We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cop Watch: protecting neighborhoods from the police

Click here to access article by Jelle Bruinsma from Reflections on a Revolution.
To protect their neighborhoods against police violence, Cop Watch groups in the U.S. patrol and document police activity, hoping to abate the harassment.
As an introduction Bruinsma writes:
Police brutality and harassment are problems in all modern [capitalist] societies. Those at the lower ends of class and race hierarchies stand a much higher chance of being targeted, brutalized, and ultimately killed by the ‘forces of order’. Irrespective of the country they live in, their neighborhoods are heavily patrolled and can often look like occupied territory. From Italy to the United States, from the Netherlands to Brazil, lives have been destroyed.

But of all western countries, none stands out so much as the United States. 
And in conclusion the author cites some critically important factors in defending communities from police who are controlled by the ruling capitalist class:
One key requirement for the success of any such project, however, is a civil society that cares. Spreading videos of brutalities is making an appeal to the moral consciousness of the viewer. Documenting incidents can help, but has to be supplemented by dedicated organizing by groups across the spectrum.

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