Keep Wayne Wild, as a group of activists working to end natural gas and mineral resource extraction from our earth, stands with Black Queer Intersectional Collective (BQIC) in their statement made 6-2-2020, in regards to organizersand activists in Columbus, Ohio helping police march with protesters.
We condemn any actions of applauding police, marching with police, taking selfies with police, etc. by protesters, particularly white protesters. These acts have happened over the last few weeks in Columbus, Ohio, and all over the country, and they detract from and nullify the voices of Black activists leading the Black Lives Matter movement and all communities working to end policing and police violence.
KWW does not work with or coordinate in any way with police. Just as we do not support coordination with the oil and gas industry while we are trying to end its existence, we would never coordinate with police and support them in any way while working to end policing and police violence. We do not march peacefully in the morning with those that tear gas and pepper spray us at night.
We recognize the violence and harm the police and criminal justice system inflict upon Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and particularly queer and trans members of those communities. We have not forgotten CPD’s violence against countless Black Central Ohioans, including the Black Pride 4.
We also recognize that police coordinate with the fossil fuel industry to target those who fight to protect the air, water, and climate, and that the fossil fuel industry and the climate chaos it causes disproportionately harm BIPOC communities.
Furthermore, we believe that Columbus Police Department (CPD) must be defunded and dismantled, and the money must be reinvested in the community. It is unacceptable that the city is paying for helicopters, tanks, and riot gear to terrorize the people of Columbus while people are sleeping on the street, can’t get the health care they need, or lack other basic necessities.
We also recognize that this may sound impossible to many, but we believe there are feasible alternatives to policing that would truly make our communities safer for everyone. We invite everyone who wishes to see an end to state violence to begin working on transforming our communities. By getting to know our neighbors, caring for one another, prioritizing people over property, and developing skills to address conflict, we can begin eliminating the perceived need for policing in our communities. We are still learning and we hope others will join us in educating ourselves and starting conversations with our families, friends, and neighbors.