As the movement to defund police forces across the nation picks up speed, the questionable origins of this rhetoric become clearer.
According to Breitbart, an anti-deportation group affiliated with billionaire leftist philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Foundation is one of the main groups behind the push to divert much of the funding earmarked for police departments to social and community services.
Breitbart notes that Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD), which lists Open Society Foundation as a “partner” on its website the, has had defunding police on its wishlist for years and is only now capitalizing on the movement’s sudden momentum.
On February 16, 2016, OCAD hosted a protest in Chicago, Illinois, to defund the police according to an article posted on the website of #Not1More, another anti-deportation organization — itself an offshoot of the larger and more organized anti-deportation group National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
During that protest, activists sat on ladders in the middle of a street in front of a Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office holding banners that said, “Dismantle ICE. Defund the police.” The activists consider ICE “the largest police force” in the country and were “joined by leaders from the movement for Black lives who say there is a connection between their efforts,” the article said.
— OCAD (@OCAD_CHI) February 16, 2016
The protest was also attended by groups such as Assata’s Daughters, Black Youth Project (BYP) 100, Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY), Palestinian Youth in Action, Centro Autonomo, People’s Response Team, and the Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN).
In a statement at the time, Assata’s Daughters said, “Undocumented people in Chicago and nationally are living in fear daily of being taken from their homes and away from their families. We, as Black American community organizers, can relate to that fear. … Our struggles are distinct but connected. When enforcement is overfunded, that is money that is not being spent on services that actually keep us safe.”
Tania Unzueta, an OCAD organizer and Policy Director for the #Not1More Campaign, complained that Chicago spent “40% of its budget on police” and that the government should instead invest in “developing and nurturing our communities not deporting and incarcerating them.”
“If these agencies have endless resources, they will find endless ways to target and harm our families,” she said. “They need to be defunded and dismantled.”
In more recent days, OCAD has declared its support of the Black Lives Matter movement, stating that “our liberation is dependent of Black liberation.”
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