Friday, February 26, 2016

A Call for NJ Statewide Youth Art Project to Challenge Police Inpunity, Mass Incarceration, Racial Profiling in Law Enforcement and Economic Injustice

Every time there is some high school project where a student expresses a view outside the pro-cop paradigm – it raises controversy from the pro-cop guardians and often at the behest of police unions.  Here is a recent case in point, in Kentucky, not in NJ but the similar dynamic plays out – an art project expresses a view criticizing police shooting of Black civilians and then a big blowhard reaction results against the student views.  The good news in this case is the principal did not have the project taken down.

I visited this topic in an article last June regarding the police inspired repression of 3rd grade teacher (since fired) Marylin Zuniga – repressed by police union inspired outcry after allowing a few students to volunteer to write get well letters to Mumia Abu Jamal whose life has been endangered by Pennsylvania prison authority medical neglect and other police inspired actions against a humanities class assignment in South Jersey:

It seems the public schools will always be subject to this kind of pressure and it seems police are always able to kick up a firestorm of overly protective parental concerns that want to make sure their little Johnny is not exposed to any views in the schools that questions the status quo around issues of police impunity, mass incarceration and racial profiling in law enforcement.

So how about we figure out a way to provide a venue – across the whole state of NJ – in the windows and walls of community based organizations – on our internet outlets – in printed media – and on the public sound cloud to promote art, music, writing, etc. – by youth – that questions authority and challenges police impunity, mass incarceration, etc?  Seeking public space for a venue to exhibit such creations can also provide gounds for struggle – around public space at libraries and in public buildings.  And youth can be encouraged by our movements to express their dissent when the message from within the corridors of the schools is mixed at best.

Is it possible?  I believe so – there are enough justice seeking organizations across the state of NJ that have connections to students and working and unemployed youth.

I believe such a project – while it would be an undertaking – would have the potential for great success and can possibly help encourage expression among the youth which is often frustrated and confounded by the stale dictates of public school administrations as they fall under the influence of cop union big mouths and other blowhard guardians of youth conformity.

Any efforts needs to be inclusive as possible and include outreach across the walls into the incarceration facilities - both the juvenile and adult facilities.

I am interested in any feedback and interest in such an idea – write to or comment in our Facebook group:

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