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  • Writer's pictureTaylor McNallie

4 Years.

Barry Shantz, Brandon Christian, Brian Kyle Schriver, Attachie Ashoona, Sylvain Legault, D'Andre Campbell, Bony Jean‐Pierre, Andrew Loku, Regis Korchinski‐Paquet, Eishia Hudson, Stewart Kevin Andrews, Everett Patrick, Abraham Natanine, Chantel Moore, Rodney Levi, Ejaz Ahmed Choudry, Patrick Bellemare, Jonathan Roy, Michael Bédard, Sheffield Matthews, William Shapiro, Jameson Shapiro, Martin Gordyn, Julian Jones, Latjor Tuel, Chris Amyotte, Ronny Kay, Mahalakshmi Ananthakrishnan, Manivannan Srinivasapillai, Aditya Vivaan, Darryl Sabourin, Nicholas Nembhard, Bradley Singer, James Wood, Afolabi Stephen Opaso. These are just some of the names of people killed by police in Canada since 2020, one as young as 3 months old.

During a recent discussion, someone asked something along the lines of “how has engagement in community care and the pursuit of racial justice been maintained since 2020?” This question brought up a lot of feelings.

The uprisings that took place after the murder of George Floyd were an incredible show of global action, providing us with the tools needed to prepare us for the years that have followed whether that’s been in the form of education regarding the reality still faced by Black people around the globe, examples of how to create networks of safety and care for one another in order to divest from the system, or the tactics used to fight state suppression while in the streets. People began looking more closely at policing and the need for abolition to ensure our survival, movements such as the Stop Cop City movement being birthed from the George Floyd Uprisings. There was a feeling of hope that things could actually be different, even if that moment was brief.

I am often discouraged, however, at the lack of progress that we’ve actually made. While I understand our liberation won’t come overnight, it’s progressively difficult to envision an end to our oppression when so many refuse to do the necessary work of addressing their own antiBlackness and refusal of divesting from white supremacy culture. I look around to find myself standing with a small group of people who have not stopped since 2020, while most others have gone back to business as usual or, in some cases, have even become the oppressors themselves after “representation” and “having a seat at the table” became the primary focus.

Here in Calgary, I can count on one hand the amount of people who have continued to do any sort of organizing for Black lives since 2020, and we’re fucking exhausted. NonBlack people have completely disengaged with any form solidarity work to the point I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve witnessed and experienced Black people being shunned from organizing spaces, denied access to organizing spaces, or run out of organizing spaces as we name our needs, share our knowledge and express our concerns. And many of the Black folks who were out here for the summer of 2020 have chosen to retreat back to embracing respectability politics in order to protect their own personal access to power and resources.

So many people treated 2020 as an event, a moment, rather than a movement, which has left us gasping for air. We still can’t breathe. In fact, killings by police have maintained a steady increase since the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and any work done to address policing has been co-opted and used against us, either to funnel more money to police budgets or legitimize the need for policing in our society. But it’s not just the institution of policing that’s the problem; it’s the way people continue to participate in white supremacy and white supremacy culture that allows for these institutions to thrive in the first place. The call almost always comes from inside the house, and that’s something we all need to reckon with.

In what ways are you addressing antiBlackness within yourself and within your own communities?

In what ways are you ensuring the needs of Black people are being centered?

In what ways do you help to keep Black people safe and protected?

In what ways are you challenging yourself to divest from systems of oppression?

In what ways do you remain committed to Black people?

"Almost two years later, we’ve seen little progress across the Prairies: police budgets continue to grow; discourse about abolishing the police is virtually non-existent in policymaking spaces; and emotional, social, and financial support for Black grassroots organizations and organizers has dried up." - Jayda Hope


"Taylor McNallie dedicates her time to seeking racial justice and collective liberation through education and hands-on work with both marginalized communities and accomplices alike. As the co-creator of Inclusive Canada, she provides education on anti-racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness. She is also a member of the Walls Down Collective which provides access to no-barrier resources and care such as Harm Reduction, free food programs and an alternative to local policing."

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