I shared this on Facebook this morning —
Now, we are told that the police are “to serve and protect”. That is, to serve and protect us, the public.
My experience has repeatedly shown me this is not true. The police exist to serve and protect CAPITAL. And time and time again, when the interests of the elite-who-own-everything, and
And when $$$ is threatened (e.g., blocking economic infrastructure at a protest), the police are there in full military regalia, with body armour, cavalry, armoured vehicles and a whole arsenal of anti-personnel weapons that could wage a fucking war.
But when humans are threatened, where is this military-like response? How long does it take officers to respond? For example, in the most recent school shooting (imagine that we’ve gotten used to that phrase, “the most recent school shooting”, like we have to fucking specify which one we’re talking about), officers milled about for more than an HOUR while kids were being slaughtered indiscriminately.
One mom had enough time to
1) hear about the shooting,
2) drive 40 miles,
3) get arrested by the police for trying to rescue her children, and handcuffed,
4) get released from those handcuffs,
5) go into the school, by herself, and
6) rescue her children and bring them to safety.
While HOW MANY POLICE were standing outside, armed to the teeth, doing….what, exactly? From the videos I have seen, they were pretty busy standing around with their guns behind the police tape, trying to control extremely upset parents who were listening to the screams of their children being murdered and BEGGING the police to do something?
And sure, they have procedures to follow. They need to set up perimeters, etc. The public doesn’t understand the operational complexity. Etc. Sure, ok, us keyboard warriors sitting at home don’t understand the complexity on-the-ground. I get that.
But, if you have a fucking military-style force with virtually endless human-power and equipment, and you can’t get into a school to stop a kid with a gun any faster than a Mom, 40 miles away, can get there to rescue her own kids, there is absolutely zero excuse for that.
I am disgusted. I hope we all are. Not that it’s easy to be a cop and head into life-threatening danger. Obviously. Would I have that bravery? I don’t know. How can you, until you’re in a life-threatening situation, and see how you respond? So I make no claims, myself, to do any better. I sure hope I would but, thankfully, I haven’t been in a situation like that. (Yet?) But for sure, I’d be scared as hell, knowing some crazed gunman was on the loose and would shoot me dead if he got the chance. So yes, it’s not easy.
But this IS why we have a military-style police force. This is the job. This is the reason for all their training, guns, tear gas, armour, bulletproof vests, sniper scopes, sound cannons, and all the rest of the BILLION$$$ that go into policing (far more than any other public service, if I understand correctly). It’s for emergencies, like this. It’s so they will do the hard thing, and take action.
And when these emergencies happen, they so often fail to act. But it’s all ducky, apparently, to roar in with half a dozen police cars and tase a kid having a mental health crisis, to bulldoze barricades and arrest Indigenous protectors on their own land, and to literally beat, tear-gas, man-handle, and violently put down protesters with nothing more dangerous on them than words, ideas, and a phone camera.
The police at the G20 summit in Toronto, a decade ago, REGULARLY LAUGHED at protesters who had been handcuffed for hours, were exhausted, freezing in the rain, even passing out on the wet street out of stress X exhaustion. They laughed. Because they had all the power. And apparently zero empathy.
I have a lifetime now, of knowing cops, up close and personal. And for all their machismo and power-mongering and bullying, when it comes right down to “serving and protecting” the public, they fail. Constantly.
I was stopped pulling out of a hospital parking lot, because my license plate sticker was a couple of days out of date. My daughter had just had eye surgery and her mom was in the back with her, holding a puke bucket as she was quite woozy from the anaesthetic. But the officer did not care that a little girl, right out of surgery, needed to get home. It was more important to keep us there for about HALF AN HOUR, while they walked slowly back and forth from their car, writing up tickets, etc., while we BEGGED them to have some compassionate for a child.
But, a few years later when I was involved in a violent altercation, stopping a drunk man from literally assaulting an elderly woman in a store, and called the police, they didn’t show up. I followed the man down the street, phoning in where he was going. The police didn’t come. Finally, I went home with my kids. The police called me after 10:00 that night, to ask if they were still needed to come to the store. I had called more than FIVE HOURS earlier. A violent, intoxicated man, assaulting an elderly woman. And they did not do anything.
When I first heard “ACAB”, I resisted it. “Not all cops”, right? Well…..I don’t believe that anymore. The police are institutionally corrupt, and every single police officer knows this and participates in it by keeping the silence. They always have been. My father was a cop for 30 years, was involved in drug and murder investigations, action against biker gangs and other organized crime, etc.
And I know, from an entire childhood of his stories of cowboy cops and their tricks of the trade, that the police are, collectively, corrupt. They collude with organized crime, and have for many decades, giving us occasional high-profile drug busts and such in the media in order to make it look like they are actually tackling the problem, when in reality they are part of it. They protect the infrastructure of government as priority #1, not The People. They regularly and enthusiastically trample citizens’ rights, and enact vigilante justice through their own bullying and aggression, whenever they can get away with it, always, always, always protected by the “Blue Wall of Silence”, behind which officers hide from public scrutiny ever bringing their crimes to light.
Anyway, maybe you don’t believe all that.
So let’s just sit with the facts of this one story…..One mom, by herself, was able to do what how many heavily-armed police were unwilling to? With enough firepower to wage a war, they couldn’t confront a lone teenager with a gun, and stop him slaughtering children.
Let that sink in.
And let’s, for real, de-fund the police; invest that money in the public; downscale the militarization of the police force; and take the “armour” of off society. We don’t need it. It is, in fact, the problem, not the solution.
More police, more weapons, more aggression, will not reduce or prevent school shootings. A compassionate society, mental health care, a robust conversation about the patriarchy, the healing of emotionally disconnected and traumatized men who are the vast majority of perpetrators of all kinds, the economic tools to support and empower all people to succeed in society, the recognition of truly “inalienable” rights to women, the differently-abled, etc., to have autonomy over their lives and bodies and to have support to succeed in society and share their gifts with the world, robust funding for the arts so literally every child gets to participate in creative projects and use their voice and mind and hands and genius to create beauty. Etc. THIS will reduce violence, shootings, and the rest of the tragedies we so regularly experience.
Fuck “thoughts and prayers”. They are bullshit and the people who keep giving them are the ones protecting the corrupt system that CAUSES these tragedies in the first place. We need policies, like the no-brainer gun control policies that almost everybody does agree with. (And sure, there are good arguments, perhaps, about gun rights in general, but there is some seriously low-hanging fruit policies to pass that the gun lobby and conservative politicians simply refuse to allow to pass. And yeah, fuck the public).
We need government that is beholden to The Public, not the Corporations and economically elite. We need open public forums on practically everything. We need votes to count. We need to get rid of political parties, and replace them with self-governance decision-making processes (e.g., Citizens’ Assemblies, for every complex decision). We “have the technology” to take back our society. We also have the people power.
But we have to be willing to rebel. I believe this with my whole heart at this point in my life, after enough decades of witnessing The Powerful saying all the words, and then doing, basically, fuck all to make things better, and everything, to make things worse.
Only the already-corrupt-and-powerful need their armour and weapons. To hold onto power. That’s it. The emperor has no clothes, everybody. We live inside a giant gas-lighting, and I hope to all the gods that we start really helping unshackle each other, and take back the system.
We are going to have a revolution of tyranny, as the environment collapses and society degrades. In our lifetimes. You can already see it everywhere in the world, with the appalling rise of fascism, nationalism, and racist political movements. It is as clear as day. Look everywhere. This revolution of tyranny is already well under way. It has already metastasized.
Or we are going to have a revolution of The People. And soon.