Des Moines Black Liberation Movement centers Black voices, leadership, and ideas. We are not interested in reform; we demand radical, revolutionary change.
Every Black life matters, and our movement will recognize and fight for every Black life. Programs produced and piloted by DSM BLM are geared towards improving upon the living experiences of Black folks in our community. We stand in solidarity with groups working to bring about racial justice across the state of Iowa.
Des Moines Black Liberation Movement works to recognize systemic oppression, eradicate racist structures, and create institutions and processes that support Black livelihood and end white supremacy in the state of Iowa. We want to defund and abolish the police in order to reallocate funding to public services and restore power to the people. We want justice for every BIPOC that has been a victim of white supremacy, state-sanctioned police violence or other injustice. We want racial equity and to hold our elected officials accountable.
We believe that Black Lives Matter. This ideology is inclusive of all Black lives; trans Black lives, Black differently-abled folks, Black mothers, Black folks living in poverty, Black sex workers, Afro-Latinx folks, Black Queer folks, Afro-Indigenous folks, and all other survivors of the African Diaspora. Every Black life matters.
We understand that the history of policing in America is directly intertwined with white supremacy. Policing in the USA originated even before police forces were established. Overseers were some of the first agents to enforce free Black labor. Policing roots also included slave patrols to monitor the movement of Black people and to protect property. Municipal vigilantes who protected the property of northern capitalists.
We find these practices still evident in policing today. Police officers are the agents used to snatch and transport Black people into jails and prisons, continuing the legacy of slavery in this country by forcing them into slave labor in the guise of the prison industrial complex. We understand policing as it stands in this country to be an unnecessary evil that entraps Black folks specifically in a system of modern day slavery. In addition, police enforce segregation and redlining as well as medical apartheid, educational racism through the school to prison pipeline, environmental racism, and all other forms of racist violence. We want to defund and abolish the police.
We see alternatives to policing in this country already happening. We believe in following the lead of other cities across the country in their efforts to defund their local police departments. Our solutions will also come from the Black communities of Greater Des Moines most impacted by police terrorism.
We understand this fight to abolish the Des Moines Police Department did not start and may not end with us. We honor the legacy our ancestors initiated for us centuries ago and we use this as the base of our power. We are committed to dedicating our energy to dismantle institutionalized power systems.