Officer, Officer, Overseer: The Socialist Case Against the Police

Socialism 2018

July 05, 2018
With brian bean

In the struggle against anti-Black racism, organizing against the daily violence and repression carried out at the hands of the police has always been central. The Black Lives Matter movement added a transformative energy to that fight. Debates in that movement, on the socialist left, and in society about the social role of the police are thus more relevant and demand to be taken up. Are the police an institution that can be reformed? No. Are cops workers that can be won over through struggle? Nope. Does the history of the police from its origins to the present reflect their social role being purely one of social control and violent, racist repression? Yep. This talk will take up these debates and more in presenting a socialist case for connecting the activism against police violence to the need to see the police as an institution that is thoroughly irredeemable and in need of abolition. This analysis is important in shining light on what kind of reforms we fight for today and also the strategy and perspective needed to abolish them altogether.

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