The anti-police uprising that began in Minneapolis and spread throughout the US provided a glimpse of the revolutionary potential that can be unleashed against the white supremacist foundation of American society.
In the weeks following the burning of the third precinct in Minneapolis, corporate media, educational institutions, liberal politicians, and non-profit activists have attempted to smother the revolutionary energy of the streets. In some way this is more efficient than police repression, due to its insidious deceptiveness.
After the media and politicians denounced militants as “outside agitators,” liberal activists have been promoted as the “true leaders” of the movement in the mainstream press. They preach non-violence, de-escalation and participation in the electoral system as a solution for police violence. Democratic Party politicians, who have draped themselves in kente cloths, are scrambling to appease protesters with compromises and reform. While the idea of police abolition has been popularized, it has been conflated with reform in the capitalist press, echoing calls to simply ‘defund’ the police.
They boost images of police and politicians taking a knee, while liberals cheer, in an attempt to conceal the black insurgency that caused police to flee the third precinct like rats from a sinking ship and Trump to hide, scared for his life, in a bunker under the White House.
The police do not exist in a vacuum. They are merely enforcers of a white supremacist system that devalues, degrades and ultimately destroys black lives. A truly abolitionist position includes not only the abolition of police, but also that of prisons, courts, military, and politicians–all of which are interconnected. For revolutionary abolitionists in the U.S., the enemy is not only the police, but also capitalism and the State as a whole. Revolutionaries must also firmly oppose the liberal counter-revolutionaries of corporate media and non-profits, who do the job of the police for them while pretending to act in the interest of black people. These institutions, while appearing like allies in the struggle, are, in actuality, the predominant counterinsurgent institutions. When the bludgeon doesn’t work the NGO often does.
From an abolitionist position, no compromise with white supremacy is possible, and any reform only strengthens the position of the enemy. It is this system–the entire apparatus–we must abolish. Abolition is not a demand, but the result of collective action. The burning of precincts and police vehicles are abolitionist actions. People finding their power defending their communities is an act of abolition. Physically driving the police out is abolition.
We will not allow the liberal counterinsurgency to co-opt and distort the movement to abolish police and prisons!
Drive all police off the streets! No reform can abolish white supremacy!
Through revolutionary action, we will win!
Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, June 12, 2020.