Have you started to think?
- Why is police brutality being engrained into the State?
- Why are corporations still upending The People?
- How can people sit idly by while those standing for freedom, equality, are being oppressed?
- Is this a police state?
- Why does the State keep signing away our freedoms? Our rights?
- How come more people aren't taking a stand?
- What if liberalism and peace signs can't defend from the tear gas, the baton, the complicit orders of this nation?
- Why isn't reform working?
- What good are bipartisan governments if neither side stands for the real issues?
If these thoughts cross your mind... you may be ready to take the next step.
We need to think good and hard about police brutality, The People, and the growing spread of oppression. The questions are valid - there will be no easy answers.
First of all, we need to think clearly here - there's "The People", and "The State". The People are citizens of the United States - no matter what sector they work in, or what sector they don't work in. The State is federal government, as well as all the subsidies thereof, including the states, counties, and cities - a full line of public sector regulators and enforcers, as well as those who work for them, which now includes a growing privatized market trading formerly government-only sectors, such as corporate police, for-profit banks, hospitals, prison systems, much more.
We must be able to identify either "The State", or "The People". We cannot depend on the "99% vs. 1%" dichotomy, because it starts a paranoia, a fear-mongering, and loathing, that pins blame and hatred in the wrong direction. Yes, the "1%" is responsible for a lot of our woes - but it's their cooperation and marriage to The State that enables oppression, and it's inevitably The State that carries out the dirty work whether on it's own behalf, or on behalf of the corporations.
With this ability to identify the characteristics of these entities, we can more fairly, justly, and accurately describe our growing austerity.
When we understand this we can identify a police state. In the US, there is not a continuous police state, but there are two places that exemplify a police state. Let's look at just what it is.
When walking the streets with a protest, one hears the accusation of a "police state" or "fascist state" often - but more often than not, these protesters have no idea what that means.
Let's look first to Oakland. Oakland is world-renowned for their police brutality, to suppress Occupy Oakland, the mayor and local governments institutionalized, initiated, and allowed the police to rule the streets. Let's look at January 28, 2012. It was a simple march... and the police dominated the streets, the police put the fear into all the citizens... the mayor and the police initiated swift propaganda campaigns to turn the peaceful protesters into terrorists. In an attempt to rationalizing a full lockdown of the city. On January 28, our freedom was in the hands of the police. What was legal and what was not was determined by whatever officer stood nearby. We know as well as the Federal govt. that Oakland PD has a terrible, terrible idea of what is moral, legal, or just. Because we saw this, and we know this historically, there is a very clear distinction from Oakland in a police state, versus Oakland "normal". When you look out your windows, and all you can see is a street full of cops, and the only ones running the city are the police, you know it's a police state. A single act of police brutality, even a string of it, does not constitute a police state. Why? Because the ability for an officer to brutalize the people does not mean police state, it just means bad police. But when the police become the only government and authority for a city for any length of time, that length of time is police state. This is rare. It is very, very rare that the police take full control of the city, and it's only in times when there has been a successful propaganda campaign to rationalize control by the police, and only when the justification is that something or some people need to be oppressed... and here's the key words to look for... "for the good of the people". Anyone acting for the good of the people is acting for the good of an individual, or a group. It is impossible to act for the good of a group of people... it cannot be done. You cannot stand for stand for someone else, they must stand up for themselves. You can act in solidarity, but solidarity does not oppress a people. The people do not protest in solidarity against the people... and so when the police claim solidarity with the people to brutalize them, you can see the crack in the logic that leads you to a conclusion, and that conclusion is that you are sitting in, or witnessing, a police state.
