Damon Williams, 23, on Freedom Square

Damon Williams.jpg

Every day we talk about freedom, about creating a world without police and what that means. We’re trying to build systems and protocols and practices of how to engage with each other in more loving and less violent ways. We want to figure out new ways to deal with harm and to prevent harm, because we want a world without police. But in order to make that happen, we have to be unified and we have to have solutions on how we deal with violence and harm. We need to be less violent.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we, as in black people, are the source of the violence. Black people are the victims of structural and militaristic violence that far exceeds what you hear in a drill song. I want to make sure that that narrative is not being reinforced — that we’re the violent ones.

The effect of the trauma of being tortured, of having our schools and jobs taken away for generations, of cheap guns and drugs being continuously funneled into our community with such high efficiency—that creates real trauma and real pain and as a result we’ve also internalized the harm of this society and inflicted it within our community.

So we have to figure out real solutions to how to deal with each other in more harmonious ways, because we want to get rid of this militaristic, white supremacist, racist, sexist occupation of police that’s been happening in America for the last 200 years.

We’re just continuing the struggle of the Black Power and Civil Rights movements and the leftist radical movements of the 1920s. That means addressing and being honest in a way that America is not about what this society is and working towards organizing people in the name of power to change what’s going on.

Policing and state sanctioned militarism and violence is an entry point, but it’s not just about cops. It’s not about good cops and bad cops. It’s not just about police killings. This is about the entire system, this is about banking, this is about the dollar, it’s about our two- party system.

Basically every institution works together to uphold a status quo that is drenched in racist, violent history. We’re trying to be intersectional and as widespread as possible, but also trying to have specific focuses that are tangible in order to create a liberated society for black people, and in turn, for everybody. We’re trying to create a new, better world. We’re not just yelling.

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