THE COMMUNITY SAFE-ZONES INITIATIVE:
In underclass Communities across Amerika, and overwhelmingly in Communities of color, there are certain aspects of social life, because of our national oppression, which subject our Communities to inordinate amounts of violence. Life in the Hoods, Ghettos and Barrios of Amerika is fraught with the potential for violent death, assault or abduction stemming from gang banging, drug trafficking or addiction and even sexual assault. Our Elders, Women and Youth should be able to go about the daily activities of social life without fear of violent death or injury. But, because of the unique nature of our national oppression and the inescapable interconnection between subculture elements in Our Communities, and the broader Community itself, a unique solution, which does NOT rely on law enforcement and the State, is necessary.
The COMMUNITY SAFE-ZONES INITIATIVE is designed to create mutually agreed upon ‘safe sites’ in Our Communities where Our Youth, Women and Elders can go about the daily activities of social life without the fear of violent death, assault or abduction. In all Communities where sub-culture elements are organized (gang members, drug dealers, etc.), these elements also have Mothers, Grandparents, Younger siblings, Children or Little Homies and Homegirls that they love and care for and would have no problem supporting any effort that would ensure their safety. The CSZI seeks to leverage this fact to identify and clearly mark specific sites in Our Communities where Our People congregate most, to establish mutually agreed upon Safe-Zones.
The Community Safe Zone Initiative will be structured into 2 major components:
1) Community Engagement Teams
2) Site Defense Teams
As is the case with all A.I.M. Initiatives, the CSZI will employ indigenous Community Leadership as the primary elements implementing the Initiative in the Community in question. They will be tasked to educate the Community on the Initiative and recruit both ‘Community Engagement Activists’ and ‘Site Defense Activists’, organizing them into teams to bring the Initiative to life.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TEAMS:
The CSZI Community Engagement Teams, or CET's, will be made up of those members of the Community who possess good interpersonal skills and enjoy positions of relative respect by both sub-culture elements and the broader Community. O.G.s, former Homies and Homegirls who are still respected and Community Activists will explain, in detail, the purpose and intent of the CSZI. They will identify those sites and areas in the Community designated Safe-Zones and seek to secure mutually binding agreements from sub-culture elements both in the Community, AND THOSE OPERATING IN OPPOSITION TO THOSE IN THAT COMMUNITY, to not operate in, or around Safe-Zone sites and to respect the safety of those present on those sites regardless of who they are. The CET's will ensure all such elements have the Safe-Zones Sites map developed by the ‘Site Defense Activists’, and work closely with Community members to determine which sites will be designated Safe-Zones for purposes of the Initiative. Once determined and agreed upon, Community Safe-Zone sites will be clearly marked with the CSZI icon and will be monitored by ‘Site Defense Teams’ specifically tasked to ensure the safety of our People while at those sites.
SITE DEFENSE TEAMS:
Site Defense Teams will be composed of those CSZI Activists with some security, intelligence and tactical training from the subject Community willing to volunteer their time in 2–4-hour shifts, (depending on the number of participants) to ensure the safety and security of Safe-Zone sites. The first task of SDT's is to work closely with Community members and CETs to determine which sites will be designated Safe-Zones. Safe-Zone sites are those places in Our Communities with the greatest concentration of congregation, and frequency of visit, for its members (i.e., local stores, the laundry mat, basketball courts, some parks, places of worship, etc.). Once determined, the SDT's will designate the site a Safe-Zone, notify the owner of the site of the designation and adhere CSZI icons at clearly visible points on the site. SDT's will work in teams of 3: 1) An Observer called the 'Eye' 2) a De-escalator called the 'Voice' 3) and an (ideally armed) Intervener called the 'Fist'. The Eye will monitor all activity in and around the site watching for potential threats to Our People, Women, Youth and Elders be they physical threats, potential abductors, robbers, etc. The Eye will stay in constant radio communication with the Voice and the Fist. Though designated an Observer, the Eye will be trained in the event of necessity, to physically intervene to support the Fist or act in that capacity to prevent the injury, abduction or death of anyone in or around the Safe-Zone. The Voice must ideally be someone with excellent interpersonal skills, a commanding presence, yet assertive and diplomatic.
When a potential threat is detected by the Eye, the Voice is tasked to engage the subject(s) to determine if they are indeed a threat to the Safe-Zone, and if so determined to either neutralize the threatening circumstances of the subject's interactions on the site, or to request the subject leave the site. In the event the subject is deemed an imminent threat the Voice will summon the Fist. The Voice, though primarily a first contact and de-escalation operative, will nevertheless possess the tactical acumen to support the Fist if necessary, and act to intervene to ensure the safety of our People at risk in the Safe-Zone, if necessary.
The Fist is specifically designated to physically intervene in the event of a threat to the Safe-Zone. Because of the potentially dangerous nature of such an intervention, the Fist must be highly trained to quickly subdue, neutralize or (if need arise) eliminate a threat to the lives or health of those present at the Safe-Zone. Both the Eye and the Voice are empowered to support the Fist if necessary. The Fist, ideally, will be armed with a concealed carry permit, depending on the laws in your specific State. SDTs do NOT work with law enforcement. If a subject has been deemed a threat to a designated Safe-Zone, the mandate of the SDTs is to either peacefully remove the threat from the Safe-Zone or neutralize the threat and forcibly remove it. Circumstances will dictate the means. Ensuring the safety and security of Our Communities is a prerequisite to our collective success, and a commonsense approach if we are to ensure that social life in Our Communities is of a quality worth living. Until we win or don't lose.
-Joka Heshima Jinsa, Founder, A.I.M.