Bankers destroying inner cities through their control of capital and the politicians who make the laws in society are acts of extreme violence. The police, armed representatives of the bankers and their politicians occupy and patrol the most depressed communities in order to ensure the victims "stay calm" under adverse conditions. The only acceptable resistance is that which doesn't work, appealing to the culprits and their representatives. When the situation becomes so dire, when the subjugation, oppression and state violence in all its forms becomes unbearable and its victims resist in waves of righteous anger, the mass media, owned by the same bankers and capitalists calls for calm and non violence, and those of us who have not given a thought about these conditions or if they have would never, for fear of disrupting their daily lives, act in any way that might help alter the situation soak up the 1%'s media spin on it all like a sponge.
People, any people, do not confront the state and its security apparatus at a whim. The protests in Baltimore, Ferguson and other recent social upheavals and any riots that accompany them are a response to violence not the instigators of it.
We are reprinting this for the interest of our readers. It was originally published at Vox.co. Facts For Working People does not believe cameras on the police will prevent the police from doing what they are paid to do, defend the rights of capital, of monied interests to exploit the worker, the poor, those of us whose existence depends on selling our labor power as opposed to buying it. We must keep in mind that the police are not workers in the same way most of us are and cannot serve our political and economic interests. They an armed force of the state, the capitalist/corporate state. But what cameras have done is expose not isolated incidents but practices that have gone on forever. It will make them more cautious, not quite so bold for fear of getting caught.
Added note: I just heard on the radio the governor of Maryland say that the rioters are "Gangs of thugs roaming the streets". Now I accept that not all cops are the same, not all cops join with the hope of killing someone or beating the crap out of them. You might end up like that in this job though. And I am sure there are cops that do not like what others are doing but are afraid of saying anything after all, you could die out there. But would the governor of Maryland use the term to describe the cops as a "Gang of thugs roaming the streets"? And that's the situation, the proven situation that exists in so many places. The cops that severed Freddy Gray's spine are a "Gang of thugs roaming the streets" and an armed and gang of thugs with the power of the state and the judicial system backing them up.
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As violent protests broke out in Baltimore on Monday, resulting in some destroyed businesses and at least 15 injured police officers, longtime Baltimore reporter and creator of The Wire David Simon put up a blog post calling for peace. In the post, Simon tried to separate the ostensible cause of the protests — the death of Freddie Gray in police custody earlier this month — and the violence that's arisen as the civil unrest has continued through this week:
There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today. But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man's memory and a dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.But later Monday, another native son of Baltimore, the Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates, wrote a persuasive response to anyone who calls for protesters to be "nonviolent" without connecting it directly to the death of Gray or the allegations of brutality against other African-American residents by Baltimore police officers. The post is worth reading in full, because Coates is one of America's best living social critics. But this paragraph in particular, while it's not an explicit response to Simon, is certainly a persuasive response to arguments like Simon's:
The people now calling for nonviolence are not prepared to answer these questions. Many of them are charged with enforcing the very policies that led to Gray's death, and yet they can offer no rational justification for Gray's death and so they appeal for calm. But there was no official appeal for calm when Gray was being arrested. There was no appeal for calm when Jerriel Lyles was assaulted ("The blow was so heavy. My eyes swelled up. Blood was dripping down my nose and out my eye.") There was no claim for nonviolence on behalf of Venus Green ("Bitch, you ain’t no better than any of the other old black bitches I have locked up.") There was no plea for peace on behalf of Starr Brown. ("They slammed me down on my face," Brown added, her voice cracking. "The skin was gone on my face. ...")