Next let's look at Chicago, the NONATO protests. G8 had already been moved to Camp David in fear of disruption by The People. The largest protests lasted from May 18-21, 2012, but for the most part, the city was not in a police state. Many people claimed it was, but it wasn't. Let's look at Friday's Anti-Capitalist march. Police employed a tactic called "kettleing" where a group of people is surrounded, with no escape, by police. The People were being kettled over and over... every intersection, and were led by police to good areas for snatch-and-grab arrests and to minimize the voice of the people. There was a lot of police brutality, and there was a lot of bad policing. There was a lot of infiltration, but that didn't constitute a police state. Why? Because two blocks from the protests, there was no sign of the police, there was no sign of protest, and things were running as usual in the hands of Rahm Emmanuel, and free of "disruption". It felt like hell in the middle of it all, but take a brisk walk in the other direction and you can clearly see that the police were only concerned with, and surrounding, the protesters. On Sunday, the day of the main marches, things were transformed. Inspired by the "pride" of Chicago actively hosting the NATO summit, and having been pressured and brainwashed by the federal govt. to hate and fear the protesters (not to mention a comprehensive but ineffectual propaganda campaign to scare away Chicago citizens), the police state emerged. The characteristics finally extended beyond the protest itself. More than four blocks away from the cleared kettle, a man sitting at a red light was suddenly surrounded by two dozen officers, pulling him out of the car at gunpoint, arresting and searching him with no probable cause, pulling him away to the chartered city bus, sign reading "MY KIND OF TOWN". Police rounded up anybody looking out of the ordinary, even miles away, on no charge but to simply constrain freedoms. Every street corner had riot cops... every shifty looking citizen was being followed by police... the skies were full of police and US Coast Guard (USCG) choppers, shining spotlights and recording all ground activity in search for anything slightly less than super-legal. Smaller marches were being kettled and dispersed by police, to be kettled and arrested on little to no charge. All the waters were filled with armed police and USCG vessels poised to shoot. Passing police meant risking arrest, and if you escaped that, you'd be subject to vulgar namecalling, cursing, and threatening by "Chicago's Finest". Meanwhile, unsigned search warrants were being illegally served, there was no safety. The entire city was on lockdown. The city was in the hands of the police. They were present everywhere. This is a police state. The city was being run by the police, some federal, but mostly local Chicago PD. This was a time where walking the streets meant risking arrest, where sitting at home meant being subject to surveillance, and where a chunk of the Dictionary of Freedom were fighting words. The people, even the ones not protesting, living in Chicago, were afraid. The air was thick with it. Fear was both the rationalization and the weapon of the police state. There was no way out. Take the subway, pass the cops. Sit on the bench, be interrogated by an undercover - Police State - fear justified it, and fear kept it alive.
Have you started to question the integrity of law enforcement, or the existence of a police state? First, let's digest. Let's gather our thoughts. This may not be easy. Because many of us susceptible to the idea of freedom are liberal, we need to transcend traditional liberal thinking. Liberalism holds that sitting in front of the police with a sign, and hands drawn into the peace symbol will eventually, and with enough people, lead to freedom. If you have learned to distinguish the State, and have witnessed the police state, you may now be, or have, considered that mainstream liberalism is ineffectual. Liberalism and conservatism are branches of the bipartisan democrat/republican phenomenon. It is a blank and empty battle, because both sides are equally nonsensical and ineffectual as the other. Sure, we like to think that the liberals want and fight for progress, though reading between the lines, and serving a plate of experience, ensures indigestion. Liberalism can only go so far, and while it has its merits, it draws an exclusionary line to the other side of the tracks. The other side of the tracks is resistance.
Gone are the days where the sole connotation of resistance was the Zapatistas, or the dirty hippies, or the black-clad anarchists. Resistance is for Anyone. Many of us that are realizing exactly what a world we live in, are being put onto the borders of liberalism. When you realize that shoving flowers down gunbarrels does not win a war, and does not perpetuate the revolution, then you're nearing the zone of resistance. The resistance knows that we must use diversity of tactics, diversity of methods, and affinity groups to accomplish freedom. Freedom will never be handed to us, and the more stark that becomes, the more logical it is to advance the fight. We must fight for our freedom in the same way that all other resistance fighters have, to learn what worked. Resistance from the French, the Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Spanish, and so many more. There's a plethora of history that serves to teach us exactly how to wage revolution, and in all cases, it was not won by pure liberalism, nor pure non-violence. And as sad as it is to anticipate physical resistance and bloodshed, we must come to terms with the fact that revolution is hard. Resistance is hard. In fact, it's going to be the hardest thing we'll ever do. It isn't heroic, and it's rarely savory. The best nights will be the ones spent with fellow warriors, revolutionaries, and success will be veiled by bitterness, will first be manifest in Pyrrhic victory. We have a natural distaste for hardship. We like easy, we like simple. We like peace, we like comfort, safety. In the beginning, it was dark. Cold, and bleak. But despite this, we stay each baton blow, each trespass and injustice, because we can see ahead is a light... and even if all we have is the idea of freedom, it is enough to cling until finally we succeed, we achieve total freedom.
Austerity... it is a reality that our job economy is on the rocks, along with the market economy, justice, legislation, and every other bit or compatriot of The State must be held responsible. All over the globe, austerity is our reality. The US will not... and let this be clear... will NOT escape austerity. We try. We are listening to constant propaganda telling us that everything is getting better... but we know... we understand and are saddened to see that those State lies are running thin. We will not magically be a superpower again. We will face austerity. And when this happens, the People will finally agree that The State is bad, so are the corporations, naturally, we'll revolt. Just like everywhere else. We're human beings... and when we realize wrongs, we get angry.
What I'm proposing is that you do not wait for austerity to plan for, create, and live resistance. When it comes to austerity, there will be three types of people. Three;
- Those who fear, panic.
- Those who vie for power.
- Those who resist, revolt.
Which will you be? The conservatives are armed to the teeth. But they will need help finding targets. Their distrust of outsiders will create a dangerous atmosphere. Those conservatives who pretend and live as if they have, when they have not, such as in rural communities, will fall into turmoil. We need to steer clear of these people. They will quake and have little truth to cling to once the carpet of corporation and statehood becomes defunct.
