Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tottenham, Fullerton, San Diego: Recent Actions Against Police

A big day in the world yesterday, with people's frustration with the police coming to a head in various ways. Events unfolded in Fullerton, CA, San Diego, CA, and Tottenham in the UK.

Closest to home, in Fullerton, people responded to the deadly beating of a man by a group of six police officers. The police claim to have been responding to car break-ins in the area. Kelly Thomas, the man murdered by the police, is the son of a Orange County Sheriff himself. His father feels embarassed to ever be affiliated with law enforcement. Yesterday, a group of Kelly Thomas's family and friends held signs outside the Fullerton Police Department, demanding "justice" and an end to police "misconduct."

In the UK, the police killing of Mark Duggan, father of four, prompted a protest march that bloomed into a fullscale riot. The protestor's marched from Mark Duggan's residence to the police station, demanding answers, presumably as to why he was killed. When the police refused to engage in dialogue with the group of 500 angry people, the crowd inserted themselves into the discourse anyway. According to eyewitness reports, the police were "running and hiding" as the crowd expressed their anger. Police cars were burned with petrol bombs (molotovs), stores were looted, and the crowd effectively defended themselves against the police with flaming dumpsters and improvised projectiles. This situation is the wet dream of every anti-police protest, but one that is rarely enacted.When the looting happened at the Mehserle verdict, we heard the complaint from left-anarchists or liberals that looting has nothing to do with demands for "justice." We agree that it doesn't, but we aren't asking for justice. The thin blue line of the police exists to protect property, to keep it in certain hands and out of others. In large part, it is the police that keep us poor. When a situation like the one in Tottenham is created, when shopping malls were, at least temporarily in the hands of excluded, expropriation isn't just rational--it's fun!

In San Diego, the police had the nerve (or the thickheadedness) to call the assassination of a police officer "unprovoked." A black Audi pulled up next to a police car in El Cajon and someone in the Audi shot the lone officer in the head. Later in the day, a police helicopter observed someone getting into a black Audi with what appeared to be shotgun. When police responded to that location, the man produced the shotgun and was shot dead by police.

No act of rage against the police can be considered unprovoked. The structure of the world keeps many of us excluded and the police protect that structure. As resistance expands, the first obstacle everywhere is the police. A liberatory social vision cannot be actualized in a world full of police, whether they wear a uniform or not.

Kelly Thomas, Murdered by Fullerton Police

Mark Duggan, Murdered by Metropolitan Police

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