by Jawanza James Williams, Bianca Cunningham, and Cheryl Rivera
This zine is part of a series that features transcripts of interviews carried out for the Defend/Defund exhibition at Interference Archive. Each conversation dives into the history of specific struggles with, and organizing against, police and police brutality, including the founding of CopWatch in NYC, the evolution of abolitionism within counter-police organizing, the key organizing role of the families of victims of police violence, the history of Black Nia F.O.R.C.E., and October 22nd Coalition and other early attempts at national organizing in the 1980s and 90s.
Interviews in this series are:
— Mariame Kaba interviewed by Josh MacPhee
— Dennis Flores interviewed by Jen Hoyer
— Dr. Joshua Myers interviewed by Brooke Darrah Shuman
— Dread Scott interviewed by Josh MacPhee
— Occupy City Hall [Jawanza Williams (VOCAL-NY and Free Black Radicals), Cheryl Rivera (NYC-DSA Racial Justice Working Group and Abolition Action), Bianca Cunningham (Free Black Radicals)] interviewed by Brooke Darrah Shuman
More information on the Defend/Defund project HERE.
About the Contributors:
Jawanza James Williams is a Black, Radical Queer, Abolitionist, and Socialist. He i currently the Director of Organizing at VOCAL-NY, a grassroots organization building power among poor and low-income New Yorkers and a PhD candidate at CUNY Graduate Center.
Bianca Cunningham is a former Verizon Wireless worker who led her coworkers in 7 stores across Brooklyn, NY to join CWA in 2014, making them the first unionized retail workers in the company. She most recently was on staff at Labor Notes where she sometimes wrote and more often facilitated training on Race and Labor.
Cheryl Rivera is a member of the NYC-DSA Racial Justice Working Group and Abolition Action. The RJWG created the #DefindNYPD campaign and the zine "Care, Not Cops."