Favourite local social media presence or account
1. Winnipeg Police Cause Harm
2. It Happens in Winnipeg
3. MB Poli Drag Race / Pallister is a Vampire (tie)
In fall 2019, Winnipeg Police Cause Harm (WPCH) was established as a response to several deaths of Black and Indigenous people at the hands of the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS).
Since then, WPCH has garnered the support of many Winnipeggers, both online and offline.
Rebecca Hume and Daniel Friesen are two organizers within WPCH. They say winning favourite local social media presence is reflective of the growing awareness of police violence in Winnipeg, and further, the evolving public opinion of defunding and abolishing the police.
“Broadly speaking, our work is to hold the police, and specifically Winnipeg Police Service, to account,” Hume says. She adds that while having a platform has allowed them to raise awareness of police violence, it is equally important to consider the community.
“We, as a group, are accountable to the community,” Hume says. “As much as we’re pushing to defund and abolish the WPS, we’re also actively looking at and supporting life-sustaining services that would use the funds if we were to defund the WPS.”
To be accountable to the community, Friesen says collaboration is necessary.
“We also work with some other community groups like the Central Neighbourhoods association and the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network to try to curate resources that we can pass on to people,” Friesen says.
WPCH’s recent projects include launching a 16-day campaign against sexual and gender-based violence on their sister account When WPG Police Cause Harm. Beyond that, Hume and Friesen say WPCH hopes to continue to be a platform for the experiences of those who have been marginalized by police violence.
“While we’re very grateful for our platform, it’s in an effort to amplify the voices and experiences of others, not to glorify ourselves,” Friesen says.
Published in Volume 75, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 3, 2020)