AKA hosts discussion on policing in Kingston

Event touched on gentrification in Kingston neighbourhoods

Participants discussed town-gown relations.
Seeing rising interest in increased policing in Kingston throughout COVID-19, AKA Autonomous Social Group (AKA) hosted a Zoom event to discuss the impact of policing on racialized students and Kingston residents on Jan. 18. 
AKA is dedicated to “anti-state, anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, and anti-oppression policies and practices.” The group holds events and political meetings in its space at 75 Queen Street, and also runs Blue Heron Bookstore where they sell and lend literature on abolition and decolonization. 
The event featured a presentation on the impact of policing, how the growth of Queen’s shaped policing in Kingston, and how policing in Kingston has evolved throughout the pandemic. 
Attendees were moved between breakout rooms to participate in pre-determined discussion topics.
Attendees could participate in a number of breakout rooms, each covering a different topic—including how town-gown relations impact racialized students, how the city uses Queen’s students to “gentrify non-rich Kingston and employ ‘Divide and Conquer’ tactics” against Kingstonians, how the city has fostered a fear of outsiders to create a “racist and xenophobic panic” that justifies increased policing, and how “violence against Kingstonians and emergency powers is unethical.”

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