Not One More Death

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2021

2020

Statement of unity

Not One More Death is a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous volunteers. Our work is to hold powerful people and institutions in Thunder Bay to account for actions, policies and practices that enact or enable violence against Indigenous, racialized, poor and other criminalized people in the city. This violence may be direct (including police abuses), indirect (including neglect of people in need), or systemic (poverty, lack of access to needed services).

These forms of violence lead Indigenous, racialized, poor and other criminalized people in Thunder Bay to, on average, die prematurely, which is to say, significantly earlier than the average age for the total population. We refuse to accept these murderous conditions. Every life is precious and complex, and every death is complex. But the forces of direct, indirect, and systemic violence are key in causing the premature deaths of Indigenous, racialized, and poor people.

Our group will not rest until these rates of premature death are reduced and eliminated by abolishing the sources of direct, indirect, and systemic violence. Our role in this effort is to act as an independent, grassroots and uncompromised group holding powerful people and institutions to account. We want to contribute to the conditions for all life to thrive.

  • We call for gatherings on or near each solstice and equinox for the community to gather and mourn those who have died prematurely, and celebrate life, love and resistance.
  • We lead from a place of compassion and care, but also will not fear naming the real causes of premature death and violence in our community with honesty and courage.
  • We educate ourselves and the public about issues of direct, indirect, and systemic violence. We recognize we all need to unlearn harmful ways of being in order to move forward and build something new together.
  • We organize protests and campaigns to hold powerful people and institutions to account.
  • We hold institutions — including police and prisons — accountable for the racist and colonial violence they enact. We do not accept gestures or claims of rehabilitation without transparency and accountability. We believe this is necessary to work towards real safety in our communities.
  • We do not accept funding or enter into agreements of any sort with people and institutions we seek to hold to account. Our independence and autonomy are necessary in order to achieve this.
  • We operate as a grassroots, non-hierarchical collective, where all decisions are made in a participatory, democratic fashion.
  • We want to experiment with and model the new forms of decolonized relationships. We hope these models will inspire the transformation of society.