Change is a’ coming

This website will receive an additional overhaul over the summer to shed outdated blog entries and the influences from my former psychotherapist days, to focus primarily upon education related to mindful food literacy, therapeutic horticulture, and food justice. My language keeps shifting because as I do my own work and witness who is speaking up – and who isn’t, I’m realizing that old identities, roles, and organizations with which I’ve affiliated no longer serve the antiracist cause – which is also my cause, as an ally and also as the mother of a Black daughter.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, as many of my personal and horticultural social media feeds have went back to “normal,” I’m heartened by the protesters that still walk the streets of my current and soon-to-be new cities (Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, respectively). Here’s a list of the progress made, in the past few weeks, courtesy of the Movement for Black Lives:

  • George Floyd’s killer was fired, arrested and charged with 3rd degree murder. Subsequently, the charge was upgraded and the other three cops involved as accomplices were also charged.
  • General consciousness around policing and racism has shifted dramatically, with 54 percent of Americans supporting the protests and the burning down of the police precinct. This makes the burning down of a police station more popular than both Trump and Biden
  • A veto-proof majority in the Minneapolis city council pledged to take steps to disband the Minneapolis Police Department. This would not abolish the police in Minneapolis but is a tremendous opening for the struggle to reduce policing and institute alternatives.
  • The Minneapolis School Board ended their contract with the police, a victory for the wider “Cops out of schools” movement.
  • The University of Minnesota ended its contract with the police.
  • Minneapolis Parks and Recreation ended its contract with the police.
  • The State of Minnesota filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).
  • The mayor of Los Angeles announced that the city’s police budget would be cut by 100-150 million to reinvest it in programs to better conditions for Black residents.
  • Los Angeles put a moratorium on adding individuals to the police gang database.
  • The mayor of New York City announced he would shift an “unspecified” amount of money from the police budget to youth programs.
  • New York City ended the police enforcement of street vendor violations.
  • Louisville temporarily suspended the use of “no-knock” warrants, the kind of warrant that was used by police to kill Breonna Taylor, and took steps toward banning them entirely.
  • Portland, OR public schools decided to end the use of police in schools.
  • Transit unions in at least MinneapolisPittsburghNew York CityChicago, San FranciscoWashington DC, and Boston refused to transport protesters arrested by the police. In Minneapolis, Boston, and Pittsburgh they also refused to transport police.
  • Statues honoring the slave-owner’s reactionary cause, originally raised as a reaction to the Civil Rights movement, have been removed by local governments or direct action in Richmond, VABirminghamMontgomeryAlexandria, VA, and Baltimore.
  • The statue of a slave trader in Bristol, England was tossed into the sea.
  • The mural of notoriously racist cop and mayor Frank Rizzo was removed in Philadelphia.
  • Cracks have developed in the U.S. military, with a growing resistance among soldiers to being deployed to suppress protests.
  • Los Angeles Pride announced that the Pride parade this year would be reinstated as a Black Lives Matter protest.
  • Indianapolis Pride announced it will not have police at Pride events. Cops out of Pride.
  • The cops in Atlanta who assaulted two individuals during protests were charged.
  • Cops in Buffalo who assaulted an elderly man at a protest were arrested.
  • The National Football League made a decision to allow kneeling protests by players.
  • A Denver judge issued a restraining order limiting the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by police at protests.
  • Seattle’s central Labor Council (MLK Labor) threatened to expel the Seattle Police Officers Guild from the body.
  • Mayors in Los AngelesNew York City, and Chicago were all forced to lift curfews while protests continued.
  • Officials from both parties in Congress were forced to announce the initiation of a process to place limitations on the 1033 Program, which funnels military equipment to local police departments.
  • Fuji Bikes suspended the sale of bicycles to police departments.

Stay strong and stay involved, friends. I’m not going anywhere and I see you.