Reduce police budget, reinstate arts budget, a call for positive action
In light of the police's unhelpful and unacceptable actions this weekend we call for a new funding equation. No increase to the police budget for FY21 and restore funding to the arts budget. Artblog will publish statements about issues of justice, the police, racism, and the future by those who would like to speak out, giving priority to Black voices.

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Hundreds of protestors on steps outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Protestors for Justice for George Floyd at the Philadelphia Art Museum on Saturday, June 30, 2020. Courtesy Mark Strandquist http://www.nomovement.com/

Our hearts are heavy, and our heads are focused on taking positive action. We are sickened by our country’s leaders and their unwillingness to recognize our racist past and take action to redress centuries of racism. We are ashamed especially of Philadelphia’s Police, who over the weekend have escalated violence against protestors when they should have taken a knee with them and begun to carve a new path forward (See Camden’s example). Instead of protecting them, allowing them to protest, showing solidarity, the police continued with the same institutional response of confrontation, violence, and escalation.

Despite having several mayors and police commissioners since the horrific MOVE bombing in 1985, Philadelphia has shown, once again, its failure to learn that Black Lives Matter, and that throwing money towards Police will not correct, but rather will escalate, the problem of institutional racism.

We are ashamed that during this same moment the Philadelphia Police are being gifted a 14% increase (nearly $12M) in Mayor Kenney’s proposed FY21 budget, while 100% of funding for the OACCE & PCF is zeroed out. Increased funding for policing and axing funding for the African American Museum and small, grassroots organizations, many of which are owned and/or operated by Black people, POC, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, is wrong.

What can we do individually and as a community?

We encourage you to:

  • Donate to Philly Bail Fund & Minnesota Freedom Fund to support arrested protestors.
  • Register to speak in the June 9th Budget hearing by emailing budget.hearings@phila.gov by 3 p.m. on the day before that Council session- (numbers 200285, 200286, 200287, 200288, 200289, and 200291 to speak against the Police budget increase; 200287 and 200307 to speak against the defunding of the OACCE & PCF)
  • Donate to missing protestors, e.g. Find Justin Cosby – a 19 year old that was missing for over 30 hours after last seen being taken away by the cops in Chicago.
  • Donate to and support decarceration organizations like The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) and Decarcerate PA.
  • If you are white, keep the conversation focused on saving Black lives, not your personal opinion on looting or destruction. (check out “In Defense of Looting” on The New Inquiry)
  • Support Black voices.
  • Support black owned businesses, during Coronavirus, during the protests, and always.

Artblog is committed to using our platform to elevate unheard voices at this time, as it always has in the past. If you would like to commit your words about issues of justice, the police, racism and the future, for publication on Artblog, email your statement of 250-300 words to support@theartblog.org. Be a part of the public record of this time and place that we are creating and that will be forever part of our archive. Priority to Black voices.

Tags

african american museum, Budget, community, confrontation, decarceration, Donate, escalation, FY21, grassroots organizations, LGBTQIA, mayor kenney, Minnesota Freedom Fund, MOVE, oacce, PCF, Philadelphia Police, Philly Bail Fund, POC, protestors, The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project, violence, YASP

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