police state

Decipher City/ Carceral Cultures

Decipher City was invited to present at a conference in Vancouver in December 2017 because one of the topics was segregation, an ever-present topic on the blog and Facebook page. For this conference, the paper was based on how “urban renewal” and “revitalization” projects have come at the cost of communities of color, and this was researched in the Austin area. The irony of presenting at a conference in Vancouver, which has also received a fair bit of attention for high-priced real estate and the lack of people of color, made the presentation even more poignant.

The conference began with a presentations on control and police violence, and it was notable that there were few people of African descent. One of the most positive attributes of the participants was the acknowledgment of the property being on indigenous lands. Many of the presenters made reference to this, which is reasonable considering the more prevalent indigenous population in Canada. Decipher City was on a panel with three other people, all of which were reviewing how local laws were restrictive to marginalized populations. In short, all presenters in the panel noted the demonstrable lack of agency afforded to said populations in favor of local amiability.

While originally concerned about how focused on prison societies, it became clear that the theme of the conference was control on different populations. Many of the presenters focused not just on prison populations, but the surveillance that has become normalized in 9/11. Many people were working towards solutions and offered opportunities to collaborate within Canada, but because there were several people from the United States, people realized the potential for international collaboration. It was a worthwhile conference, and Decipher City will seek further chances to advocate for better urban choices that humanize marginalized populations.

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