There’s an important discussion taking place around the relationship between democracy and security. Fearful of losing their privileges, the ruling class is using media to argue for putting more resources into security, policing, surveillance and militarism. Under the disguise of protecting the public and fighting terrorism, the real policy objective is to maintain the status quo; a task becoming more challenging due to mass awakening, the crisis of capitalism and shifting geopolitics. The ruling class has always had fascistic tendencies for history teaches us the poor masses inevitably rise up to challenge inequality and oppression.
Movements like Black Lives Matter are raising awareness about the draconian policing and incarceration practices in the US and inspiring similar movements in Canada, Brazil and around the world. Police reforms like body cameras and community control are important and need to be implemented. The time has come to take the next step and call for abolition. We need to challenge the basic assumption that communities cant protect themselves and must depend on others to protect and serve them. A discussion around what causes unwanted behaviors, community care solutions and police alternatives needs to be fostered.
Modern policing in North America is rooted in colonialism and slavery. In Canada, the Northwest Mounted Police (RCMP) was created to protect the European colonies and industries from indigenous people’s struggle to take back their lands. They would often kill indigenous people in this effort. In the US, many of the police departments, especially in the south, morphed from the slave patrols who were used to intimidate the enslaved Africans, prevent revolts and capture those who escaped. They would often kill the Africans trying to break free. The murder of indigenous, black and other peoples occurring today by police is therefore not new and rooted in history.
The widespread killing of Africans is part of an ongoing policy of genocide. Recognizing the mass awakening taking place, the powers that were are scared and desperate to take out all opposition to their rule. Through the police, they are killing Africans and trying to intimidate poor people to keep us from rising up to challenge their draconian vision of total control. Thankfully, people are fearlessly continuing to oppose these powers and demanding democracy now. A constant barrier to empowerment remains the police departments; institutions precisely designed to disempower. That why we must demand more then reform; we must demand abolition.
We can live in peace without the police. Communities, past and present, have lived in harmony without the need for police. We can imagine ways to improve our relations with one another. Building self-sufficient communities that guarantee rights like housing, food and other basic necessities. We can raise awareness, educate and promote mental well-being. We can learn how to de-escalate situations and how to resolve conflicts using community-based non-violent means. We can focus on community care and transcend the structures of oppression like capitalism and colonialism that generate unconsciousness and violence in our communities. Now is the time to abolish the police and build communities free from state violence, free from fear.