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(en) Czech, AFED: Defenders of order? - In connection with the police killing of Stanislav Tomáš [machine translation]

Date Thu, 1 Jul 2021 09:02:50 +0300

we return to the question of the meaning of the police, which we addressed in Existence No. 2/2017. ---- When we, as anarchists and anarchists, ask ourselves what our experience of the police is like, some remember a knocked-out tooth, the first bruise from a baton, a bully on the street for appearance, illegal perlustration, or threats of interrogation. And if we don't have such an experience directly, one of our friends has undoubtedly gone through it. ---- Or we can take a few recent examples[article published in April 2017]. At the turn of January and February, the trial of our comrades accused of preparing a terrorist attack continued[in the spring of 2018 , the case ended with a acquittal final judgment]. The role of the police was not to expose a dangerous individual, but to stage this preparation through their secret agents. In February, Katerina Krejcová was again convicted for allegedly assaulting a police officer while blocking a march of nationalists[in September 2018, she was finally found innocent after appeals]. This absurd verdict for an obviously fictitious injury is intended to be a warning to anyone who would dare to question the intervention of the police.

If anyone thinks that the police are busy catching criminals, they are wrong. He has enough capacity to write reports about our friend Igor Ševcov, whether he accidentally violates the court's order not to participate in anarchist events, which includes serving food to homeless people under the Food not Bombs (FNB) initiative.

The January[2017]police detention of FNB activists in Tampa, USA , also proves that solidarity is considered a crime . They said: "We do not plan to stop sharing food with hungry homeless people and we will continue to defy laws that criminalize compassion and mutual assistance." But it is not just a matter of criminalizing manifestations of uncontrolled organized solidarity. We also come across a police effort to prevent them. Thus, on the basis of a police initiative, the benefit concert for Food not Bombs in Vysoké Mýto was canceled in February[2017], as well as last year in April[2016]in Hradec Králové and Pardubice, the benefit for refugees.

And another recent example is the police persecution (arrests, beatings, imprisonment and convictions) of anarchists participating in the protests against unemployment tax in Belarus.

Help and protect

How does the police motto "Help and protect" relate to this practice? Who does the police actually help? Who and from whom does he actually protect? Following these examples, it helps artificially create crimes and criminals, protects itself from engaged people, helps prevent activists from political activities, protects the homeless from free food, helps prevent help to the needy, protects the regime from criticism and possible change.

Exactly. The main task of the police and all repressive forces in general is to protect the status quo, ie the established and established regime. The article "The Origins of the Police" in this issue[to be published in the coming days]demonstrates that the police were founded because of the crowds, not because of crime, and that its origin corresponds to the development of capitalism.

The state usurps its monopoly on violence, and in a capitalist state we encounter violence at virtually every step. It has many forms and shapes, from mental to economic to physical. The state and the capitalist economy are directly based on surveillance, coercion, repression and oppression. Life is governed by orders, orders and prohibitions, which are in the form of any nonsensical laws enforced by threat and often by the direct use of physical violence. This apparatus, built to protect the rights of a privileged minority, rests on several authoritarian institutions, such as the government, the military, the police and the courts. A capitalist society built on competition, free competition and the right of the stronger seeks support in its oppression and exploitation of wage workers not only in a veiled ideology (see the topic "the myth of labor" in Existence No. 1/2017), but also in the state system and its coercive instruments. From the Labor Code set up for the benefit of the employer, through the deployment of state repressive forces against rioting employees, to military interventions to protect the interests of financial groups and corporations abroad.

Nothing changes

The above examples are, in fact, a common agenda of the repressive machinery that protects the existing order from the values that negate it and its active bearers. If the basic values of the capitalist regime are competition, ruthlessness, profit maximization and private property, then it is necessary to take action against those who, on the contrary, promote solidarity, reciprocity, collective benefit and, for example, occupy long-left unused objects to bring them back to life. No social progress in the last 200 years has avoided the fight with the Phiz. Every initiative, whether in eight-hour working hours, for women's suffrage, for minority rights, against slavery, against the destruction of nature, etc., came across batons of police cordons, bars of customs, bullets from police weapons.

