The Cops are a Slideshow


Apr. 3rd 2009 in the deep end, witnesses

This is a comment from indymedia’s page showing the film of police attacking peaceful protesters in London at the G20 Climate Camp.

The cops are a sideshow

Published: Thursday 02 April 2009 23:50 by Cascadian

At least in Seattle the non-violent direct action protesters and the sheer numbers in the streets that day actually prevented WTO business from going forward. Usually the meetings go forward as planned AND everyone wastes time arguing police vs. protester tactics.

The essential point is this: the cops are not your enemy, even when they’re going out of their way to beat you up. They’re just the instruments of power, designed to maintain the status quo and hopefully maintain order at the same time. Most of the individual cops don’t have an opinion about the G20 or the WTO or whatever it is at all. They’re a tool that either is used for you or against you.

Challenging the cops just makes it easier for them to line up for their appointed role as protectors of the status quo, which currently means the interests of global capital. The way you make revolutionary change is to bypass the cops, or if that isn’t possible, turn the cops to your side by changing the underlying balance of power. Except in rare circumstances property destruction and violence doesn’t change that balance of power, because the powerful will always have more tools of coercion. Instead, real change requires you to persuade enough people both inside and outside the existing power structure that things have to change. When that happens, all of a sudden the balance of power is on the side of the people in the streets, and it’s the bankers that have to worry about being dragged off to jail.

But that’s hard, and not as viscerally satisfying as chucking a bottle at a black-clad storm trooper.

What useless battles are you fighting? Re-direct your energy, focus on what is important.


  1. sparx's Gravatar
    sparx, May 17, 2009:

    also, i dig your blog even though leaving a comment is a really confusing & complicated ordeal.

  2. sparx's Gravatar
    sparx, May 17, 2009:

    but the struggle for freedom may require breaking the law & violence.

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