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This is a response to an article written after a group of Fire This Time activists were harassed, assaulted and handcuffed by the Vancouver Transit Police and RCMP. While we are in solidarity with the three activists - as we are with anyone who is a target of the state – we feel like the rhetoric used in their response to the situation is a rhetoric of reform and therefore a language that does not challenge the existence of the current social order and the cops who actively protect it.
First, the article is not explicitly anti-police, only anti-police brutality. The criticism of police brutality is inherently liberal and doesn't acknowledge that the police play a role (specifically the role of enforcer) in a larger system that is inherently violent. The idea that it is only isolated incidents of overt violence by some cops that are harmful suggests that it may be possible to reform the police into a 'good institution'. This is obviously impossible, since the police exist within a very specific context – a system that exists to benefit a small minority at the expense of the rest of us. So long as cops exist, their role will be to impose and enforce the laws of this society, and this will always place them in opposition to the exploited class. There are no good cops, there are no just laws. The only solution is to attack both the idea and the physical manifestations of the police and justice systems.
Second, the use of the language of rights and democracy. We must go beyond begging the state for more rights, because as long as we continue to legitimize the state's authority in this way, we will always be slaves to it. Any right the state gives us can be taken away in an instant. The article's outrage at the “assault on our democratic rights” fails to recognize that the very function of this system is to perpetuate itself. Of course, if it can do this as 'gently' as possible if it prefers to do so, but the overtly repressive hand of the state is always waiting. We need to stop struggling for more 'just' laws and new reforms, and take matters into our own hands. This requires a project based on direct action and attack with our own personal desires and lives as the basis.
Lastly, the article and it's slogan of “Stop harassment and assault of political activists” suggests that there should be special recognition for 'political prisoners'. This type of language ignores the millions of individuals who are sent to jail simply for being part of the exploited class. Stealing, drug-dealing, and other acts of survival are considered crimes and the individuals who engage in this act are constantly at odds with this society and the cops who protect it, not because of a political program, but because their very lives are a threat to the maintenance of the social order. We are opposed to the cops and the system they protect because we desire to live our lives in a way of our own choosing, and this has put us in conflict with the current social order. We have no interest in reforming the justice system, we want any system that intends to limit our freedom destroyed. We refuse to distinguish between 'political' and other prisoners, and we act in solidarity with all of the exploited who live in opposition to this system, because our struggle is the same.