Open letter to the police, everywhere

The police are not a uniform monolith. They are a collection of individuals, full of human features: doubt, uncertainty, complex motives and mixed loyalties. The divisions between them can be highlighted, and expanded. Their ranks can be divided and their power undermined.

I understand that you joined the force to uphold the law. I recognize that for you "to uphold the law" is also "to serve and protect" and I can imagine how, underneath those abstractions there may be a desire to do good and help others. I suspect your motives might include a hope to practice a dedication to compassion which I not only respect, I admire.

But, there is a war going on. A war that has nothing to do with justice and order. A war that creates disorder to pursue injustice. The banks, corporations and capital who've destroyed our economy and walked away rich are coming back for more and you are their foot-soldier.

Through financialization, debt management, exotic financial instruments and political machinations, wealthy businessmen and banks are enslaving and assaulting the people you've sworn to protect. They've disabled working class livelihoods through outsourcing and downsizing, and outlawed all entrepreneurial or radical alternatives through regulation and legislation. They have made any independent form of life illegal, and then denied us the opportunities and access we've been forced to depend on. They leave us with nothing and then move in with debt and predatory lending. These are just the current forms of similar processes carried on throughout history. No longer satisfied to merely steal the value of our labor anymore, they now come after our bare lives.

You work for them. Your role is essential to their success. You enforce their laws against us, against yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors. They will not stop until they have enslaved or consumed every one of us. They cannot stop. Capital will not allow it. Therefore they must be stopped. It's long been known that there will come a time when people must resist to simply live. That terrible time has come.

Every person you evict from their home, every arrest for civil disobedience, disturbing the peace or non-violent resistance advances this war further into overt hostility, to the days when desperation overcomes fear, when people -no matter how defenseless they are against your guns and your forces- will choose to fight. Anarchists in black block smashing windows on May Day is just the beginning, is still a merely symbolic half-way action. Every person you evict or arrest today will be someone you have to shoot tomorrow.

This is not a war we've chosen. It's a war I wish not to fight in, but it's a war we've all been victims of for years. A war that has destroyed our communities, consumed our lives, and stolen our futures. You are on the wrong side of this war. Before you evict another person from their home, before you arrest another petty thief or kick out another pan handler, garbage picker, trespasser or protester, before you assault, tase, or tear gas another human being, before this war escalates to its most desperate stakes, please stop. Get out. Just put down your badge and join the side of communities and people against corporations and capital.


A concerned citizen

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