A year ago, 52nd Street was teargassed by police. Now we’re fighting back.
"This is why lawyers from the Stern Community Lawyering Clinic at Drexel University’s law school and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, along with community members, organized an appeal to the U.N. This winter we submitted a letter of allegation to U.N. experts documenting Philadelphia’s human-rights violations in response to the unrest during the summer of 2020. The letter requested that the U.N. initiate a formal investigation, which it did in January of this year.
Penn and Drexel Must Fund Communities Not Cops
"Last year forced the city to its knees, proving that the enabling of wealthy tax-exempt institutions to exploit working-class Philadelphians can no longer stand. As stakeholders, we marched, petitioned, testified and campaigned for Penn and Drexel to transform the way they do business but we have seen no substantive changes to date. We are here to say that your symbolic gestures and empty statements of solidarity aren’t enough. We are restating our demands to let you know that we won’t stop fighting for accountability until your administrations take the action required to transform this unethical relationship."
Kenney and Outlaw’s failures, outlined in recent report, give Philadelphians more reasons not to trust police
"The controller’s report can and should reignite civilian demands for community control of policing, and accountability for state violence like deployed tear gas. Our mayor’s passive green light of chemical agents associated with human rights violations and lack of leadership since, alongside questionable budget choices from City Council, has not met a demand of this moment: defund the police and redirect the money to community needs."
The Buck Stops with Kenny
"Just as we were wondering how many times state-sanctioned terror needed to be retold for someone to be held accountable, the Mayor released his investigation on the matter. The Inquirer Editorial Board aptly described it as a “crime scene with no fingerprints.” Finally, the Controller report is clear: the buck stops with Mayor Jim Kenny."
WHEN WE ORGANIZE, WE WIN!
"Today Penn announced that it would pay $10 million a year for the next 10 years to the School District of Philadelphia. [Although the fight for a true PILOTs agreement isn't over]. We should celebrate this historic agreement, which would not have been possible without the relentless work of heightened direct action and media attention. During a nationwide reckoning with white supremacy, we stood up to our institutions and made them understand that funding our public schools is a matter of racial justice."
Penn Museum teaches white supremacy when they use the bodies of Black Philadelphians as props
On May 14, 2021, Penn Community for Justice member Rachel Abbott wrote a letter to the editor about her experience as a Penn student working at the Penn Museum in 2021. In this Medium article find the uncut version of her story.
"Ultimately, by using the bodies of Black Philadelphians as an “educational” tool, the only thing Penn is teaching is white supremacy. Teaching students like me that the bodies of Black Philadelphians are just there for their academic consumption and titillation, while the families continue to suffer, tells students that their own amusement is far more important than the dignity and rights of the Black community in Philadelphia. Just as Samuel Morton’s “scientific” discoveries were shown long ago to be completely devoid of any meaning beyond upholding white supremacy, I believe so will the use of these children’s remains as educational tools."
Missing the Call to Action
"As a member of the Community Advisory Accountability Council for the Controller’s report who supports calls to hold our mayor and police commissioner accountable, I ask, what happens when we get these toxic leaders out of office? While the investigating firms, Ballard Spahr and At Risk International, focused on failed leadership as the ultimate culprit for the city’s poor response, the Call to Action directly influenced by the Community Council, focuses on solutions that address the failure of policing itself."
DEFUNDING POLICE WOULD BE THE FIRST STEP IN BUILDING A CITY WHERE WALTER WALLACE JR. WOULD HAVE SURVIVED
"We know that reform isn’t enough. Experience has shown Philadelphia that shoring up law and order by padding police budgets for more training and “less lethal” weapons will not fix the deep-seated problems we face. This can only be done by breaking down these systems and reimagining public safety rooted in community care. We have to keep pressure up on city officials and private institutions to fund a world rich in social services so we can rebuild after the burning stops."
PENN MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE TO PHILLY'S BLACK COMMUNITIES
"The University of Pennsylvania is proud of its history as the first university in the United States. Penn also hosted the first student union and had the first female president of an Ivy League institution. However, Penn also has the second-largest private university police force in the country and is rapidly ceding the opportunity to be on the right side of history when it comes to the current movement for racial justice and ending police violence."
PENN COMMUNITY FOR JUSTICE MISSION, VALUES, & DEMANDS
"Penn Community for Justice (PCJ) provides a platform for Penn and Philadelphia community members who are committed to direct action to organize for racial and economic justice, and an equitable redistribution of Penn’s hoarded wealth and influence."