This post is to express solidarity with the thousands in the USA (& allies worldwide) who are protesting against the racist, white supremacist police system. These protests, referred to by some as revolution, uprising or an insurgency, were sparked by the murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of black man, Georg Floyd. Chauvin murdered Floyd by kneeling upon his neck causing him difficulty to breath. Floyd repeatedly told Chauvin that he couldn’t breathe. This murder was committed in front of members of the public, who filmed the crime, & three other police officers (Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng & Thomas K Lane) who either stood idly by or helped restrain Floyd.
Scruffy Theory, as I’m sure you know, is not politically neutral. Black lives matter. “All Lives Matter” cunts can get in the fucking sea. All lives cannot & will not matter until Black Lives matter. “Blue Lives” don’t matter because they don’t fucking exist. Being a cop is a JOB, a choice. You are not born a cop. If you have any self-respect, you don’t define your identity as being a cop. To quote the excellent visual artist, Teenage Stepdad, “Imagine having one life to live and deciding to spend it being a cop.”
ACAB, All Cops Are Bastards. Yes ALL cops are. The ones who you might define as “good cops” are standing by & allowing the white supremacists to murder Black people for the crime of being black. Many insist that most cops are good & only a small majority are bastards. This logic is ridiculous. A popular rebuttal against this is that if you have 1000 good cops & 10 bad cops, but the 1000 good cops don’t stop the 10 bad cops, then you have 1010 bad cops.
Another organisation hitting the nail on the head here is Existential Comics. They are posting regular facts & rebuttals to those who are supporting the police. Or bootlickers as they’re technically known. This is a favourite. These so-called “good cops” should probably find a useful job which supports communities rather than continuing in theri roles as antagonistic wreckers of communities.
Another disingenuous & morally reprehensible tactic for defending police & attacking protesters is to say something along the lines of “it’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop”. Obviously, as any rational human being can see, the linguistic framing used here is designed to engender support for the police & hostility towards the protesters (who are simultaneously being painted as “rioters” or “looters”). By framing the issue the other way around we can get to a more morally positive take on this. “It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop”. By reordering the priority given to the two supposed wrongs by the importance of human life over property, we reach a much sounder conclusion.
The framing of protesters as “rioters” or “looters” is probably the biggest problem, public opinion-wise, that we face right now. From my own observations of watching the protests (by live-streams on Unicorn Riot, Redfish & others), they are largely peaceful affairs. They remain peaceful until the police begin aggravating & threatening the crowds. There is at least one case where St. Paul police officer, Jacob Pederson, was filmed in plainclothes vandalised a branch of AutoZone. Just before this he spray painted “Free shit for everyone zone”.He was identified from the video by his ex-partner. Right-wing authoritarian governments have always relied on the use of Agent Provocateurs to rile up crowds of protesters & to incite violence. A simple Google search of the term “Agent Provocateur” will lead you down a rabbit hole of both anecdotal & hard evidence for this. [editorial note: I have taken the editorial decision to report that Umbrella Man was Jacob Pederson because a) I believe it to be true & b) various American news services reported the Saint Paul Police’s denial of it as fact, without evidence.]
As for “looting”, there are genuine legitimate arguments for expropriation of goods from the ruling, capitalist class (which helps to maintain the systematically racist status quo) into the hands of the working classes & marginalised groups. I have heard reports of people expropriating things like car baby seats, nappies (or diapers since this is the US), children’s clothing & other things which improve the quality of their lives. In addition to this, water, milk & food which was expropriated from stores such as Target & Walmart, have been redistributed throughout the crowd & used to protect themselves against the police violence. Many people wash out their eyes with milk after being targeted with teargas or pepper spray (Sometimes colloquially referred to as Mace, after a popular brand). A famous example of this is the 9 year old girl who was pepper sprayed by cowardly Seattle police officer, Jared Campbell (badge #8470).
There are also strong arguments that expropriation & redistribution of goods like this actually helps communities economically. Rick Sauermilch, Green Party Candidate for Michigan’s 110th District, argues this so eloquently that I’m just going to quote it entirely:
A lot of people have been talking about the effects of looting on “small businesses” and the general economics of the community and I think a big piece that’s missing from this conversation is that there are positive effects of looting for the people who are involved in it.
When Target loses goods they don’t just disappear from the economy. People take them home and use them. This has widespread economic effects in the community.
It’s been said that Hip-hop would have never existed if it wasn’t for the 1977 New York blackout and the looting that followed it because overnight the neighborhoods went from having one DJ to 20 or so DJ crews, all that gear they stole got turned into a business prospect. You can talk about all the economic activity that was “lost” but do we talk about how much money has hip-hop made for that community since?
How many young people just started a new business today in Minneapolis?
How many people woke up today and can finally start being a real photographer, or start coding on a laptop that finally has the specs, or finally got that sewing machine and can start working on their fashion career?
Please stop acting like looting is “destruction of property” and start looking at it for what it really is, a wealth transfer from corporations to the poor in the form of property.Rick Sauermilch, Green Party Candidate for Michigan’s 110th District.
So, in respect for Black people fighting for their lives against the murderous police force & corrupt authoritarian government, I stand in solidarity with them & their allies on the front lines.
No Justice, No Peace.
Black Lives Matter
All Cops Are Bastards