Ending the Policing Crisis – heres what weve been working on

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Dear Friend,

From illegal spying to police violence, policing institutions across the country continue to target and oppress Black, Indigenous, racialized, and low-income communities.

For the past few months, the BCCLA team has worked tirelessly to hold police and criminalizing systems accountable for their harmful actions and end the ongoing crisis of policing. Here is what we have been working on since the beginning of 2021.

Solidarity with Migrant Sex Workers

BCCLA is a signatory to Declaration of Support for Migrant Sex Workers from our friends at Butterfly.

If you are horrified and grieving the killing of eight Asian massage parlour workers in Atlanta, you can show support by signing this important Declaration.

Police Act Review and Public Submission

Tomorrow morning, I will be appearing to represent the BCCLA at the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act in British Columbia where we will continue to push for a radical transformation of the scale and scope of policing power. The Committee... is tasked with making recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on reforms to the Police Act in BC. The Act governs policing power in the province.

You can watch tomorrow at 10 a.m. here.

We want to see real change, and it’s going to take a fight. You can join us in this fight. The Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act are now accepting written, audio or video submissions from the public. I invite you to make your own submission. You can participate in the public submission and the deadline is April 30th.

MAKE YOUR SUBMISSION

Ban Street Checks

We are resolute in our ongoing campaign for a complete ban on the racist and illegal practice of street checks, both on the municipal and provincial level.

Earlier this year, together with our partnering organizations, we gave the Vancouver Police Department a failing grade for their first annual Street Check Audit and released our own annotated response.

We have been incredibly troubled by the revelations that the Vancouver Police Board Street Checks Review Committee released a draft of the street check report to the VPD and censored a paragraph about racism and misconduct from the final report. See our letter to the Vancouver Police Board here.

A whole provincial review of the Vancouver Police Board’s role and response to BCCLA and UBCIC’s policy complaint about street checks is now underway.

Suing the RCMP

We are pushing ahead with our lawsuit against RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki for the inexcusable delays preventing the release of a civilian watchdog report into RCMP spying on Indigenous and climate advocates.

There will be a series of updates coming up in April, please stay tuned!

Curbing Police Powers:

  • Cullen Commission: The BCCLA continues our participation at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, which has profound civil liberties and privacy implications, including the potential expansion of unreasonable police search and seizure. You can read our most recent blog post on Cryptocurrencies and virtual assets here.
  • Trespass prevention program: We joined a coalition of organizations in voicing our opposition to the Vancouver Police Department’s Trespass Prevention Program, which expands the powers of police jurisdiction to displace, arrest and gather information about people, especially poor and homeless people, without a call for 911 service.
  • Ban on facial recognition: In light of the recent finding from four privacy commissioners regarding the illegal practices of Clearview AI, We are committed to push pushing for a ban on the use of facial recognition software by all law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

We are a small organization fighting big institutions, and I am grateful to have you on our side in this fight.

Sincerely,

Harsha Walia (she/her)

Executive Director

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