I find it baffling that the same organization which investigates murders also spends their time directing traffic. Others find this problematic too. Thanks to the strong efforts of Black Lives Matter over the past years (and in Canada let’s not forget Idle No More) calls to defund the police by reallocating funding to services which help people have grown substantially. Many cities are noticing vast improvements in their communities once they change which departments they fund, and now Ithaca is looking to do the same. The approach that Ithaca is taking may be one of the most noteworthy yet.
“IPD currently spends one third of its time responding to calls for service that essentially never lead to arrests,” Myrick writes in the report’s introduction. “Those calls, as well as a majority of patrol activity, can and should be handled by unarmed Community Solution Workers well trained in de-escalation and service delivery. This will allow our new Public Safety Workers to focus on preventing, interrupting and solving serious crime.”
Now, he’s investing his political capital in a plan that would remove armed officers from most civilian interactions, which he said should free those who remain to fully investigate and solve serious crimes. “The investigators are going to be focused on the shooting last Tuesday, they will have nothing on their plate except finding that gun, finding that shooter and taking them off the street,” he said. “They won’t be pulled away from that work by a motor vehicle crash on 3rd Street or a welfare check on Madison.”
Nations around the world have been putting more and more environmental protection laws on the books. This has been good to see. However, with many new things it takes awhile for people to get used to them, accordingly the enforcement of these laws has been lax. This means that if want to stop corporations from causing massive environmental we need to actually enforce the law, thankfully this is easier than it might sound.
“It really is something that all countries share,” Carl Bruch, the director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute and one of the authors of the report, said in a phone interview. “We do have a lot of environmental laws that are on that books that could be so much more effective if they were actually fully implemented.”
On the justice front, sometimes a lack of proper training and education for judges can disrupt the systems in place to enforce environmental law. In Ecuador, for example, a non-government organization sued to prevent a pine tree plantation from being erected in a native grassland ecosystem. But the judge, unaware of Ecuador’s constitutional provisions that allow anybody to bring forward a suit in protection of the environment, dismissed the case and allowed the plantation to be built, the UN report noted.
System Change wants to protect the environment by systems thinking. Change the system, save the planet.
I’ll keep following this project and update everyone once they launch in September, in the meantime you can help the project.
The popular slogan: “system change not climate change” has become central to a growing and vibrant global movement for climate justice. But what does “system change” mean? And what does it have to do with the climate crisis? This project features videos from a range of speakers including academics, workers and activists who address these questions, talk about why we need system change, and give examples of new ways forward.
The project aims to build awareness and inspire actions for climate justice in Canada and around the world through the organizing of community-based teach-ins on climate justice.
The G20 are coming to Toronto and it’s costing Canadian’s more than $1 billion in security costs, plus even more in lost productivity and wages. As a contrast to that, there are a series of events happening during the G20 conference that cost a heck of a lot less that brings together leaders of the world.
These leaders are getting together to ensure that at least on some level, people’s concerns are put ahead of corporate concerns.
Take, for example, the Council of Canadians (COC) public Shout-out for Global Justice on June 25.
Relocated to Massey Hall from the University of Toronto because the latter will be shut down for security reasons, it gathers prominent international speakers such as COC chair Maude Barlow, author-activist Naomi Klein and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman who will call for climate, water, economic and social justice.
“These really are world leaders coming together — and we’re doing it for less than a billion dollars,” says Mark Calzavara, COC’s regional organizer for Ontario and Quebec.