Filed under: Critique, Editorials, Police, Repression, US
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“Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306. Upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529.
This past week was rife with outrage toward the multiple police killings of black people across the United States. The speed in which these state-sanctioned murders come to light has fueled an already radicalized and embattled Black Lives Matter movement. It’s pretty clear in recent days that agitation against the police is reaching a tipping point.
The most intense displays of this protest came out of Charlotte, North Carolina after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott for reading a book while black. In the minutes after the shooting, Scott’s daughter, Lyric livestreamed the scene on Facebook. People watched in real time as she reacted to the news of her father’s death, drawing droves of people from their screens and into the streets.
Mass demos turned into full scale riots as the protest escalated further into the night. One livestreamer Mills Shaka Zulu Gill aka King Mills, broadcast most of the action that night.
Mills filmed everything from bonfires to lootings giving commentary and pepping the crowd the whole time. At one point on the highway, angry truckers are heard firing off warning shots. Mills stream peaked at over a million views just after midnight.
During the second night of protests, a protester was shot and killed by the Charlotte Police Department. Mainstream media outlets reported that a black man shot the protester but multiple witnesses claim the cops fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. One of these less-than-lethal rounds struck the protester leaving them in a pool of their own blood. The contrast between CNN and Facebook was stark. Those watching livestreams spread news that it was the cops, while cable television repeated the Charlotte PD’s press statement.
Since the murder of Philando Castile, Facebook Live has become a go-to tool for comrades to report on material violence in real time. We can criticize Mills for showing people committing acts that could invite repression but we can’t let poor security culture overshadow the service he provided. People around the world who don’t have a clear understanding of insurrectionary situations were able to see potentially inspiring acts of resistance.
Mills continues to liveblog everything that has happened to him at this point. Mills is right, we shouldn’t be apologetic anymore. People are tired of repeating the same old platitudes going through the same motions to get the same empty results. The age of respectability politics is over. We should not hide our politics and must be honest with our convictions.
The events in Charlotte show the brutal reality in regards to the level of repression the state brings to bare against communities of color rising up for their liberation. As tensions escalate further we will need to closely support each other and to get out of this alive.
Technology may yet provide us with the tools to build these communities but we will need to wrestle control away from Silicon Valley. As these escalations continue, comrades can learn to amplify voices of struggle while still maintaining a respect for security culture. We will also stand in the face of a growing fascist movement, one that seeks to organize with the police. This worrying trend has become a primary concern for us.
Blue Lives Murder
The police news website Blue Lives Matter and the network of pro-cop fascists spared no time shaming, attacking, and discrediting the Charlotte Rebellion. These pigs labelled everyone who rose up in Charlotte as “violent criminals.” They insisted Keith Lamont Scott was armed, they repeated the cops lie about black-on-black protest violence, they focused on stories of white people and journalists allegedly being assaulted. All of this is done to completely reject the protester’s concerns and invalidate their right to resist.
Many of us are exhausted with this battle. Two years after Mike Brown’s death, and the police have only become more violent, more entrenched, and more dismissive of even the most basic reforms.
Currently, Blue Lives Matter legislation is making it’s way through state houses across the United States. These laws will criminalize small acts of resistance, such as de-arresting comrades, throwing rocks and bottles, assaulting cops and even posting “threats” on social media, by defining them as hate crimes. Police are already a protected class so it’s clear these laws are meant to attack and marginalize the anti-police movement.
Now more than ever do we need to stand together and publicly declare our defiance to police violence and white supremacy. We need to understand that All Black Lives Matter, even those with criminal records and those who chose to fight back. This new black liberation movement has been inspired by Korryn Gaines and Syville Smith precisely because their narratives don’t fit the typically liberal mold. No longer shall we let the cops smear our comrades for acts of survival. We know who the real thugs are. The Fraternal Order of Police recently endorsed Donald Trump. Cops around the United States are being outed as Nazis. This institution is completely illegitimate and whatever laws their leash-holders pass have no binding on stolen land.
We must always positively affirm our responsibility to resist, no matter how such resistance is viewed by the state and white society. Remember, we’re not fighting for them, we’re fighting for each other.