No cops at the YWCA
Many of us are familiar with the Minneapolis YWCA as a spot for recreation especially popular with people committed to social justice. The Y’s mission is "eliminating racism and empowering women," and they have taken steps to reflect this in their programming and offerings for the local community.
Late last summer, some Minneapolis patrons were surprised to find that the local police had blocked off the track area of the Midtown location. They had booked the space and were holding a training session there for their police officers.
Some members made inquiries about what kind of relationship the Y had with the cops, and found that there were numerous instances of the Y offering hospitality to the police.
The Y says they would like to deepen their relationship with the police and work with them on more programming. They say it is in line with their social justice commitment to work with the police on what they believe to be a shared goal of racial justice. There are those in our community who agree with them that working with the police will help them be more racially sensitive, and better our community as a whole.
We disagree. Whatever they might say to the contrary, the Minneapolis police are a structural part of racial injustice in this city.
Police violence has impacted all of us, but some are affected more than others. Those who have been targeted by the police and have experienced disproportionate brutality on a local and national level are Black folks, Indigenous folks, transgender women and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, and people with disabilities.
Deepening a relationship with the police is in direct conflict with the Y's commitment to "eliminating racism and empowering women."
We ask that the Y prove that it is worthy of being the best gym for marginalized people in this city, and end its relationship with the cops.
Black lives matter. Indigenous folks, immigrants, trans folks, and disabled people matter.
No cops at the YWCA.