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News ::
Boston Cops are Pretty Cool
04 Oct 2000
Boston cops are nothing like the Kops in NY,LA and Philly. We need to remember that the cops are not our enemies, the coporations are. We need to recruit cops into the movement, to remind them that they are part of the working class, and that their job is to protect the PEOPLE, not the corporations.
As a visitor from Maryland, I would say the people of Boston are pretty friendly, even the cops. During a heated protest, in which the Naderites were chanting at a barricade and the carpenter's union was marching out of a school, I asked a cop for directions to the T, and he told me, even though a fellow protestor said he was not allowed to. As we were marching along, I told several cops to vote for Nader and they all smiled and nodded. I would like to remind people that the cops are not our enemies. They have simply been deluded by the corporate media, just like most people, into believing in capitalism. We need to remember who our real enemies are. If we waste time fighting with the cops, we continue to serve the corporate interest. We need the cops on our side; we need our own police force. We want the cops to go and arrest people like Bush and other rich, heartless bastards. We need to engage individual cops in meaningful dialogues. To remind them that they are part of the trampled working class, just like most of us. I mean no disrespect to the people who were hurt by violent Kops. There are power-hungry, violence-junkie kops out there and they should be arrested by the people. Last night, I got very angry when I saw a few kops pulling the bits on their horses so hard that the horses' gums were showing. And I got really pissed off when I saw a kop use his horse to step on some people who were sitting peacefully in the street, trying to get arrested at the debates last night. But for the most part, the cops seemed pretty cool. These guys are nothing like Philly Kops or LA Kops or NY Kops. We need to remind them that they are supposed to protect THE PEOPLE, not the corporations. I don't see any point in needlessly antagonizing cops. We need them on our side. Can you imagine the day when a whole battalion of cops are leading the people into Monsanto, or into a sweatshop to arrest the owners and free the workers? It can and will happen. Again, meaning no disrespect to people who have met bad Kops, but we need a whole army of cops to go and arrest all these fucking CEOs. Peace from Maryland, Mercedes
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Are you an apologist for the Police State
04 Oct 2000
What have you been toking on? These people pumped round after round into peaceful protestors an d you say they are cool???


What people should be focused on is the police state. They were there to do one thing. Maintain social control and preserve the current economic order. That is something that can't be denied no matter what you think of them as persons. When they put on their badges they as people buy into and defend this order!
Cop killer, better you than me
04 Oct 2000
Is this a joke? The cops in Boston may not have been as violent as the ones in Philly or LA but they're still our enemies. The police are a bunch of authoritarian assholes who protect the rich and powerful. People who care about their communites and respect their fellow humans do not become cops, it's as simple as that.
See also:
http://www.grandtheftcyber.com
Cops Are Not Our Friends
04 Oct 2000
Wow, that was pretty naive! Cops aren't our friends, even if there are a few nice ones in their ranks. The only good cop is an ex-cop. The police exist to protect capitalism. That's the only reason why they exist. Yes, I agree that cops shouldn't be our target, but if they get between us and the real target, the rich, then they are going to take a few lumps.

If you are a nice cop and are reading this, I urge you to change occupations as soon as possible. These confrontations with working people will only get larger and more frequent in the years to come. Why get injured to protect a bunch of rich people? Have you ever asked yourself why you face the protesters and not the other way around? In Boston last night, the truly violent faction was inside the debate auditorium. The Republicans and Democrats are the parties of violence, terrorism, and capitalism. Just look at how many people Bill Clinton has bombed in the past 8 years?

Lot's of people! (Sudan, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Waco)

How many people have the black bloc bombed?

0

If you really want to help the people in your neighborhood, become a community activist and stop being a cop.
See also:
http://www.infoshop.org/cops.html
Cops are NOT the Enemy, the Shit-stem Is
04 Oct 2000
Folks, I think we are missing a good point that Mercedes Ruiz (first writer) is trying to make. Let me just say here that I was not in Boston and don't know much about the Boston police, but have had several unpleasant first-hand experiences of police brutality in my brief lifespan at the hands of DC, New York, SF, and LAPD.

