Because it’s important to document police violence, to debunk the myth that police are here to protect people more than capital;
Because Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and President Barack Obama are calling policing at the NATO Summit a “success”, when we know that it was a massive hijacking of our tax dollars to pay for the brutal repression of our collective power;
Because they will try to say the protestors were violent, when in fact we were marching against war and systemic violence, and we were provoked, infiltrated, and attacked without cause. And still, most people did nothing more than stand their ground and chant;Illegitimate state violence is most effective when arbitrary. #NoNATO … If you promise to beat everyone, you have to beat everyone. If nobody knows when they’ll be beaten, everyone’s always cowed.
Here are some images of the massive police presence in Chicago this past weekend, and the violence they wrought on protestors.
We should remember that during this same weekend, 29 people were shot in Chicago, of which 7 died including a 12- and a 14-year old. For those of you not from Chicago, this is routine. In the words of one of the chants this weekend:
Black cop, white cop, all the same,
Racist murder is the name of the game!
Whether they’re ignoring the murder of young people of colour in Chicago’s neighbourhoods in order to protect NATO’s VIPs — those who treat our countries’ young POC as cannon fodder while waging war on young POC in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc. — or whether they’re committing murder themselves, the police are not your friend.
We should remember that cops lined up en masse to protect the meeting place of the 1%. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder and baton-to-baton surrounding JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. They gave thousands of protestors no choice but to disperse or be arrested (or be subject to “other police tactics”) simply because it was 5pm and their permit had run out. They beat and pepper sprayed marchers heading north to show solidarity with jailed comrades, rather than let them march through the high-end shopping and entertainment districts.
We should remember that cops may be working people, but they are not on our side.* They are part of a racist system that upholds the interests of capitalism and the 1%/2%/5%/10% over any sort of true freedom or justice. They are an arm of the state that exists to uphold existing power structures, keep the people who are in power protected and the people who aren’t in power far away from it, scare people from posing a threat to the established order and, should people be so brave or desperate as to try it, beat them down and lock them up.
The police are not there to enforce our rights. The only rights we have are the ones we claim. And we owe it to ourselves, and to our comrades, and to the generations that follow us to keep claiming them and pushing back when they’re infringed.
Shout-out to all of the media-folk and tweeters who took the pictures above.
More coverage of the protests and police violence here:
* Yes, yes, I know that there may very well be cops who, while off-duty, are great people and even do good work. Whatever. While they’re in uniform and not defying orders, they are a part of the system and a part of the problem.
The part I bolded is really important. I started going to some of the Occupy Wall Street marches and protests after the mass arrests during the first march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Shortly after, the NYPD tried to use OWS as a boogeyman, claiming that policing Occupy was a drain on police resources. Never mind the fact that shootings were up 28% in October 2011 as compared to the same month the previous year, they’ve got protesters to beat! The worst thing about it is the fact that the media ran with this narrative uncritically…
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