“Queer and trans youth understand that reporting sexualized violence is not a safe option for them because they feel, and rightfully so, that they will not be believed and that their cases will not be understood within the current legal system.” Carmel Farahbakhsh of the Youth Project addresses the Subcommittee to Define Defunding the Police.

Martha Paynter in her submission to the Define Defunding the Police working group on behalf of Wellness Within: “Defunding requires changing how we think about security. It means removing these responsibilities from police and returning them to government and community resources offered by individuals trained in supporting our most vulnerable. Defunding should respond to the needs of the community and could look like support for local safe injection sites, sobering centres, restorative justice programs, and mental health crisis teams.”

Yesterday afternoon Dr. Jamie Livingston presented to the members of the Subcommittee to Define Defunding the Police. ” I believe that the majority of crisis calls in Halifax can and should be diverted to non-police-involved teams, ideally led by trained peer support workers since health professionals possess coercive powers that may replicate police-like approaches.”

Pro-Palestinian activists in Halifax feel pressured to remain silent about Israeli apartheid and suppression of Palestinians in Palestine. Here in Nova Scotia this manifests in the form of intimidating threats they experience while going about their daily business in the city. It is also exemplified in the overly aggressive policing during the Nakba Day car rally last week.

Halifax Police chief Dan Kinsella owes an apology to the pro-Palestine drivers and their passengers at the Free Palestine COVID Safe Car Rally which gathered at the Saint Mary’s University parking lots on Saturday. The thousands of dollars of tickets (fines of up to $2,000 per person) that police issued must be shredded. And the one man (at least) who was handcuffed and arrested has suffered humiliation, injury to his self-worth, and a profound violation to his personal freedom. He deserves much more than a “sorry”.

Stephen Wentzell on the injunction banning protests during the current lockdown: “This is a slippery slope that we as Nova Scotians should pause and reflect on. And as we have seen before, when given the powers police will disproportionately focus on poor and/or racialized people.”

Judy Haiven takes a close look at the human rights tribunal that found Halifax police discriminated against a Black man who was ticketed for jaywalking on Gottingen Street. “We cannot treat the police force in Halifax as though it has a few bad apples. We cannot assume that racism within the police — or any institution — is the exception,” she writes.