public safety

  • Can We Stop Cars from Killing People?

    American cyclists and pedestrians are the victims of a century-long political campaign to reorganize public space around the needs of drivers, according to historian Peter Norton. Activists including the families of traffic victims are fighting to change that.

  • We Were Warned about a Divided America 50 Years Ago. We Ignored the Signs

    by Elizabeth Hinton

    The 1968 Kerner Commission Report on civil disorders recommended a program of public employment, housing and school desegregation, and a basic minimum income to tackle economic inequality and racial segregation as conjoined problems, as well as police reforms. Lyndon Johnson shelved the report, and we pay the price today. 

  • In Fights Over Face Masks, Echoes of the American Seatbelt Wars

    The fight over seatbelt laws in the United States was fraught with trying to strike a balance between individual and public interests. Those concerns have also been reflected in similar matters of health and safety, including vaccinations, helmet laws — and masks.

  • Qanon Misdirects Our Attention Away From The Real Threats To Children

    by Paul M. Renfro

    "Moral panics like QAnon work to distract from less outrageous, far more insidious sources of harm. Even worse, they contribute to punitive policies that separate and hurt families, perpetuate mass incarceration and keep people in a state of fear."

  • Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police

    by Mariame Kaba

    A police abolition activist argues that the long history of commissions set up to investigate police violence against civilans shows that the institution can't be reformed or regulated. 

  • How Defund and Disband Became the Demands

    by Amna A. Akbar

    An Ohio State University law professor summarizes the history of activists and academics who shaped the movement for police abolition that has received attention in the wake of George Floyd's killing and ensuing protests. 

  • Defund the Police

    by Austin McCoy

    The emergence of a protest slogan is usually followed by struggles over its meaning; calls for defunding the police echo the contested slogan of "Black Power" in the 1960s.

  • A Brief Criminal History of the Mask

    by Melissa Gira Grant

    The New York  City mask order, particularly without any subsequent plan to make masks accessible to the public, hands police another tool to regulate public space—and that is not the same thing as ensuring public safety.