GROUP CHALLENGES RCMP
Surrey Protest Dec 19
Surrey protest against the RCMP.
ANTI POLICE POWER SURREY—MADDIE CHAFFER ILLUSTRATION
group of Surrey residents has come together under the banner Anti Police Power Surrey (APPS) to call for the City of Surrey to divest from police and invest in communities.
Longtime Surrey resident
and APPS member, Lenée Son, explains, “We’re told the police make us safe,
but in our experience, they are a threat to our safety. They
“We need to start challenging the Surrey model of policing, in which police infiltrate our schools, community centres, malls, homes–all areas of our lives.”
The City of Surrey has
the largest RCMP detachment in the country, and it grows larger every year.
Nearly 70% of the Surrey Public Safety Office budget – over $164.4 million –
is allotted to the Surrey RCMP. According to Jeff Shantz, professor of
criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and APPS member, the RCMP
devotes significant resources public relations campaigns, like Coffee With
Cops, aimed at normalizing its massive presence in Surrey. Shantz argues,
“We need to start challenging the Surrey model of policing, in which police
infiltrate our schools, community centres, malls, homes – all areas of our
All candidates running in the Surrey municipal election are proposing different versions of the same thing: they promise to enlarge police presence and budgets, increase surveillance, and expand police programs in schools and communities. According to Lenée Son, “Politicians play on our fears in order to win our votes. Instead of trying to address the roots of violence – like racism and inequality – they opt to increase the power of police over our lives and communities.” She argues that divesting from the RCMP would free up City funds that could then be re-invested in community-led projects aimed at actually addressing violence in Surrey.