Our united enemy is the violent, militaristic, racist, global monopoly capitalist shit-stem which relies on police power for suppression of domestic dissent, and the army/navy/air force for foreign interventions. There are good cops and plenty of bad cops too, but they are only pawns protecting the big boys (not too many girls). I ask Black Bloc - if you are feeling up to attacking someone or something, instead of choosing a lowly cop why not go after Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch? Surely you know there is a strand of anarchism which supports this type of symbolic attack (think anarchist assasinations of Pres. McKinley as well as robber baron Henry Frick at the turn of the 20th century) - BTW, I'm not really suggesting this, I think we are all too valuable at this early stage in the movement for anyone to sacrifice themselves in this way...

I am tired of showing up at these events only to see black-clad and hooded youth take advantage of the safety of large numbers of other protestors to take out their privileged white middle-class angst on cops and store windows - think Seattle, Philly, DC, Boston...

We all have a long way to go before this becomes a mass movement. Trust me, there are plenty of other people in this country and world that basically support our cause (how could they not, the status quo is untenable) but we may forget about them since they are not necessarily in the street. We will not, however, gain their support and visible numbers if we continue to bait the cops. (if you are trying to trigger a further police-state lockdown, that's another story...)

Here's a useful historical example - during msot of the Vietnam War, the antiwar movement as viewed (rightfully) by much of the U.S. population as priviliged white middle-class college kids who were only protesting because they had been able to dodge the draft. There were lots of protestors who thought all the guys going off to Vietnam in the draft were dumb and awful people for committing war crimes, but nonetheless a group called Vietnam Veterans Against the War was formed and probably helped turn the tide of public opinion irrevocably against the war.

Summary: Cops are just the pawns, let's keep our focus on the kings.


