On Saturday March 12, the Pasadena Anarchist Collective was having a meeting to plan for a March 19th Anti-War protest at a gathering in South Pasadena when two cops in their uniform disrupted the meeting. They sat in, claiming that they heard of the meeting on PAC's website (http://www.pasadenaanarchy.org
), and that the website said the meeting was open to everyone. As they sat there arrogantly, they read through the anti-war flyers that sat on the table in Garfield Park.
The discussion of the meeting included creating a banner, flyers, and building for a March 19th action being planned in Pasadena, marking the second anniversary of the unjust invasion of Iraq by the U.S. When the cops arrived I suggested that "Stop the Police State" should be added to the flyer, ironically the cop argued that we're not living in a police state (when they were there in their uniform, disrupting the meeting). This is an open tactic of intimidation and disruption by the agents of the state. They're afraid that their way of life is being challenged by young people and revolutionary minded people in general. It is a sign of the times, when there is open repression by those in power, that means we are becoming more effective and more influential in society, as activists in general and as non-authoritarian anarchists in particular.
I think we can't be paralyzed by the state but we can't be naive either. They have come down on dissidents and imprisoned them, or even murdered them without apology. We have to be more disciplined and not underestimate the ruling class and their unwillingness to cooperate with humanity. The internet is a great tool but be we should be aware that cops and other agents use the internet to spy on our efforts as well.
Combating Police Brutality
The police in Southern California seem to be on an offensive of murder, theft, and disrupting people's lives (openly playing the role of an occupying army). But not only don't they get penalized for their crimes, they get bonuses, as in the case of Donovan Jackson -- a Black youth who was brutalized by the police in Inglewood and all was caught on videotape. The cop who beat him, Jeremy Morse, claimed he was discriminated against for being white and won 1.6 million dollars.
On February 5th, college student Bassim Chmait was murdered by a drunk off-duty border patrol officer.
On February 7th, 13 year old Black youth Devin Brown was shot ten times by an LAPD cop after they chased him for supposedly joyriding in a stolen car.
Yesterday March 12th, in Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles, the INS set up road blocks and checkpoints, harassing people walking and driving and checking if they had ID.
I think we have to step things up and not remain on the defensive tactically. Organizing copwatches (where people observe the police and tape them while they go on with their business as usual in the communities harassing, profiling, and intimidating people) has been effective, and also trainning others how to do copwatches.
Doing this today has to grow in the future to people in communities and whole regions organizing themselves autonomously and defending themselves from the police when they are being attacked. They would rely on themselves in protecting their community and each other.
The police are an oppressive force, that is used as not only to keep us living in fear, but keep us in line; they are counterinsurgents. They only protect and serve the interests of the white-supremacist capitalist system.
They keep us from reaching the understanding that we don't need those in power and our bosses, but they need us -- and they need us to fall in line with their agenda driven by their greed and thirst for power.
Stop Police Brutality, Stop the Police State!
-member of the Los Angeles Collective Network