Melanie Brazzell: We keep us safe – the transformative justice movement

Roar Magazine, May 28, 2021

As calls for abolition grow louder, the queer and women of color-led movement for transformative justice offers a glimpse of a future beyond policing.

In the early days of the Black Lives Matter uprisings, the sight of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police station in flames was something many had never before imagined. It kindled with it a vision also previously unimaginable for most: the abolition of policing itself.

In the months since, many of the newly abolition-curious have wondered who to turn to instead of the police. Abolition inserts a question between the moment of crisis and the choice to dial 911. In that gap, whole new worlds leap into view — lives without police violence — but they often feel hard to reach or resource.

The answer can be found in the wisdom of communities of color, who for generations have had to create safety for themselves without police or other state institutions. The whirlwind moment of this past summer — the largest movement for social and racial justice in US history — has propelled the twinned futures of abolition and transformative justice into the mainstream.

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