In peace and struggle -
understand what police are
04 Oct 2000
We need to understand that police are simply instruments of state power. And the state has obviously been hijacked by the corporations. So police are essentially just like soldiers in that they take orders from superiors, the state which is controlled by corporations. They have to obey or they lose their position. Granted they are not drafted into cophood, but it is important to remember that they have families to feed and bills to pay.
They are driven to fight against the people often by fear; fear of unemployment, fear of violent cop-hating protestors. Many cops are sympathetic to the cause and more would be if they became educated.
I think that violence against cops for its own sake is bad. It is bad because these are just people like you and me who happen to have jobs that make them do fucked up things and it's also bad strategy because it makes us all look very bad. We must think strategically in determining the nature of engagement with police. We need to use our brains and not our emotions in determining what do we gain and what do we lose from a particular action.
I've been harrassed by cops and I've been hit by cops but that doesn't mean I hate them. I hate our oppressive state that causes them to act the way they do. They are not inherently bad people, we need to understand the causes of their behavior in terms of economics, power and social facts.
Having said that, I'm very suspicious of statements like "Boston Cops are cool." Maybe they were cool to predominantly white middle-to-upper class people protesting the debate. I think that other people in the community have a very different perspective and analysis that needs to be heard before making such a statement.
Keep the focus
04 Oct 2000
One of the best strategies I have ever heard is to win the battle before it starts(Sun Tzu, Art of War). Corporate control of the media, police state issues and making our point heard through the uproar is still in a difficult stage, but it is growing.
Now if anyone wants to call me a cop lover, they can kiss my ass. I have no particular love for cops. I would have no problem putting a bullet in their heads if it was them or me or my loved ones. Self-defense is never an act of violence as far as I'm concerned. I have dealt with fair enough cops and appreciate not having to deal with unnecessary aggravation. I did have to deal with a few cops placing their hands on me when I was taking some photos last night at U.Mass and I confronted those who attempted to use their horses upon me as a weapon. As far as I know, it could have been some of the same cops I spoke with about the case for Peltier and Mumia. I was successful in getting them to understand and somewhat agree with Peltier's case, but not with Mumia's.
So without being an idiot and lumping all cops in one category, be real now, what is it we can do, or maybe some of us can do, to find those who understand and support our issues? What can we do to enlist them to provide us with information that could be critical to the success of our operations? Be aware, all information is suspect. It does happen once in a great while to find one who will assist us, but in the meantime, do we need to antagonize them into beating us? I never liked being beaten or touched by a cop, but if they do so without any provocation from me, then it is so much sweeter to put one of those assholes further down into the dirt.
So all you people who have no love for the cops, I want to see some of you put up some actions that show where you really are at. Next time, let's disarm the cops to their shorts and use the resources we have liberated from their persons to further us in our work. Let's see our strategies become more effective and creative. Fuck getting arrested voluntarily, it makes for good press, but Jesus Christ, I feel it would be more effective to set up strategies to outmanuever the cops and prevent us from being flanked and overcome. If the troops become encircled, we can bust through, instead of negotiating with the cops to allow us to peacefully exit.
So what do you think? I think it is time for some action and if you are in the DC area (5-6 hours driving distance) email me, we'll meet, but you better bring someone who knows you and others. We need a tight circle.
Who am I? I am one of the National Spokespersons for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, AIM organizer, Spiritual Advisor to hundreds of Native prisoners, and willing to walk my talk. IN THE SPIRIT OF TOTAL RESISTANCE, Ben
Injuries Update
04 Oct 2000
Folks,
Leaving aside for the moment the question of the cops' performance last night (as well as the larger question of Cops or Kops), I wanted to let everyone who was concerned know the outcome of one particular confrontation. There was a young man who had been hit fairly severely about the head/shoulders with a club. He was bleeding and was being treated by street medics and a lot of people were expressing concern. Some said they had witnessed what had happened. I just wanted to let everyone know that he was accompanied, cop-free, to the hospital where he was thoroughly checked out for more serious injuries (as a wise cautionary measure--all visible signs indicate that he will be fine), and that relatives took over from there.
boston cops and cops
04 Oct 2000
Funny, I just had lunch with someone, and talking about the Eastcoast and protests, he told me that he has a good friend on the Boston force and his friend said that the very highest levels of the Boston police have okayed excessive force on protestors and that they will just deal with the fallout!!!

That said, I think it is valuable to talk to police on the streets - engage them in conversation. I think just by talking to them you show them that they are approachable and you are not afraid of them. Ask their name, where they live...in a friendly way, not an agressive way...

That said, yes the police are protectors of capitalist wealth, property and interests - but I have to hope they can become aware of their roles as stooges for the man and that they are being used in a way that is against their interests in a big picture kind of way.

Cops are no freind of the working class!
04 Oct 2000
The cops exist for one reason, to protect private property.
For this reason they protect those with property from those without property.
Big corporations are the most visible example of private property.So much wealth under the control of so few people.
The classic role of the police is to protect the haves, NOT the have-nots.They will always do this, from cops outside of WHC hospital in DC, protecting scabs from striking nurses, to the cops that keep the bodies piling up in PG county.
I did not have a chance to make it to Boston, so I cannot be clear of what exactly transpired. I can,however, understand that Boston has a strong working class heritage, that is traditionally left leaning.
While there are many liberal leanings in Boston government, the city remains extremely segregated.As we speak the last vestiges of busing are being torn down.
It must be understood that the area of Boston you were in was one of the nicer spots, being that it was located near a campus.
The cops naturally are going to conduct themselves in a semi-respectable manner, to creat the idea amongst naive liberals that they tolerate dissent.
But the same cop that gave you directions will either end up locking someone up for a small time property offense(i.e shoplifting,vandalism[harming a corporation]),or drug use
or DWB.He could stand by while his co-worker brags about beating someone.He could beat someone.He also protects people, namely the people from the local Ivy league school.
I support Ralph Nader's bid for president. He raises issues Bush and Gore won't touch. But amongst him and his supporters there are some failings.One of these failings is not taking on issues of social justice, such as racism.
Part of this arrives out of a New Deal, liberal mentality that the state is neutral.
Beleiving that the state is neutral is disasterous.
When cops join the force they are no longer on our side, no matter whether they are working class or not.
Sure cops have their "union".
The FOP has continually called for Mumia Abu-Jamal's execution.The PG county police union defended an off duty cop that followed a college student across state lines to kill him. The same union has denied the hundreds of allegations of police brutality over the past couple years.
The cops are automatically instruments of the state the second they join the force. They are no longer held accountable to the rules wich we must abide by( try shooting at someone in their doorway 41 times!).
I beleive that we must fight the corporations, but we must do it the best way possible. This means we cannot engage in pointless fights with the cops that we will inevetibally lose at this moment. It means that we must turn millions of ordinary people into active, concious revolutionary's.When the masses of us that are screwed over day in and day out by the system start fighting back we will see the cops true colors.Some might come to the realization that they are on the wrong side, but it is to risky to concentrate on those few when there are millions of angry people with firsthand experience as to how nasty the cops can be.
please post any response.
See ya in Winston Salem








