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Mailbag: OSU doesn't need armed police force

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In the wake of horrific violence perpetrated against Black lives and bodies, steeped in history, it is time to defund and demilitarize police forces and invest in our communities, especially our communities of color, and a time to listen to and emphasize Black voices in Corvallis.

Despite this being such a clear time to act — protests in every state, cities nationwide calling to defund police forces — Oregon State University has chosen to go in the opposite direction and create its own armed police force.

Last fall the Oregon State Police unrightfully harmed and arrested OSU student Genesis Hansen, resulting in cut ties with OSU. Instead of recognizing that abuse of power, OSU pledged to create their own armed force, declared to begin on July 1, 2020. (That transition has now been postponed until the end of the year.)

Students, faculty and staff are fighting back to disarm OSU in solidarity with activists across the country.

In Corvallis there is a pervasive belief that we could never see racialized police violence here, that somehow we are less racist or better than the rest of the country. This is not true — no place, especially one so white, is exempt.

Disarm OSU calls for the immediate halt of the creation of this new police force and investment in the health of our community through funding of health services and the food pantry, a mandatory anti-racism course and other necessary and underfunded resources.

Black lives matter, and with OSU’s decision in progress, they are on the line.

Claire Meints

Corvallis

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