Historically police have used any means necessary to infiltrate, co-opt, and eliminate groups who challenge dominant cultural, legal, and economic practices.
The institution of policing is perpetuated not only by those in uniform, but through the auxiliary policing practices of business and neighborhood watches, neighborhood associations, surveillance, and many organizations that advocate for police reform rather than moving for the disempowerment, disarmament, and disbandment of the police.
Decades of police reform have not resulted in fewer black, brown, and poor people in cages, but in the professionalization of racialized, gendered, and classed violence. In the final analysis, lynching by white mobs differs little from capital punishment by state officials. Police reform by both liberals and conservatives has resulted in more laws, more prisons, and more police.
The police gain more power over all of us when people or groups are singled out as guilty, bad, troublemakers, crazy, violent, or dangerous; in the same way, appeals to innocence, morality, goodness, and nonviolence reinforce the punitive logic of policing.
We aim to break with this logic. We do not endorse calling the police. Instead we propose the development of cultural practices that allow us to engage in conflict without calling on the state to act on our behalf.
We affirm that our position is not extreme or unrealistic, but is firmly grounded in common-sense measures to protect our loved ones and communities from an ever-escalating police state.