Cops are the enemy
04 Oct 2000
The cops exist for one reason, to protect private property.
For this reason they protect those with property from those without property.
Big corporations are the most visible example of private property.So much wealth under the control of so few people.
The classic role of the police is to protect the haves, NOT the have-nots.They will always do this, from cops outside of WHC hospital in DC, protecting scabs from striking nurses, to the cops that keep the bodies piling up in PG county.
I did not have a chance to make it to Boston, so I cannot be clear of what exactly transpired. I can,however, understand that Boston has a strong working class heritage, that is traditionally left leaning.
While there are many liberal leanings in Boston government, the city remains extremely segregated.As we speak the last vestiges of busing are being torn down.
It must be understood that the area of Boston you were in was one of the nicer spots, being that it was located near a campus.
The cops naturally are going to conduct themselves in a semi-respectable manner, to creat the idea amongst naive liberals that they tolerate dissent.
But the same cop that gave you directions will either end up locking someone up for a small time property offense(i.e shoplifting,vandalism[harming a corporation]),or drug use
or DWB.He could stand by while his co-worker brags about beating someone.He could beat someone.He also protects people, namely the people from the local Ivy league school.
I support Ralph Nader's bid for president. He raises issues Bush and Gore won't touch. But amongst him and his supporters there are some failings.One of these failings is not taking on issues of social justice, such as racism.
Part of this arrives out of a New Deal, liberal mentality that the state is neutral.
Beleiving that the state is neutral is disasterous.
When cops join the force they are no longer on our side, no matter whether they are working class or not.
Sure cops have their "union".
The FOP has continually called for Mumia Abu-Jamal's execution.The PG county police union defended an off duty cop that followed a college student across state lines to kill him. The same union has denied the hundreds of allegations of police brutality over the past couple years.
The cops are automatically instruments of the state the second they join the force. They are no longer held accountable to the rules wich we must abide by( try shooting at someone in their doorway 41 times!).
I beleive that we must fight the corporations, but we must do it the best way possible. This means we cannot engage in pointless fights with the cops that we will inevetibally lose at this moment. It means that we must turn millions of ordinary people into active, concious revolutionary's.When the masses of us that are screwed over day in and day out by the system start fighting back we will see the cops true colors.Some might come to the realization that they are on the wrong side, but it is to risky to concentrate on those few when there are millions of angry people with firsthand experience as to how nasty the cops can be.
please post any response.
See ya in Winston Salem








