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(en) Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - [Rimouski] Action for the 25th international day against police brutality yesterday (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 21 Mar 2021 08:11:13 +0200

We republish with their agreement the press release of an informal group of citizens of Rimouski. Do not hesitate to send us your text and press release. ---- About twenty people gathered today in Rimouski to commemorate the death of the 38 people murdered by a Canadian police force in 2020. An installation reminiscent of a cemetery has been set up in front of the Sureté du Québec offices to underline their responsibility institutional with regard to this state violence. ---- "Cases of injuries and deaths during police interventions are not isolated cases, but symptoms of a violent institution that uses repression rather than empathy to resolve conflict situations", recalls Martin Parent, the one of the instigators of the commemoration. "When we also look at the origin of the people who were shot by the police in 2020, we realize that almost half were members of the First Nations. Created to serve capitalist interests and maintain a social order favoring settlers, the police are a racist and colonial institution which should not be reformed, but rather abolished. "

Later in the week, posters explaining the circumstances of the deaths linked to police interventions will be presented in the public space.

"We want to draw attention to the fact that in almost all cases the victim was in crisis," says Parent. "It is dangerous that police officers are called upon to intervene with people in distress when they do not have the appropriate training and their interventions often lead to a confrontation rather than a de-escalation. A CBC report found that 70% of the 460 people killed by police forces in so-called Canada between 2001 and 2017 suffered from mental health issues, drug use issues, or both.

Another instigator of the event, Andrée Gagnon, deplores that the current health crisis has put "mental health" on everyone's lips, but not in budgets. She points out that in recent months, while the police have received financial support to increase their presence in the community, community mental health resources have received almost nothing. The CAQ also abolished the National Center of Excellence in Mental Health in January 2021 in addition to issuing a new budget in which it grants only $ 40 million of the $ 370 million requested by health and social services organizations funded by the Program. support for community organizations (PSOC).

"Some offer more training for police forces, but several attempts in North America / Turtle Island have shown over the decades that this does not reduce brutality, on the contrary, if we consider that the so-called Canada has just experienced its deadliest death toll in four years, "adds Mr. Parent. "Investing in unarmed intervention programs, without recourse to force, but also more broadly in our social safety net appears to be a much better solution. We know that reducing poverty has a positive impact on mental health issues, so why not focus government actions in this direction? "

The instigators of the event therefore call for a definition of police structures and a reinvestment in social structures that allow a better response to the needs of the population in terms of health and social services.


by Collectif Emma Goldman

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