Hatred for the police? You feel it too? They piss you off, ticket you, harass you, arrest you, bring you to the station, baton you, pepper-spray you, or tear-gas you, beat you, surveil you, follow you, blackmail you, handcuff you, throw you in a cage, make you lose an eye, terrorize you?
They feel important strutting around in their uniform, putting their nose in everyone’s business. They represent the authority of the State. They hold the monopoly of legitimate violence. You must respect law and order, under the threat of having your life stolen from you and being thrown in a cage. They are the guard dogs of power.
Cops piss you off. But beyond sticking their nose in your business, they exist to maintain the system as it is, and to prevent people from revolting. No matter what they say, that’s their principal function. You often hear the classic argument that “police are nice, but like everything there are some bad apples that tarnish their reputation”. They justify their usefulness by ceaselessly displaying their feats of arresting a pedophile or pimp. Of course, these sorts of interventions are made a part of police tasks because we have been historically robbed of our capacities to manage conflicts in an autonomous way, but in reality, power doesn’t give a fuck about your well-being. The more a neighbourhood is gentrified, the more new citizens and businesses require a clean and secure neighbourhood. The police aren’t going to go beat a landlord making illegal rent-hikes – they reserve this treatment for the crackhead on the corner. “The police in service of the rich and the fascists”, the good old slogan reminds us.
March 15 is fast approaching, and like every year, a demonstration will be organized by the COBP (collective opposed to police brutality). And each year, there is confrontation and arrests. The COBP, as the acronym implies, aren’t opposed to the police as an institution, but to brutal police. For several years, the collective has strived to propose a citizen discourse begging to have rights respected. They bring police officers with deviant behaviours before the police ethics board, they try to make collective appeals against mass arrests and change certain laws, which was the case for the P-6 bylaw (prohibiting wearing masks during demonstrations). This bylaw was finally invalidated in 2016, thanks to the efforts of several comrades and lawyers. Nevertheless, a less brutal police doesn’t exist, because their ultimate function is to maintain order and to impose fear. If an uncontrollable revolt exploded, these armed dogs would fire on us without hesitation. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t struggle, but rather that we should face reality as it is. There is no good cop. There is no good law. We want to fight all the seeds and foundations of the authoritarian world, including the State, its laws, the logic of the law, and its police.
Worst of all is that is that power is so well ingrained that the police almost never need to intervene for the status-quo to be respected. Control is internalized in our bodies and our minds. We are domesticated from birth to respect the rules, to go to school, to go to work, to respect authority, to conform. They make us believe that our actions have no impact and they let us know that if we choose to do away with their institutions (owners, the State, the police, bosses, etc.) then it’s misery and prison waiting for us. Many people throw in the towel. But the reality is that they can’t be everywhere all of the time like Big Brother. By getting a bit organized, it is always possible to evade the tentacles of power and to try something irreversible. It’s firstly a matter of a bit of courage to chase the police from our minds and to confront our fears.
Let’s kick out the cop from our heads, our neighbourhoods, and our lives! To the attack!