Consider, at random, the very mild Occupy movement in the United States in 2011. Not a single banker has been arrested for one of the most widespread economic crimes affecting the entire population, known as the 2008 crisis. But when people said they did not want the richest percentage to profit from others, police coordinated more than 7,760 people in 122 cities in the United States for participating in Occupy protests. Due to the nature of the system, Noam Chomsky called intimidating police brutality, mass arrests, fabricated charges, restrictive official decrees, systematic surveillance, infiltration, raids and imprisonment as "inevitable repression." For a regime that protects itself and its elites, such measures are simply inevitable. The tale of democracy, like the rule of law, must be set aside. And the police,

The mode does not matter

We have given the example of repression in Belarus, where the very authoritarian President Lukashenko rules. The local police are carefully protecting his long-standing government not only from the anarchist danger, but against any opposition that could threaten him[we were able to see this even during the suppression of the uprising in 2020]. The anarchist movement is not set in roses in other democracies, where elections are held, the outcome of which is either predetermined, such as in Russia, or a new one, as we have seen in Turkey. Everywhere there, the police are careful to criminalize the opposition, which could be a threat to existing rulers.

The extent and forms of repression can vary from state to state or change over time. In some places, the opposition is suppressed in general, in other parts only, in some places, demonstrators are being shot at, social activists are disappearing without a trace, or they are simply being murdered to order - as is still the case in Latin American countries. In some places, governments decide to suppress protests on their own initiative, elsewhere at the request of their allies or corporations, as was the case with the executions of environmental activists in Nigeria in Shell's interest. And in these cases, the police are the tool to do most of the dirty work. In some countries, it uses the services of unofficial death squads composed of police officers (eg in Brazil) or paramilitary groups or mafias (eg in Mexico). Established Western bourgeois democracies use more sophisticated tools, how to deal with an opposition that disapproves of the sacrament of private property and the rights of the stronger (ie, richer and more powerful). But when "inevitable repression" is needed, even here, the police will work hard to maintain existing order, regardless of what is causing the dissatisfaction, whether social injustice, restrictions on labor protection, nature conservation or a response to police murder.


One of the most radical clashes with the police occurs during the spontaneous reactions of the poor to the most obvious manifestations of police brutality. These riots are commonly described by the media as racial, but it is only a cover for the fact that they are explosions of frustration for the poorest. Not only in the USA, but also in Western European countries, most members of minorities are socially stigmatized and have no chance of breaking out of the environment of poverty.

Probably the most notorious riots were in Los Angeles in 1992. They provoked the acquittal of the Fizels, who were filmed beating African-American Rodney King. The last time large-scale riots broke out in 2014 in Ferguson after a police officer shot dead an unarmed black man, Michael Brown. Since then, there have been many other extrajudicial executions and outbursts of discontent that have led to the Black Lives Matter movement. In Europe, we can recall the widespread unrest in the poor suburbs of French cities in 2005 after the deaths of two young minors who hid from the police in a transformer station. English cities experienced something similar in 2011 after Mark Duggan was shot dead by police. According to surveys among people who took part in the ensuing riots and looting, their main motivation was long-term dissatisfaction with police bullying.

Most recently this February[2017]There have been fierce protests against police violence in France for weeks after the Phisles detained 22-year-old black man Théa Luhak in the Paris suburbs and beat and raped him. During the protests, the police demonstrated very exemplary who they were protecting: in the suburbs of Paris, they had explored people by skin color and massacred the objector by ending up in hospital. It's hard to imagine a reaction other than helplessness and anger. He spontaneously appeared in the streets, where dozens of cars and containers burned, heavily-clothed people fought with protesters, stones and molotovers flew over clouds of tear gas, and new and new calls for action against "police thugs and murderers" came over social networks and mobile phones. Under this motto, it is demonstrated and demolished. And no wonder. What can a person lose,

The myth of the black sheep

The frustration of the poor strata has a social basis in particular, and the police draw close attention to them immediately, for which the word buzzing has been used in our country. However, radical expressions of dissatisfaction are not only associated with police brutality and extrajudicial executions of "suspects". Anger is also caused by the very frequent impunity of uniformed rapists, thieves, extortionists and corrupt people.

There are several bourgeois-democratic fairy tales, which are also frequent themes of film works. The first is that everyone in society has an equal voice and can decide what is happening around them. Another tells of equal opportunities and an open door to success, the so-called American dream. Equally important is the fairy tale about black sheep and their punishment. It tells about the fact that even if, for example, there is a spoiled apple in politics or the police force, it is always finally discovered and taken out of the basket of healthy ones. The message is clear: although there are individual excesses, the system as such is the right one and it can handle it. In practice, this manifests itself in the fact that once in a long time a corrupt politician is sacrificed or the salary of a "overzealous" police officer is reduced to a few months.

