Why Every Struggle Is Now
a Struggle against the Police
It should have come as no surprise when the grand jury in St. Louis refused to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who murdered Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri. Various politicians and media outlets had labored to prepare the public for this for months in advance. They knew what earnest liberals and community leaders have yet to acknowledge: that it is only possible to preserve the prevailing social order by giving police officers carte blanche to kill black men at will. Otherwise, it would be impossible to maintain the racial and economic inequalities that are fundamental to this society. In defiance of widespread outrage, even at the cost of looting and arson, the legal system will always protect officers from the consequences of their actions—for without them, it could not exist.
The verdict of the grand jury is not a failure of the justice system, but a lesson in what it is there to do in the first place. Likewise, the unrest radiating from Ferguson is not a tragic failure to channel protest into productive venues, but an indication of the form all future social movements will have to take to stand any chance of addressing the problems that give rise to them.
A profit-driven economy creates ever-widening gulfs between the rich and the poor. Ever since slavery, this situation has been stabilized by the invention of white privilege—a bribe to discourage poor white people from establishing common interests with poor people of color. But the more imbalances there are in a society—racial, economic, and otherwise—the more force it takes to impose them.
This explains the militarization of the police. It’s not just a way to sustain the profitability of the military-industrial complex beyond the end of the Cold War. Just as it has been necessary to deploy troops around the world to secure the raw materials that keep the economy afloat, it is becoming necessary to deploy troops in the US to preserve the unequal distribution of resources at home. Just as the austerity measures pioneered by the IMF in Africa, Asia, and South America are appearing in the wealthiest nations of the first world, the techniques of threat management and counter-insurgency that were debuted against Palestinians, Afghanis, and Iraqis are now being turned against the populations of the countries that invaded them. Private military contactors who operated in Peshawar are now working in Ferguson, alongside tanks that rolled through Baghdad. For the time being, this is limited to the poorest, blackest neighborhoods; but what seems exceptional in Ferguson today will be commonplace around the country tomorrow.
Recent Blog posts
• Next Time It Explodes[August 13th]
• Reflections on the Ferguson Uprising[August 10th]
• Episode #39: The Rojava Revolution, Part II[July 29th]
• #38: Anarchism in Lake Worth, Florida[July 1st]
• To Change Everything US Tour[June 15th]
• #37: The Hambacher Forest Occupation[June 15th]
• The Secret World of Terijian zine[June 9th]
• Announcing Rolling Thunder #12[June 1st]
• The Ex-Worker #36: The Rojava Revolution[May 18th]
• To Change Everything Eastern European Tour[May 8th]
• Why We Don't Make Demands[May 5th]
• Episode 35: To Change Everything Audio Zine[May 4th]
• Next Time It Explodes [Texts / Aug 13th]
• Reflections on the Ferguson Uprising [Texts / Aug 10th]
• Rolling Thunder #12 [Journal / June 1st]
• Why We Don't Make Demands [Texts / May 5th]
• Turkish Anarchists on the Fight for Kobanê [Texts / Feb 3rd]
• Syriza Can’t Save Greece [Texts / Jan 28th]
• To Change Everything [Tools / Jan 15th]
• From Ferguson to Oakland [Texts / Dec 12th]
• The Thin Blue Line Is a Burning Fuse [Texts / Nov 25th]
• The Making of “Outside Agitators” [Texts / Aug 20th]
• What They Mean when They Say Peace [Texts / Aug 18th]
• Why Riot against the World Cup? [Texts / June 12th]
• Rolling Thunder #11 [Journal / April 7th]
• Ukrainian Revolution & Future of Social Movements [Texts / Mar 18th]
• Deserting the Digital Utopia [Texts / Oct 28th]
• After the Crest, pt. I: While the Dust Is Settling [Texts / Sep 9th]
• The June 2013 Uprisings in Brazil, Pt. II [Texts / Aug 28th]
• PRISM Surveillance Device Stickers [Tools / Aug 6th]
• The June 2013 Uprisings in Brazil, Pt. I [Texts / July 27th]
• Standing on the Land to Stand Up Against Pipelines [Texts / July 9th]
• The Internet As New Enclosure [Texts / June 10th]
• Anarchism and the English Language [Texts / May 23rd]
• Accounting for Ourselves [Texts / April 17th]
• Rolling Thunder #6 Complete PDF [Journal / March 31st]
• Contradictionary [Books / March 24th]
• Recipes for Disaster Second Edition [Books / Sept 24th]
Things happen, and you read about them in passing on the internet. But when the smoke clears, to get the inside story, read Rolling Thunder, North America’s premier anarchist journal. Issue 12 covers the uprising that spread from Ferguson, the fight for Kobanê, the life of Biófilo Panclasta, Syriza and the trap of electoral politics, anarchist analyses of sex work, biopower, demands, revolutionary strategy, and much, much more. 154 pages!
We have partnered with our dear friends in the NSA to produce a Customer Appreciation Page at watchingover.us. Our first outreach project to promote awareness about the PRISM program and the NSA in general is a state-of-the-art sticker suitable for mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Sport one of these to let everyone know where you stand; take a roll to educate your fellow students or employees!