any safer…

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Connecting Beyond The Height Of Emergency

Three months ago, protests in Minneapolis gave way to a national uprising. Ushering in a new focus on racial justice, the uprisings have challenged the way people relate to one another and how some talk about community safety. Coupled with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the uprisings have forced people to rethink how to protect their communities through strengthening their bonds with one another.

Mutual aid groups and block-level community defense are two ways people shifted beyond traditional American individualism. A climate organizer with TakeAction Minnesota, Magdalena Kaluza said that in the midst of the uprising, neighbors began meeting and planning with each other. For Kaluza and many others, the focus was on protecting people first and foremost.

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