*Newsletter attacking the cops generally and specifically, strongly putting forward what they do and WHY they do it.
- Telegraph the message "You are next."
The cops target specific groups and behaviors but they do this to whip the entire community into shape - to make sure that everyone is working hard, staying in early, and keeping to themselves.
*Keep track of cop activities. Make contact and share information with other groups which also do this.
*Keep track of welfare-homeless control-immigration-youth repression and other activities.
1-2 large pages, 10 point Times Roman with some graphics, 500 words.
Text can be taken from radio show, discussion,
Written out humourously.
"Cops defending themselves against savage, unarmed wheel-bound assailent use pepper-spray and "
Reacting to the sinister crime of refusing provide ID, the cops hog-tie and pepper-spray a man placing feathers in a flower-bed of Scobbert Park.
The first thing to do is to not provide any information to police if you can help it.
Remember especially that once you are arrested by the police, None of the information you use will used for you. All the information that you provide will be used against you. The more you talk, the more the cops can pick and choose to find things against you.
Remember also that police can use information you provide regardless of whether they "read you your rights."
Just don't talk.
Beyond that, there isn't too much to until we start collective action against the cops.
Perhaps some people are surprise that the cops spend little time fighting crimes against people.
There are many reasons cops seldom fight crimes against people.
Hardened criminals are more dangerous and hard to find than drunks and homeless - like other workers, cops must settle into a routine that's fairly safe.
Most money crime isn't against people but against stores and businesses - businesses have more money and they are where the money changes hands.
More than 50% of the people imprisoned in this country are in jail for using drugs. Many others are in jail for victimless crimes. Only a small percentage of people in prison are in for hurting or attacking another person.
All sorts of bozos promise people rights. And we presume the cops are the one to deliver these. Obviously, they don't.
(Don't tell us about the right of people who agree with the government to speak, assemble etc. Even the Soviet Union gave people the right obey).
We have about as many rights as we as group are willing to fight for. And considering there's no fight, it shouldn't be surprise that we have few rights.
This is not a whiny, liberal newsrag asking the cops to be nice.
We don't expect the cops to be nice. We expect them to defend their interests.
The cops use pepper spray torture on anyone who gives them trouble because make people fear them more. And they figure the more they are feared, the easier their jobs.
So why shouldn't the cops do this?
We'll leave you to answer that.
The cops are not "their problem."
Do you have a mortgage? Student Loans? credit card bills? Every time the cops terrorize a homeless person, they are also aiming at you.
The message today is that anyone who falls off the gravy train will fall under the wheel quickly.
This society is full of crazy people. And many have gone crazy from working.
For Eugene police, pepper spray torture is a standard procedure.
* An encounter with the police is usually part of an entire cycle of events.
- It begins with a conflict with an owner, an inter-personal conflict, or simply with people who have a quality the police don't like(Homeless, minorities, inter-racial couples, non-conforming youths, etc).
- It then continues with a police encounter.
- A police encounter is often followed by a person being processed into the entire judicial system.
* Different groups or people often have different strategies for dealing with an encounter with the police. While we can call for unity as a whole, we cannot demand that in a particular jam that anyone tow our or anyone's line.
* The police are an armed group occupying the area for their purposes. We can broadcast our opposition to their general presense and we can thwart some of their actions. But naturally we cannot pretend to prevent all of their abuses or stand as one power against another.
* The resources to stand against the actions of the police involve publicity, mass organized actions, individual actions and legal resources. All of our resources will begin as extremely limited and most likely remain at least somewhat limited.
We must consider what the ultimate consequence of each activity.
If we are intervening deeply in the situation of a particular person, we should be prepared to follow the situation from it's first stage to it's last stage.
- The resource that we will have for intervening is publicity and political organizing.
- We should not give the impression that we can use this resource as something like a magic wand to solve any problem. Those who get help should know the power and limitations of this approach.
- We can still encompass the situations of those who are not are particular causes. We can publicize the general behavior of the police without needing to photograph each instance. We essentially need only enough photographs to prove our point. Having enough evidence means our activity goes to the next level - publicity, community out-reach and organizing.
* The scales of justice are ultimately tipped by money. This is in the form of lawyers and in the form of preasure from the moneyed interests of whatever area were are talking about. So when the political interests of the entire capitalist class of an area are concerned, lawyers won't be enough by themselves.
* We do not aim to create martyrs or work only to prove our right to observe and document. We begin knowing the scales are unfair, let the powers-that-be try to prove otherwise. Our target audience is the community of the dispossessed in our area and the larger world.
* We should document or intervene only to the extent we can provide an entire strategy against the police. While observing an incident may provide some protection for those involved, we must consider that entire support network is necessary for real protection rather than simply observing someone in a single incident.
If we are successful, we will quite likely become targets of harassment ourselves.
- Obtaining cameras with zoom lenses and intervening in situation where we have some rapport with those encountering the cops are important things.
* The police cannot be reformed. Certain behaviors or patterns of behavior can change. This can happen from the political preasure of mass organization, from the cop's realization that a certain behavior is ineffective or by this behavior having served it's purpose.
- We wish to modify police behavior by spreading a general awareness of police behavior.
.....WHAT WE ARE AGAINST....
* We cannot push reliance on non-police state institutions as an alternative to the police. Social welfare agencies and other groups cannot have a princepled opposition to the police and moreover are more and more tied to the police.
At the same time, we cannot make other people choices for them - folks rely on these institutions.
And we do not have the resources to become a social welfrare institution ourselves.
A political program against the police
1) We describe the role of the police in a capitalist society.
- Our Aim is not to prove the police are bad. However, putting forward blatant abuses in a visual form can force actions by heightening conscious awareness.
- By describing and documenting the real purpose of the police, it leaves the police themselves the job of proving they serve some useful purpose.
- We must work to discredit not just the police in particular but the entire justice system. It is key to have an over-all opposition to this complex.
- One should note that the trial system is an enforced theater event wherein an image of the community is invoked and used to punish "wrong doers." The jury is the institution used for this purpose. This illustrates the strong need of the justice system for an image of community support. And thus it this shows how general opposition within the community to the justice system can have strong effect (real juries even today hardly reflect the averge of the community but their most conformist edge.).
2) Document particular instances of police brutality.
3) Call for real organizing strategies against the police.
A) Create awareness of the role of the real role of the police.
B) Encourage no one to ever talk to the police.
C) Mass demonstrations and mobilizations.
D) Give general education on the importance of particular cases.
E) Encourage neighborhood solidarity to prevent certain instances of police intervention.
- Solving interpersonal conflicts (like fights between people) or personal crimes (like bike thefts) will not keep the police from seeing a need to intervene in the neighborhood. Neither will it create a situation where no one will ever call the police - shop owner and so-forth will always need the police for their protection.