Content Warning: Police violence, racism
Just two days after the senseless murder of George Floyd in the US, Regis Korchinski-Paquet – an Afro-Indigenous Canadian woman, fell to her death off her 24th floor balcony in Toronto, shortly after the police were called to “observe” her. One week later, this time in New Brunswick, Chantal Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous mother from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, was killed by police during a “wellness check”.
Police brutality and unchecked violence is a problem here, too. And despite decades of public education, advocacy, lobbying, lawsuits and protests, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous police brutality continues without much consequence.
There is no official record in Canada of the number of people killed during encounters with police. Nor do police across the country track national data based on race or ethnicity – the information that would help identify and eliminate racism in law enforcement is conveniently missing. But an independent study has shown that Black, Indigenous and other racialized people, are at much greater risk of dying from police brutality in this country.
As protests erupt around the world in response to George Floyd’s murder, Canada must confront the reality of its own history, steeped in racial violence and inequality. Ongoing systemic bias and racism is baked into a country founded on the violent dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their land to secure unfettered access for white settlers, and 200 hundred years of the violent enslaving of Black people.
“To be Black in Canada is to live in slavery’s ‘afterlife’ and to have one’s existence demarcated by ‘skewed life chances, limited access to health and education, premature death, incarceration, and impoverishment.”– Robyn Maynard, Policing Black Lives: State Violence from Slavery to the Present
The environmental community will not stay silent in the face of systemic injustice. We must act and speak in solidarity with the Black communities and the movement for BIPOC lives. Fighting for a green and peaceful future includes speaking out against the unjust, racist, and systemic violence Black and Indigenous people face every day in Canada, especially when it’s at the hands of the police. Being silent is not an option.
At Greenpeace, we know that we cannot have a green and peaceful planet without justice — climate justice, economic justice, and racial justice.
We support the Movement for Black Lives policy platform, which includes a future without jails, detention centers, youth facilities and prisons. We also support the call for accountability by families of the slain, who are demanding that as long as we are forced to have prisons, police officers who murder should be in them.
We speak out because enough is enough — no more Indigenous and Black lives lost.
Join Black and Indigenous groups in Canada in their calls to defund police violence and invest in healthy, peaceful communities instead.
Write to your Mayor, City Councillor, Provincial and Federal representatives and ask them to defund the police:
- Calgary Defund Police Budget
- Edmonton Defund Police Budget
- Halifax: drop charges on Santina Rao & Defund Police Budget
- Hamilton Defund Police Budget
- Montreal Defund Police Budget (EN/FR)
- Ottawa Defund Police Budget
- RE: Racisme systémique au Québec – Letter to welcome the City of Montreal’s initiative in mandating an inquiry into systemic racism and bias in the SPVM police force (EN/FR)
- Saskatoon Defund Police Budget
- Toronto Police Budget
- Vancouver Police Department Budget
- Winnipeg Defund Police Budget
Don’t see your town or city listed? Here is a general document with information about how to email your mayor.
Is there a call to action missing from the list? Put in the comments and we’ll add it in!
No justice. No peace. #BlackLivesMatter
Defund the Police
Do away with Indian act racial policy and restore us our indigenous sovereignty ASAP no more delays.
not these ones, all political
Stop police violence and impunity. Respect minorities human rights!
I'm not so sure that defunding the police will stop the violence against individual suspects but I do think that replacing police power with some sort of compassion would go a long way to transforming the way policing is carried out. Sure, there are hard core criminals that need to be stopped from carrying out their acts of violence, but we too often hear of individuals being murdered when a simple reprimand might have been more appropriate and effective. . There maey be times when Police Power is appropriate, but I expect that Policing would be more accepted if there were more acts of compassion.
Do you know who has written these letters? I have a question about the letter in Hamilton specifically.
Hi Julia, we amplified these calls to action from a document circulated in May 2020, which has contact information embedded: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/10dJi_nwNcWcO0tyYSsJbzTa6hsdvrk_b9sJKPX5o7R8/mobilebasic
Racial injustice is real...It is a major problem in Canada as well. Things have to change, I am no longer going to be quite. The Government needs to make this a main concern. Please teach our children in mid school. Black History should be a mandatory course. We need to reach our children before their minds can be corrupt, and reteach what they may have already learned at home or from peers. This is not going away...and it shoudn't until every person can say and believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER!!
I feel it’s time for our police, RCMP and sheriffs to be screened before they are hired . What is their views on racism and metal health? Are they angry people? They should be educated and have compassion about people and what they have gone through. So they can understand the pain they are living with. This way they can treat people with respect and dignity. The police department should be trained how to handle situations in a positive and loving way. All human beings regardless of color, race, religious believes, or mental health should be treated kindly and with compassion. Send them to back to school and let them learn what it is like to be treated like an animal , to live in fear and in pain just for being themselves. We are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated with respect . Stop the violence, stop the bashing between black and white. We are all in this together. When one of us gets hurt we all get hurt . It affects the whole human race. Choose kindness and love . Let’s support each other and make a positive changes . I feel it should start in our education systems in our schools and in the education and training systems with our police departments.
I can’t stand with police who kill POC for no reason. Native, as it just happened days ago
Im sad, I always thought Canada was this very accepting country. All of us were once immigrants; whether Europe, Russia, India, Africa, South America etc. We need to make it a practise everyday to be accepting and non judgemental. Try to go through your day without a negative, critical thought? We all need to have a close look at ourselves. We can never stop trying to better ourselves.
PLEASE take action for Black and Indigenous lives in Canada. Black and Indigenous lives matter. Do the right thing. Thank you kindly. Heart and Soul, Dany Emozione.
Police forces have lost credibility in fairness to minority issues. They cannot defend recent cases of systematic racism. Their credibility has slipped beyond repair. We don't want racist police forces. Nor can they be trained for duties they DON'T UNDERSTAND. Not unlike expecting a Catholic to become a Protestant. No, no, no. Our police forces are obsolete, indefensible, unwilling to police fairly, UNTRAINABLE!
Budget for Peel Police (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon)?
No justice! No piece!
Defund the police
Defund the police
As a Canadian Caucasian man of great privilege, I'm horrified by the actions the Toronto Police, Halton Regional police, OPP, RCMP, CSIS, etc. Even though I'm just a pilot, I will do my very best to advocate for police reforms and defunding their bloated budget. Black Lives Matter!