Whom do police serve, and what do they protect?


When we see the brutality of Hampton’s killers, the Vallejo police force, or any other agencies in the Imperial core, we are not seeing a righteous institution violated from within, we are seeing the nature of the beast.  U.S. police are inseparable from their historic and present functions of serving the bourgeois class. They have never broken from their function of keeping workers down, protecting capitalists’ property, and keeping oppressed nationalities and peoples from gaining the strength needed to overthrow the oppressors. The leftist slogan “All Cops Are Bastards,” often shortened to ACAB, is not contradicted by the aunt or uncle with a badge who loves their children and takes care of their neighbor’s dog when they’re out of town. It is an acknowledgement of the truth that the function of the police is to repress Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples and the entire working class, uphold the systems of our exploitation, and protect the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.  All police, to the last, serve this function. They avoid accountability through ever evolving means, from herding white kids away from Black neighborhoods to selective use of body cams. Theirs is an institution that can never be reformed under capitalism, as our current state of late capitalism relies on them to hold the system together. They are enemies of the working class and oppressed peoples and are irreconcilable with our liberation. We will challenge the police, and as is their nature. some of us will be hurt. But on the other side of this struggle, we will free ourselves of their brutality as we topple the bourgeoisie and build a world by us for us.

Oscar Grant was pulled off the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train by transit police

In January 2009, Oscar Grant was pulled off the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train by transit police after a reported fight, thrown to the ground and shot to death. Grant was unarmed. | Photo: The Weinstein Company

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