We Want Freedom: Abolition In Philly and Beyond with Robert Saleem Holbrook and Megan Malachi

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In this episode we talk to Robert Saleem Holbrook and Megan Malachi. Megan is an educator and an organizer for Philly for REAL Justice, a grassroots police abolitionist organization that has been organizing in the city for years. One of their keys projects has been pushing direct action towards the removal of the statue of Frank Rizzo, and a multitude of other direct actions around racial injustice, police violence and political prisoners around the city. Robert Saleem Holbrook is the Abolitionist Law Center’s Director of Community Organizing in addition to a number of other roles in social and racial justice work, particularly related to mass incarceration. He was released from prison in 2018 after spending over two decades incarcerated for an offense he was convicted of as a child offender.

They both join us today to talk about “We Want Freedom” End the War Against Black Philadelphians NOW! from the Black Philly Radical Collective, which was drafted and signed by Philly for Real Justice, Black Lives Matter Philly, The Black Alliance for Peace, Abolitionist Law Center, Human Rights Coalition, and Mike Africa Jr of MOVE, Mobilization for Mumia, International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. It is a set of demands specific to the conditions of policing in Philadelphia that hopefully can be achieved here in Philly, but also provides a framework for discussion around the country.

We talk to them about the role of the FOP and police unions, we talk to them about abolition, and defunding police. We discuss the importance of political prisoners in this moment and centering calls for economic justice in the form of reparations. As well as the importance of staying active to turn this moment into a lasting movement for real racial justice for Black and Brown people in Philadelphia and around the country.

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