Cops suck
04 Oct 2000
I can't beleive this post. Cops are there to serve the ruling class and protect their property. They are not our friends nor do they protect our interests. The cops inforce the laws of the oppressor. They beat and harrass people of color on a daily basis. Not because there are a few bad apples. It's their job to keep us in check. Fuck the police!
violence or education?
04 Oct 2000
I'd like to congratulate Mercedes, and say that Chuck0 and some others are hypocritical. You both agree that the only good cop is an ex-cop, but can they become ex-cops by taking a few lumps or by being won over through education? Obviously mass protests need to grow and grow, cops ranks would probably decrease if the protest forces continue to grow, but aren't the protests supposed to be non-violent? Isn't that the REASON for the protests, institutional violence?!!!
I'd like to ask everyone to read Letter from a Birmingham Jail. When white jailers would try to convince MLK that "segregation was so right, and the Civil Rights movement was so wrong" he would tell them they were poor whites oppressed by the same institution, they should be out at every march. Protests are needed to create tension in the country and force everyone to look at the issues, to understand that the time has come. Protests aren't to intimidate cops or the corporate whores or anyone perpetuating violence. The essence of nonviolent resistance is reforming the enemy, not beating the enemey. It's recognizing that there isn't an enemy, all people need to be treated with respect. To "win" a nonviolent resistance you need to help the "enemy" reform, reform, reform till everyone's treating everyone right. I think people fall into the trap of thinking intimidation/violence is necessary when they don't really think a movement can succeed. If you believe in the basic goodness of humanity, you know it will if you keep working, using nonviolence. Deep down everyone wants to do the right thing, the "enemy" needs help.
Re: Violence or Education?
04 Oct 2000
I see nothing critical in what I said above. I think most of the people who fight the cops understand that the cops are not our main enemy. The reason we've been engaging the police at numerous actions this year is to open up public space for *all types* of protest. I've been an activist for a long time. I remember a time when we could march in the streets, without a permit, and the cops would just tag along. We can't even step off the sidewalk these days without being threatened by some burly cops, We've also seen what the police will do to nonviolent activists. They'll either pepper-spray them or ignore them when they *want* to get arrested.

As for Godzilla's comments, I can only point out the black blocs dont' always do the same thing at every action. The notion that black blocs only fight the police is only partially true. There have been numerous occasions when black blocs were peaceful and nonviolent. Examples include A16 in D.C. and the black bloc at Millions for Mumia.

Yes, we need to take our anger to the rich and bypass the cops. I agree with this, but I should point out that some of the streetfighter types do have legitimate issues with the cops. Last year, anarchists in Montreal did take the war against capitalism to the very houses of the rich. Several hundred took buses to the Montreal suburbs, chanting "Get the rich in their niche," and proceeded to start fucking shit up. We should be doing more of that, but playing with the cops at these big demos does have its place.
See also:
http://www.infoshop.org/
Are we missing the point?
04 Oct 2000
It's nice to see people finally discussing these issues, but we are missing a big element to the movements of the past... PEACE.

I was in DC and LA and was not thrilled by the corporate media or police. However when people start burning fires, and breaking windows, we accomplish nothing other than looking like thugs. How can we expect anyone to take us seriously when we cannot provide a united front? African american civil rights protestors wore suits, behaved politely, peacefully and in a civil manner. Very hard for the establishemnt to ignore such upstanding young people. It's easy for them to gloss over our protests as they often appear to be repeats of Woodstockk '99.

On that first Monday in LA, as the 10-15,000 of us were herded into the protest pen, I knew this was going to be like shooting fish in a barrell. As the police made their assault, the only thought I had was that if all 10-15,000 of us sat down and started singing, the cops would have not known what to do. If we're serious about making a change, we need to get serious about our behavior. The cops and media feed on anger and hate, and we're the ones serving up dinner for them. When confronted with LOVE, they get confused quickly and it slows their reaction time.

Let us struggle to be all inclusive and loving in this movement, as that is the most effective tactic.

