Police Violence is a Tactic

A queer group entertained us at the West Coast Port Shutdown in Oakland this morning. They had a life-sized cutout of the infamous Lt. Pike. They handed out these leaflets:

The text reads:

When experiencing the unpleasant sensations of outrage about police brutality, do please remember:

Police violence is never an isolated incident of officers misbehaving.
Violent behavior by police officers is a regular, natural extension of state power.
Police violence affects marginalized communities (especially people of color, women, immigrants, poor people, sex workers, and queers) on a daily basis.
Police violence is a tactic, the purpose of which is to control a populace with fear, anger, and humiliation.
Police violence is terrorism.

Help us de-fuse the bomb of police terror:
Laugh with us.
Show them we are not afraid.
It will take us decades to dismantle the bigger problems that create police violence, but the work starts today, now:
Laugh with us.


I really appreciated these words. I had trouble sleeping last night, enraged by all the stories of police violence, fantasizing about revenge and payback.

This meant that the 1% won on many levels: they have me losing sleep, focusing on violence instead of nonviolence, and thinking about the cops instead of the power structures behind them.

It is good to be reminded that we are being deliberately goaded into this mental state, and to take a step back to re-assess and re-center.


One of the group’s signs:

hella blockading yr flow of capital

Gotta love it!

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