by Emily Green
Let us offer our prayers to those on the front-lines of police abolition movements, as well as to those who take their roles behind-the-scenes.
Since 19 June, the Afro Indigenous Rising Collective has been occupying the grounds of Toronto’s City Hall. They are intent on maintaining the momentum of Black and Indigenous calls to abolish the police. The Collective welcomes Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies to join their encampment and has created new infrastructure for unhoused people to access food and shelter. Meanwhile, across Turtle Island, similar political zones have been set up including, for example, in Vancouver, Blue River, Winnipeg, New York City, Philadelphia, and Seattle.
In my Jewish ancestral traditions, to speak words aloud is to communicate with the most sacred. We do not take our out-loud words lightly, because communication is understood to form contracts with the great mystery; spoken thoughtlessly, words can become manifest in material reality with all kinds of consequences.
And so I invite you to speak or sing this prayer aloud—wherever you are presently. Only vocalize it if you feel that you connect with each word’s meaning and potential implications. I invite you to alter the words, if different words resonate with you more.
Blessed are you Spirit who lives and endures. Praises for the opportunity to awake each day with courage, and to enjoy breath that connects me with all life. May I fulfill my individual roles as collectively we rise together, in friendship and community, to end the systems of settler colonialism, White supremacy, and other legacies of violence that are neither inevitable nor eternal.
May the life of the encampments across the continent—the relationships, learning, and inspiration fostered within them—carry on long after the campers pack-up their tents. May our world be transformed into a place where all life can thrive; where police abolition is realized and the prison-industrial-complex is replaced with antiracist systems of care and support. May it be so (amen).