...let the struggle live on...
A Simple History
04 Oct 2000
Until the 1820's there were no profesional police. People protected there communities from crime themselves, usually organized into "watches". With industrialism came unions and the ruling class needed a standing army in the streets of every city to breakup strikes. The police force was born, first in England where industrial worker solidarity realy started then every large city in the world. Slowly, over many years the police force has reached into civic life more deeply. Now if someones dog craps on someone elses lawn the police are sometimes called. People have "learned helplessness" when it comes too protecting themselves from theft or loud noises. Most individual cops are probably not inherently more violent then the average person but they are trained to be nasty. Police are trained to follow orders and protect the wealthy from the rest of us. A few years ago a Seattle policeman pulled over Bill Gates and gave him a ticket. Mr. Gates was driving over 100 miles an hour. I would expect to be arrested for reckless driving. The policeman was fired for disturbing Mr. Gates. He eventually got his job back, but the police force got the message to be nice to Mr. Gates.
Boston/Mass Cops are Violent
04 Oct 2000
I have lived in this police state for 13 years and in the entire time, with the exception of the woman I married who attempted (and nearly succeeded) to kill me, the only crimes I have been the victim of have been perpetrated by the police -- violently assaulted by Boston Police (for leaving my apartment building while they were "staking out" another apartment) had my rights completely violated by the Cambridge Police *who engage in gender and radce based hate-crimes as a matter of policy, and who also physically assaulted my children because they were clinging to me for protection (their mother has repetedly abused me and even them). As a male victim of domestic violence I have also experienced the disregard at best and outright hate at worst (Cambridge Police)-- including being left on the street with my 6 month old twins with nowhere to go while my violent wife was left in the apartment, being denied any help after she had nearly killed me and had hurled one of our children across the room and watch the Cambridge Police assault the children to carry out their war on fathers and children that is the policy of Middlesex County under the vicious child abuser Martha Coakley. THIS IS A POLICE STATE where the only training encouraged at police academies is violent militarism.

At yesterday's protest I was at the front and about 20 minutes before any troubble started I pointed out to friends a certain cop (wearing jeans and a lighter blue untucked shirt) who was clearly itching to violently assault someone. Sure enough this violent THUG was the one to start the violence charging in swinging his nightstick as soon as anyone touched the fence. If there had been a cop with a functioning brain and any people skills whatsoever the "trouble" could have been avoided. However, the police have become the most violent and aggressive members of society and the most likley perpetrators of violent assault the ordinary citizen faces.

Re: Violence or Education?
04 Oct 2000
Chuck0, you say you see nothing critical in what you said. But do you see anything violent in what you said? That was why I posted. I don't know how much brutality you've seen, how much you hate your enemy. It takes a hell of a lot to not hate. You say you're a long time activist, but you also say the cops used to "tag along". When was that? Not in America's history. You know some of the tactics used against nonviolent resistors: pepper spray, ignoring them when they want to be arrested, as others have pointed out confining them to free speech zones. The most powerful tactic is causing a movement to self-destruct by filling protesters with hate. I posted because I wanted to warn you to not become consumed with hate. It's not good for you and it's not good for the movement. Learn from history or you're doomed to repeat it. That's why I hoped you'd think about yourself, read MLK or about any other movement.

Either you're violent or you're nonviolent, there's no in between. Non-violence is the state of mind where you focus on what needs to be done to stop the killing, not who's doing the killing. Resistance can include property destruction but we all need to remember that the goal is eliminating hate, not the people who harbor it. Think about how many people are depending on you. You know you're standing up for the right thing, you need to challenge yourself to do even more by always critiquing yourself. The ultimate resistance is not letting them get hate into you.
COPS = NOT COOL
05 Oct 2000
excuse me, but what was so fucking cool about the pig who peppersprayed me pointblank in the eyes for trying to rescue a nonviolent protestor he was bludgeoning senseless on the other side of a fence?! obviously, cops are people too, but they are behaving in a way that is very destructive and dangerous to the rest of us who are trying to create ways of life which a peaceful, creative, and democratic, like last night. there's nothing cool about what cops do, as cops. and, we don't need no stinkin cops to lead us into monsanto or anywhere, i think we've seen well enough how the police state has done for the world. someday there will be no cops because no one will feel the macho need to seize authority and abuse people, but til then, cops AS COPS are our enemies though as humans they are our friends.

peAce,
~janek spinach