Black Lives Matter — Toronto (BLMTO) is the a “movement to resisting anti-Black racism, state-sanctioned and institutional violence, and fighting for Black Lives.”
According to BLMTO:
We are a coalition of Black community members, students, artists, organizers, activists, and everything in between
We work in solidarity with black communities seeking justice from state-sanctioned violence, including but not limited to: police violence, state policies, community issues, etc.
Black Lives Matter is a movement created in 2012 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. They describe it as a movement and not a moment. “Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.” We adopt this language because to us, the need to acknowledge black lives is global. State-sanctioned violence against black lives is a global phenomenon. Anti-blackness is a global phenomenon. Pervasive anti-black racism is a global phenomenon.
BLMTO has published a document titled “Defund the Police – Demands.”
Defund the Police – Demands
Defund the Police.
Demilitarize the Police.
Disarm the Police.
Dismantle the Police.
The Toronto Police Services (TPS) budget is over $1.1 billion dollars, which is more than public funding allotted to libraries, housing, shelters combined. We believe that Black communities, and all communities, deserve better.
We are working toward the abolition of the police and toward a society where we can all be safe. While this is focused on law enforcement, we are also calling to defund jails, prisons, immigration detention centres, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA).
We are calling for a reinvestment into Black, Indigenous, racialized, impoverished, & other targeted communities.
DEFUND THE POLICE
Immediately redirect a minimum of 50 percent of the $1.1 billion TPS budget toward the communities they have devastated by investing in secure, long-term housing for street-involved and unhoused communities, food security programs, public transit, public health, public libraries, and community-led anti-violence programs.
DEMILITARIZE THE POLICE
End Emergency Task Force (ETF) and Emergency Response Teams (ERT) (similar to the US-based SWAT teams), tactical squads, military grade weapons, and surveillance equipment.
Remove all weaponry from police and other law enforcement, including tasers, batons, firearms, rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, and sound canons.
End the mass surveillance of our communities through the use of technologies such as stingray, facial recognition, and predictive policing technologies, drones, robots, and G20 surveillance technology that remained in Toronto.
REMOVE COPS IN SCHOOLS
Remove police and school resource officers (SROs) in all schools (Public, Catholic, Private, and Post-Secondary) in Toronto.
Remove police and school resource officers (SROs) in all schools, at all levels, across Canada.
REDUCE SCOPE OF POLICE
End all special constable programs and all policing on campuses.
End the policing of public transportation.
End the policing of minor bylaw infractions and noise complaints.
End paid-duty policing program (officers for hire by developers, street festivals, etc.).
End police collaboration with the CBSA.
Eliminate all stealth police cars and plainclothes operations.
Eliminate community policing patrols in highly racialized communities.
DOCUMENT POLICE VIOLENCE
Mandate the public collection of data regarding police killing, and incidents of police brutality for all local, regional, provincial, and Federal police or law enforcement agency disaggregated by race, gender, age and citizenship.
DECRIMINALIZE POVERTY, DRUGS, HIV & SEX WORK
Release and expunge record for all poverty-related charges (including bylaw infractions, solicitation, sleeping outside, public urination, loitering, solicitation).
Decriminalize drugs, sex work, and HIV status.
Release and expunge records of all drug-related and sex work charges.
Create Crisis Intervention and Mad co-lead support teams; work with communities to develop models that work for them.
Create police-free, community-led, trauma-informed emergency service for mental health/psychiatric distress and other forms of crisis.
Invest in community support for shelters, drop-ins, after-school programming in low-income, Black, and Indigenous neighborhoods.
Create restorative services, mental health services, and community-run health centres
Invest in harm reduction, including safe supply, safe injection/inhalation sites, and harm-reduction outreach workers.
Establish a community-based and trauma-informed emergency service for people who have experienced gender-based violence.
Implement of civilian transportation safety service and better/safer road infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit
Create a civilian conflict resolution resolution service to replace policing of minor bylaw infractions/noise complaints
Provide permanent, secure housing options for all people who need housing.