BCBF Statement on #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd NYC Bail Outs
In less than 24 hours, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund has received an outpouring of donations from individuals around the world to pay bail for demonstrators demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all victims of our violent and racist police state. We will honor these commitments. Given the sheer amount of support, at this time we ask that further donations be directed elsewhere to support the ongoing struggle for liberation, racial justice, and equity.
Since 2015, we have been fighting to abolish state-sanctioned systems of oppression that systemically criminalize, surveil, and incarcerate Black, brown, low-income and immigrant communities. From 2015–2019, we paid bail to free 5,000 people from pretrial detention, and in the past 18 months we’ve paid bond to free over 460 immigrants from ICE detention. We decided at the end of 2019 to cease operating as a revolving bail fund in the criminal legal space because we did not want to prop up a system we are seeking to dismantle, but we knew we would remain committed to bail payment initiatives that strategically support lasting systems change. Given the urgency of the moment, we are doing just that:
- We are committed to liberating those arrested in current demonstrations against police violence and will coordinate our intervention with community members, grassroots organizations, other bail funds, and public defenders.
- We would also like to lift up Free Them All For Public Health, the group in New York City specifically set up to support bail for demonstrators.
- We will direct assistance to other bail and bond funds across the country that need support fighting for liberation.
- We will partner with allies to fight for transformative, lasting social change through ongoing advocacy and policy work.
Policing, prosecution, and the prison industrial complex are killing people and have traumatized many more. It’s undeniable that these systems cannot be reformed or reimagined. They are designed to reinforce and perpetuate oppression, racism, violence, and death. Body cameras and de-escalation training won’t solve the problem. Supervised release and electronic shackles won’t solve the problem. Paying bond or bail won’t solve the problem. But these oppressive systems can be abolished. Now is the time to push for the future we want to see — one rooted in true community investment, care, and equity.
As an organization committed to liberation and the abolition of deeply violent, racist and oppressive systems, we believe in the power of community bail funds to catalyze and effectuate change. Our fight to dismantle the prison industrial complex includes freeing immigrants from the horrific conditions of ICE detention, working to end pretrial detention in New York, and strategically paying bail in cases where we believe it will have maximum impact toward systems change. We will continue fighting for and with the people and the communities who have been brutalized for decades by the criminal legal and immigration systems; both deeply intertwined and built to criminalize, oppress and incarcerate Black and brown communities.