SHIFT, previously known as the Greater Grand Rapids Racial Equity Network, is asking the Michigan legislature to ban the use of military forces.
“We felt really strongly about naming the governor roles in approving the national guard in cities to suppress the right to free speech.”
That’s Breannah Alexander, a member of SHIFT’s leadership team, she says Michiganders should be able to protest without fearing opposition from the National Guard.
SHIFT is also requesting the Michigan legislature review all instances where police have used force and to dedicate financial resources for restorative justice work.
“There are cases spread throughout the state where cops did not lose their job, families did not receive justice and there was no other entity to actually go in and hold those police departments accountable.”
While SHIFT will also be a platform providing tools and resources helping Michigan residents take action against racism and police violence – it will be also be a place for people to share their personal experiences with racial injustices.
“So that we can in real time keep a measure of what’s happening across the state. We know that racialized aggression, racialized violence is not measured consistently across the state.”
As of today, over 1,400 people have signed on in support of SHIFT’s letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan legislature.