PROTECTION NOT POLICE!

Statement Announcing RSA Winter 2017 Campaign

PROTECTION NOT POLICE: Burn All Paper Tigers!

 

INTRODUCTION

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” — Antonio Gramsci (loosely translated)

U.S. capitalism-imperialism is in decline. Since the 2008 financial crisis, there has been essentially no recovery for the vast majority of the U.S. working class, and the empire is struggling to maintain its stranglehold on the world. When the ruling class struggles to rule in the same way, a resurgence of reaction arises in the absence of a revolutionary movement to counter it. The neoliberal Democratic Party ran a campaign without any appeal to the people and there was no legitimate solution to their problems. At the same time, the Republican Party went even further to the right and propped up the proto-fascist Trump, who is himself a symptom of growing fascist trends in the United States.

On our campus, and in the country more generally, we have seen many spontaneous actions opposed to these reactionary trends and the new administration. At these protests, and outside of them, we noticed a serious concern expressed by students for their safety. But if the police choose to collaborate with ICE, a Sanctuary Campus standing alone is useless. In the Revolutionary Student Alliance, our goal is to serve the people, and all of our work follows the formula “from the masses, to the masses.” In response to these concerns, we have decided to launch the following campaign to oppose reactionary and fascist events and institutions at the University of Michigan, including the increasingly reactionary police, and to build avenues for community self-defense.

THREE-PRONGED ACTION

1. Pressure the University administration to defund its police and invest in scholarships for undocumented and proletarian students.

2. No platform for fascists: militantly oppose and silence fascist and proto-fascist activity.

  • Disrupt events held by reactionaries
  • Tear down and counter reactionary propaganda
  • Shut down fascist and proto-fascist talks and rallies
  • Protests must bare the teeth of the working class
3. Build avenues for community self-defense
  • Personal self-defense (workshops, lessons, teach-ins, etc. — fascists or right-wingers NOT ALLOWED)
  • Community organizations (a system for people who suffer the most from capitalist oppression to walk with comrades who will protect them, antifa response team, rapid response network, etc.)

WHY OPPOSE THE POLICE?

“The worker who becomes a policeman in the service of the capitalist state, is a bourgeois cop, not a worker.” — Leon Trotsky

The police as an organization of professional, armed actors of the state did not exist until the emergence of capitalism. The original function of the police was never to “protect and serve” as liberals like to say, but to crush working class unrest in urban areas without martyring people (Whitehouse, 2014). Any actions that the pigs do to protect the people is incidental at best—their main function is to protect private property and to preserve “order.” But the preservation of order in an unjust and violent system is just the reinforcement of oppression, and the pigs are going to be the ones carrying out the racist, sexist, fascist policies of the Trump administration. The pigs are the ones who keep black people and people of color in ghettoized communities and enforce gentrification. They execute and harass black people on a daily basis and face no repercussions. They deported over 2.5 million people under Obama and will continue to deport more. The pigs’ union endorsed Trump, and they have a history of collaboration with fascists and nationalists.

They are enemies of the people.

All pigs enforce this oppression and uphold a white supremacist patriarchal system. Therefore, we are calling on the University to divest money from its police force and use it to fund financial aid services for undocumented and proletarian students.

We will not collaborate with or talk to the police, and our demonstrations must militantly oppose them. The purpose of a working class demonstration is to bare the teeth of the working class, not to obediently abide by the rules of the state and keep ourselves under control.

WHY NO “FREE SPEECH” FOR FASCISTS?

“If fascism could be defeated in debate, I assure you that it would never have happened, neither in Germany, nor in Italy, nor anywhere else. Those who recognised its threat at the time and tried to stop it were, I assume, also called “a mob”. Regrettably too many “fair-minded” people didn’t either try, or want to stop it, and, as I witnessed myself during the war, accommodated themselves when it took over … People who witnessed fascism at its height are dying out, but the ideology is still here, and its apologists are working hard at a comeback. Past experience should teach us that fascism must be stopped before it takes hold again of too many minds, and becomes useful once again to some powerful interests.” — Franz Frison, holocaust survivor

Fascism is capitalism in decay, the open terror of nationalist reaction and imperialism. It is not to be debated with, it is to be smashed. We already know the effects of fascism: genocide, war, destruction, and the all-out terror of reaction on the people—except this time, Auschwitz won’t be in Poland, it’ll be in Ferguson or Baltimore. The rights of the oppressed are not up for debate, and the growing fascist trends in the United States (and elsewhere!) need to be stopped in their tracks. It’s one thing to convince a Trump supporter they’re wrong; it’s another thing when the so-called “alt-right” Neo-Nazis are openly advocating for the ethnic cleansing and genocide of black and brown people. We reject the liberal idea that the only way to handle the recent wave of reaction and fascism in the United States is to debate nicely. We will work to shut down any platform for fascists to spread their violent ideas.

WHY ADVOCATE FOR COMMUNITY SELF-DEFENSE?

“The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishment’s hand. They make the racist secure in his racism.” — Huey P. Newton

We can’t rely on the University and the bourgeois state to enforce laws that serve the interests of the people. As we’ve stated earlier, the point of the police isn’t to protect the people but to suppress them. Instead, it’s up to the oppressed masses and proletarian students of Ann Arbor to protect themselves. Workers and proletarian students need to be organized to best carry out this task.

What good is it to make our school a Sanctuary Campus if it can be repealed at any time? The only solution is to reject the power of the state and build community self-defense. We don’t need the pigs; they need us.

CONCLUSION

“Everything reactionary is the same: if you do not hit it, it will not fall.” Mao Zedong

Our goals with this campaign are twofold: to serve the people and act in accordance with their needs and desires, and to increase the level of class struggle in our environment. By pitting ourselves against the pigs and fascists, we are drawing a clear line of demarcation between ourselves and the enemy. Between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, there can be no compromise. The interests of these classes are irreconcilable; the only resolution to this contradiction is the overthrow and eradication of the bourgeoisie and the complete political rule of the proletariat. All of our activity works to this end and seeks to advance the primary motor of social change and revolution: the class struggle. But we are sure to make mistakes in fighting on the side of the oppressed if we act from our own subjectivity and not from the needs of the masses. Correct ideas come from the people, not from our subjective wishes and desires.

From this point, we loudly declare:

All cops are bastards!

Destroy fascism!

Power to the people!

“It is right to rebel!”

Revolutionary Student Alliance
February 2, 2017
Ann Arbor, MI

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