MAPSO Independence from Independence Day Protest Demands

MAPSO Independence from Independence Day Protest Demands

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MAPSO Youth Coalition started this petition to The South Orange Township and

We are asking the Maplewood and South Orange Townships to:

1. Make Juneteenth an Offical Holiday

2. Reallocate all future funds and events for July 4th celebrations to Juneteenth celebrations

3. Commit to celebrating July 4th as a day of remembrance and action rather than a day of blind celebration

4. Disarm the volunteer police force

5. Reallocate police funds to restorative justice programs, non-police units that handles mental health calls, social services, affordable housing, and other alternatives to policing 

  • Considering police receive an inadequate amount of training to respond to mental health calls, etc.
  • Considering these alternatives have shown to be much more effective at decreasing crime and supporting the community
  • Considering there are 122 police officers (65 in Maplewood and 57 in SO)  for our two townships of 41,975 people (25,232 in Maplewood and 16,743 in South Orange (2018))

6. Commit to limiting, or eliminating, where possible, police engagement with students and youth in the community

7. Seriously consider the ineffectiveness of police traffic stops, as they serve as a poverty tax and enable our budget to rely on the arresting of black and brown people

8. Declare formal support for the City of Newark in the NJ Supreme Court case "the Fraternal Order of Police, Newark Lodge No. 12 v. the City of Newark", which proposes to grant subpoena power to the Newark Civilian Police Review Boards

9. Declare formal support for the bills S-2656 and A-4283, currently in committee at the state level, which would characterize a host of police disciplinary records as government records, therefore making them available to the public.

July 4th commemorates the birth of America and the Declaration of Independence's commitment to equality for all. It also honors an American system that was set up to only empower rich, white, landowning men. We respect the Declaration of Independence and the acknowledgment of this holiday, but we reject the blind celebration of a promise that has yet to be fulfilled. July 4th needs to become a day of remembrance and action where we commit to truly fulfilling the maxim that “all men [humans] are created equal.” This change is essential because the #BlackLivesMatter and other social justice movements have highlighted, we still have a lot of work to do. Despite this, we do not believe our community and country should be without a pure day of celebration. This is why we propose that all 4th of July celebrations be officially moved to Juneteenth, a day that celebrates when the last enslaved people heard they were no longer slaves. This day should be celebrated as a true day of American independence because it celebrates a monumental step towards independence for all Americans, not just from colonial rule, but from forced bondage. If we want to truly address systemic racism, we must address everything, including the holidays we celebrate.


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