Totalitarian and bourgeois democratic states differ only in the degree of sophistication of maintaining the impression that the current order and the mechanisms of its maintenance are the best. On closer inspection, however, you will find that the tenant gang protecting the regime, the big owners and the interests of the power elites, does not really differ much from state to state. It is no surprise, then, that the Police of the Czech Republic cooperates with the Russian successor to the KGB in an effort to criminalize a young anarchist. After all, it only follows the international police conferences from the end of the 19th century, which agreed on a joint action against the supporters of the ideas of freedom and self-government.

In modern times, the police are limited by various boundaries, the level of compliance of which varies greatly from place to place and is often ignored at all. The word fizz always carries more weight than the word of a needy. Slight wrinkles on their foreheads have been made in recent years by video-enabled mobile phones, which easily convict (in public, not in court) the police of lying when they shoot an unarmed slum.

Nothing but hierarchy

Some anarchopacifists encourage an individual approach to the police and to see them as human beings. Although this attitude is justified, it inadvertently obscures the fact that the police are an institution. And it's good to understand her that way as well. In that case, the shabby ACAB is not out of the question at all and could be included in the canon of folk wisdom.

The police is a highly hierarchical institution and as such operates on the principle of absence of conscience. The actions of its members are governed primarily by orders. For those below, the responsibility lies with those who issue orders. However, this very often leads to a completely opaque political will, which may not even be personifiable. The above do not usually participate in the performance of the lowest components of the institution, so they can operate with the individual failure of subordinates. However, the practice is that those downstairs rely on the management to keep them, no matter what they do. Before major police maneuvers, as was the case at the IMF or NATO summits in Prague[2000 and 2002], this protection is even publicly declared by their chiefs. And no wonder then that hundreds of complaints and reports of police violence and bullying fly straight into the trash.

The authoritarian nature of the institution and the feeling of inviolability can then have a negative impact on the nature of many police officers. If someone experienced a drunken bastard off duty, he could tell. For example, the waitress of the Ruzyne bar, who was unlucky that her workplace was decided to be occupied by a bunch of anointed and aggressive members of the Prague anti-extremist department. The result was practically a disgrace, as they were filmed with an industrial camera. You can meet them in the role of "political police" to this day.

Police forces are usually a reflection of political conditions, they are racistly biased, they deepen the social stigmatization of foreigners and minorities. In Athens, for example, it was found that half of the police there voted for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. It is no exception with us that after they knock out your teeth and pick you up to make room for the march of fascists with gallows, you will receive an ideological sermon on the malignancy of migration.

Supervise and punish

With the rapid development of digital technologies, governments' desire for greater oversight of the population also seems to be growing. Although the collection of data on each of us is taking on absurd proportions, they obviously still do not have enough. This dystopian policy needs its justification - the need to ensure security. New surveillance technologies are not intended to protect us against clear dangers, but rather against formless risks. According to January[2017]Amnesty International (AI) reports undermine the flood of "anti-terror" laws and amendments to fundamental freedoms adopted in Europe and the hard-won protection of human rights. Repressives are moving towards even greater opportunities for arbitrariness and impunity - making it easier to declare emergencies, conduct searches and wiretaps with little or no judicial oversight, restricting freedom of movement, banning public assemblies, freezing assets... AI literally wrote: "EU governments use counter-terrorism measures to consolidate draconian powers, discriminate against target groups and deprive human rights of their rights. We are in danger of creating a society in which freedom becomes the exception and fear the rule. "

According to David Graeber[died in 2020], "in the United States," only 10 percent of the time for average police officers is to deal with real crimes, "the rest" being spent on administrative and regulatory violations. " Based on an investigation by the police department in Ferguson, the aforementioned Ferguson demonstrates police practice, which aims to "squeeze as much money as possible from the poorest and most vulnerable," which often travels to repay the city's debts to private creditors.

Advocates of the criminalization of poverty are very popular with politicians across political parties. And the police often serve as a trainee in gaining political points for various "zero tolerance" programs or in scaring the crime of foreigners, as demonstrated by Minister of the Interior Chovanec in Pilsen this year[2017]in building his own PR.

It was published in the anarchist magazine Existence No. 2/2017 on the topic "Defenders of Order".

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