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‘to protect and serve’ whom?

November 20, 2011

Two videos. The first, an interview with an amazing 84 year old woman who was pepper-sprayed by police at Occupy Seattle; the second, a police officer pepper-spraying student protesters at UC Davis in the face at point blank range for apparently sitting quietly on the pavement—just two of many recent cases of police attacking peaceful, unarmed protesters across the country.

I hate to say it, but in these instances, the police are not your friends. They’re not part of the 99%. It’s not that cops are individually bad people (I know a couple, and they’re great, hardworking men and women), or that they’re not struggling to survive like many of us are; but that as an institution, they’re designed to serve and protect the interests of the 1%, the owners and controllers of wealth, the ruling class.

Hopefully, occupiers can hold out and stay the course, maintaining “a rigid adherence to nonviolence” and “a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police,” to quote Chris Hedges, until these brave men and women begin to no longer obey orders, defecting from the ruling class and their agencies of state repression, and start protecting the 99%.


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