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Indybay Feature
Bay Area Celebrates Juneteenth with "Abolish Police" Banners
by anonymous
Saturday Jun 19th, 2021 5:49 PM
Two banners appeared today on Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge reading "Abolish" and "Police." By re-centering the abolitionist cause of the holiday's origin, this message celebrated Juneteenth in true Bay Area fashion.
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With Juneteenth's recently anointed status as a federal holiday and Covid's grasp on Northern California finally feeling like it’s beginning to loosen, this Saturday saw festivities breaking out all over the Bay Area. Oaklands’s Lake Merritt drew huge crowds celebrating Black beauty and excellence and the international Black diaspora. San Francisco commemorated the City's 71st official Juneteenth celebration and a host of smaller events around town all weekend. And on Yerba Buena Island, on the Bay Bridge tunnel heading West, two banners appeared reading “Abolish Police” to recenter the holiday’s original anti-carceral message of abolition.

Many have noted Juneteenth’s recent commodification and appropriation as the holiday has gained popularity. Since the George Floyd protests erupted and shook the country, neo-liberal efforts to recognize Juneteenth have landed as largely performative symbolism. But the celebrations' origin in anti-slavery abolition struggles deserves to be preserved and exalted. By recognizing the relevance to our current struggle of abolishing police in the United States and fighting imperialism and colonialism all over the globe, abolitionist direct action can reclaim the spirit of the holiday. The modern day US police force operates as a functional, ideological, and direct violent descendant of the original Slave Patrols; there’s no way to truly commemorate the spirit of Juneteenth without carrying on the abolitionist cause and completely dismantling all Police everywhere. These banners hung on the Bay Bridge for hours Saturday morning, celebrating Juneteenth in true Bay Area fashion and representing a message of police abolition that should resonate as the struggle continues. Every city, every town, Abolish the Police!
§"Abolish Police" Yerba Buena / Bay Bridge Banner #1
by anonymous
Saturday Jun 19th, 2021 5:49 PM
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§"Abolish Police" Yerba Buena / Bay Bridge Banner #2
by anonymous
Saturday Jun 19th, 2021 5:49 PM
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