We believe the community already has everything it needs to thrive.
Who We Are
#KeepDC4Me is a Black Lives Matter DC POD committed to finding non-police solutions to intra-community violence and ending police brutality, terror and murder through principled action, community defense, mutual aid, and building alternatives.
Principled Action. It is our duty to disrupt, confront, and shut down systems and institutions of state sanctioned violence and oppression that displace and criminalize Black people using a diversity of tactics including divestment and direct action.
Community Defense and Mutual Aid. We must protect and defend each other and our communities from all forms of violence and use mutual aid to ensure we are building healthy thriving communities that can depend on each other to provide the things we need and desire.
Building Alternatives. We will re-envision and build alternatives to the systems and institutions that do not serve us and those alternatives will redefine safety, support self-determination, shift community culture and norms away from violence.
We will create and strengthen our foundation and capacity for this work through political education, building community power, and rapid response.
Why Is It Needed?
Historically, intra-community violence is one of the many ways the impact of multiple systems of oppression show up in our community and that it is the community that must interrupt that violence. We believe that police brutality, terror, and murder are increased when the number of police in our community increases and that this must end immediately. Our community must work collectively to identify, work to disrupt and seek to eventually dismantle these systems in especially East of the River. Bringing together people, neighborhoods, community organizations and their resources is essential to make sure that we thrive, not merely survive. Black liberation requires Black communities to assert their collective power to confront very specific targets and sources of oppression that fuel violence, poverty, trauma, mass incarceration, police terror, displacement, and gentrification with resources and talents that already exist within our own community.
In response to increased intra-community violence, District officials and entities continue to elevate MPD’s anti-Black paramilitary enforcement of several forms of state violence, and expand its repression against those resist or challenge it. This enforcement and repression provides protection to those who benefit from and are leading mass gentrification while increasing the devastating impact of existing oppressive systems on the communities where the violence is occurring. Flooding the streets of Black communities especially East of the River with police is making these same conditions worse and ultimately failing as intra-community violence continues.
The #KeepDC4Me POD is looking for people committed to:
- Drawing on the wisdom and experiences of our neighbors especially those who are native to the District and long-time residents East of the River.
- Identifying and working with current and potential partners to support affinity work and direct action. Identifying them reduces unnecessary duplication, increases participation, and provides greater opportunities to support each other. This includes pooling resources and capacity to accomplish together the things we might not be able to alone, and to relieve the weight of groups and individuals already doing too much alone for too long.
- Being part of a community of revolutionary learning through political education.
- Encouraging and supporting each other's growth as leaders.
- Learning how to do this work together no matter how much experience we do or do not have.
- Building and maintaining a safe environment for everyone that is free from judgment and respectability.
- Being unafraid to take risks, experiment with radical new ideas and ways of doing our work even if they are not always completely successful.
- Working from a place of abundance and deep abiding love for each other.
- “Being willing to be transformed in service of the work”. (from The Mandate, by Mary Hooks)
Who is it?
These are people who committed to our shared values and agree to our guiding principles, organizing principles, and political principles.
These people will participate in one or more the following areas:
Political and Community Education
Street Law: Know Your Rights
Near Act Ambassadors
Where We Work
Our current work is intentionally specific to Black communities East of the River. We will focus on finding non-police solutions to intra-community violence, affordable housing, policing, and economic justice in Southeast.
How WE WIN
And build strong social movements
1. We will draw on the wisdom and experiences of our neighbors especially those who are native to the District and long-time residents of Southeast. There are a multitude of organizations and community members that have been doing essential work for Black liberation for many years. Identifying them reduces unnecessary duplication, increases participation, and provides greater opportunities to support each other.
2. We will identify and work current and potential partners to support affinity work and direct action. This includes pooling resources and capacity to accomplish together the things we might not be able to alone, and to relieve the weight of groups and individuals already doing too much alone for too long.
3. We will create a community of revolutionary learning through ongoing and consistent political education that includes regular Freedom Schools and study groups.
4. We will dramatically increase the effectiveness, quantity and quality of communication between organizations, groups, neighborhoods, groups, families, and individuals while supporting the creation of new partnerships using tools such as (but not limited to) social media, phone banking, canvassing, and street teams.
5. We will plan and execute successful community-led direct actions with specific targets of oppressive systems, rapid response to community emergencies and calls to action resulting in long-term, permanent change.
6. We will take every opportunity to encourage and support each other's growth as leaders.
7. We will learn how to do all of this together no matter how much experience we do or do not have.
8. We will build and maintain a safe environment for everyone that is free from judgment and respectability.
9. We will not be afraid to take risks experimenting with radical new ideas and ways of doing our work even if they are not always successful.
10. We will do all of this work from a place of abundance and deep abiding love for each other.