Those who vie for power will attempt to sell the "golden answer" to the people. We all want a solution. The people who vie for power will be the ones to offer it in the simplest of terms, the easiest way... will sell the panacea to freedom... and will blind you as they climb a ladder to fascism and prey on the weak-minded to their own end.
Those who resist and revolt will tear down the system, will rip out the cancer, and will live the hardest life knowing the greatest truth and suffering forever because of it... but they will win and they will rise, and they are the only ones who can lead a stateless system to be powered by, of, and for The People, the way the radicals did of old. This is the hardest road. But preparing for it, starting it, and living resistance can enable a way to both fight and cope at the same time.
If you agree then I think we might be on the same page. I'm asking you to consider resistance.
From here, let's acknowledge that we are all going to be autonomous individuals. I'm not going to tell you what to do. Because if I did, I would be person number 2 on the list. Resist those people. Instead, I'm going to suggest that you consider what defines you... that means one thing you must do is learn to check your privilege. Especially if you're white. Inflicting privilege on others makes you both ineffectual, and a target. Next, trust no one. Learn security culture. Protect yourself. We cannot go out onto a battlefield wearing bullet-proof armor, we have to move fast... and when we're not moving, we're targets. Minimize yourself as a target as much as possible. You have to find your own balance between being anonymous, and having a life. One without the other means the death of an important part of you. Now, you need to form affinity groups. Working alone will be your end. Work with others... and here's the most important part. Raise hell.
Raise hell. Abandon the "Mother, may I?" culture... take what you must, do what you must, and above all, operate only to raise inclusiveness and freedom. Freedom. You may need to redefine that, the State taught that freedom was a privilege, not a right, and that it came with caveats. We must resist that. However you decide to raise hell, do so in groups, be safe.
Don't get caught. You're no good to the resistance sitting in jail or tied up in legal cases. The system works against us. The State will always work against us. Anyone citing "for the good of the people" is a liar and a fiend. It is preferred that we operate without violence, but you must anticipate that there will be violence, and you need to either prepare a good defense from it, or you need to act preemptively to minimize injury. Sometimes, things normally "violent" will be the most successful things to tear down a system, and protect the rights and freedoms of The People. It is sad that it is so. If you do that, you must not get caught, and you must have a mastery of the craft. You must always be tactical. If you aren't, you will be beaten. The police and military train their whole lives to use tactics to oppress and kill us... and if we don't prepare tactics to defend ourselves against it, then better tactics will be used to end us.
If you get caught, expect terrorist charges. Understand that the word "terrorist" is used to set up a effective veil of propaganda, connotations, and fearmongering that can land you in jail, or dead, for simply fighting for what you believe in.
I know this is a lot to ask, it's a lot to stomach. But this is the next step. We must. Freedom is worth it... and freedom, inclusiveness... does not come with caveats. This country was of the First Nations.... our white ancestors committed mass genocide, colonized, and waged war to establish The State. If you need to find the rage to drive you to resist, then look first to this... the pillaging, murder of culture by seizing the children of Turtle Island, forced assimilation of the First Nations. Atrocities of war. Look at the exploitations by colonized corporations. Look at the police brutality... imagine the river of blood we wade in every day. As Americans, we have blood on our hands, our history is stained by the river of blood, fear, and hate that drove us to become a global superpower... and this is why we must cleanse. To do that, we must decolonize. It's not easy. I've said it many times, and I'll say it again.
It's time to mobilize, and it's time to fight.
Resistance does not start with violence... it does not mean you're immediately a terrorist.
The first step is to identify yourself... no longer as a liberal, no longer as a corporate tool, nor government-whore. No longer as a conservative, nor even a citizen of some proud country. You must identify yourself, who you really are... find strengths and weaknesses, and plug in. Plug in, or if you can't, start an affinity group. Trust no one. Find your warriors, and work together. Resistance can start as easy as a change in rhetoric. It can start by de-arresting somebody... or by segregating those working for the State from The People. It's often like the flip of a switch. But I wrote this for you. I want you to know that wading into resistance is beautiful. It's natural. It means you're finding the power in you to rise as The People... it means you're unlearning the propaganda of The State...divorcing what has been engrained into you... you are more you now that you have ever been. You can turn from this easily, but the thought has already breached your walls. It will be hard to quell the resistance in your head... and that is because resistance never dies. It's held in the hearts of all those who fight for freedom. And if you are going to fight for freedom, I want you to know, above all else, that no matter how hard the road, no matter what cost or toll it takes, you are not alone. You are not alone. And, that freedom is worth fighting for. Freedom is worth death, it is worth jail, it is worth toil. Freedom is possible. So is another world. But it isn't easy. Let us do this together.
Rise, and decolonize.
The revolution as begun - everything for everyone.
Don't get caught.
All Cops Are Bastards... ACAB.