On Tuesday, Aug. 2, Oakland community members will gather to celebrate Night Out for Safety and Liberation, an alternative to the police-centric National Night Out.
Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL) is a national event where people across the country will redefine what public safety means to them.
Traditionally on National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, the focus is on community-police relationships and neighborhood watch programs. However, NOSL organizers believe that the killings of many Black and Brown people by law enforcement demonstrate that more police do not create safe communities, especially for communities of color.
“National Night Out promotes the idea that building better relationships with police can make us all safer, but picnics and block parties with police are not going to end law enforcement violence,” said Darris Young, a Local Organizer with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which is organizing the event. “Right now, people of color are being rapidly displaced from their homes in Oakland. Real community safety is when we all have a place to live, a living wage job, and access to healthcare and education.”
In addition to the community gathering happening in Oakland, NOSL events are happening in more than 25 cities across the country. Through block parties, vigils, rallies, and a social media campaign under the umbrella #SafetyIs, community members will be part of a national movement to reclaim and reimagine what public safety means to them.
The free youth and family-friendly event happening in Oakland will feature music, an art build, healing practitioners, family activities, and dance and spoken word performances.
The Aug. 2, event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lowell Park, 1180 14th St in Oakland.