Why We’re Not Celebrating Chief Anderson

 Guest post by Andrew Krinks

Nashville’s chief of police has garnered praise from a wide spectrum of people for his response to local protests against racist police violence. But celebrating a police chief for refraining from harming protesters and defending our right to “express” our “thoughts” only decenters the real cause for celebration: the growing coalition building power in the movement against white supremacy and economic injustice in Nashville and beyond—a coalition and a movement whose message Chief Anderson has thus far successfully refrained from acknowledging or engaging in any meaningful way. Thus, we see no reason to spend energy celebrating Chief Anderson until he concretely joins us in the struggle to dismantle white supremacy and economic injustice—which would mean significant changes in what policing looks like in our city.

In response to protests nationwide against the murder of black men, women, and children at the hands of white police officers, and against the subsequent non-indictments of those officers, chiefs of police across the U.S. have dealt with demonstrators swiftly and aggressively, in many cases with billy clubs, rubber bullets, tear gas, and jail cells. In responding in such a way to protests against racist police violence, police departments have only reinforced the point the demonstrations have sought to make: policing in the U.S. is inherently violent and inherently racist.

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Photo Gallery: Rally to Stop Executions, September 15

Photography by Luke Myers.

Photo Gallery: Nashville Teach-In, September 13

Photos from the Teach-In on Mass Incarceration and the Death Penalty at the Nashville Public Library, September 13, 2014.  Photography by Luke Myers.

Upcoming Events in Knoxville and Nashville

Knoxville Teach-In on Mass Incarceration

and the Death Penalty

Wednesday, September 10, 7-9pm

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

McClung Tower, Room 1210

UT Knoxville - MASS INCARCERATION TEACH-IN-page-001

Join us for a public event dedicated to a dialogue with university and community members on issues of mass incarceration and capital punishment, regionally and nationally. Speakers will include Stacy Rector, the Executive Director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Andre Canty of Highlander Center and 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville.  This event is part of a series of statewide events by Tennessee Students and Educators for Social Justice as Tennessee, in stark contrast to its abolitionist history, moves forward with a schedule to execute 11 people in the next 16 months, beginning in October.
 
 

Nashville Teach-In on Mass Incarceration and the Death Penalty

Saturday, September 13, 10 am – 4:30 pm

Nashville Public Library, Conference Center

615 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219

Directions and Parking Information

Sept 13 Teach-in Poster

This teach-in will cover a range of issues, including private prisons, the school-to-prison pipeline, capital punishment, post-incarceration re-entry, and the criminalization of race, poverty, immigration status, pregnancy outcomes, and non-normative gender and sexuality.  The day-long event will feature workshops from Nashville community organizations, such as Project Return, ACLU of Tennessee, Open Table Nashville, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Brown Justice Chasers, Magdalene on the Inside, Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and the Children’s Defense Fund.  Co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt Prison Project and Tennessee Students and Educators for Social Justice.  Lunch will be provided (RSVP on our facebook event page, or at tnsocialjustice@gmail.com).  Preview a draft program here.
 

Rally to Stop Executions

Monday, Sept 15, 12 noon – 1pm

Legislative Plaza (corner of 6th and Charlotte)

Nashville, TN

Tennessee Students and Educators for Social Justice will send a delegation to deliver our Open Letter to Governor Haslam, asking him to stop currently-scheduled executions and to conduct a full and transparent review of Tennessee’s death penalty system. If you have not already signed our letter, click here to add your signature.

Come out and support our delegation!  Bring signs to express your views and banners to represent your school, college, community group, or congregation!