By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media.
Originally published June 6, 2020.
This is an debate article. Analysis and viewpoints belongs to the author.
In the face of the violent protests in the US, which have spread themselves to many other countries, peaceful demonstrators are being embraced by the police and the authorities. Well-aided by state-sponsored NGOs, they attempt to squeeze the rebellious breath out of the protests.
The police and the authorities first used the tactic of accusing the demonstrations of posing a risk of spreading the virus. This, within a society that is about to begin to open again, where workers have gone to work every day during a “lockdown” where the middle class has home offices and where the masses of people are gathered as before in shopping centres. The media helps, with sensationalist reports of “super-contagions” and in this way, several people are scared off from joining the protests.
When the protests nonetheless exist as fact, the “good cop” routine makes its appearance for one day. The police send their most jovial press contacts to speak to the media. The peaceful demonstrations are praised. In Stockholm and the US, the police take a knee before protesters, and they even express their support for their aims! Again and again, the police say that they agree with the demonstrators and that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy. They claim that Norwegian police have “zero tolerance” for racism.
Further, the police and the authorities give their warm praises to the peaceful organisers of the demonstrators. They talk about “good cooperation” and say that “freedom of peace stands strong”. First, they attempt to stop the demonstrations with “pandemic measures” as a pretext, to pretend as if the demonstrations are more than welcome when they don’t stop. This reveals that this is of course the underlying tactic. The goal is to limit and prohibit, to dampen the protests, and lead them into an innocuous track.
The goal is of course that nothing should change. Because the truth is that the murder of Floyd is by no means an unwanted break from the norm. One cannot have a capitalist system without a bourgeois state, without a bourgeois apparatus of violence, and without poor, exploited, and oppressed people. The system is built upon exploitation and oppression. Wealth comes from poverty. And poverty is a fact for the proletariat and is overwhelmingly present among the oppressed peoples and nations.
Marxism reveals the state’s class character and its role and foremost task as a protector of the capitalist relations of production and the oppression that is needed to maintain them. Exploitation must lead to poverty. Poverty must lead to groups of people being placed entirely outside of production and society. This displacement must lead to conflicts. The conflicts will tear the system apart, even without the polices’ iron fist.
But together with this iron first, the system is also dependent on the silk glove. They need this cold embrace. They must strangle uprising not only with violence and power, but with false love and crocodile tears. The police support the protests against the police! Norwegian police have killed people and the murderers have been pardoned—just like in the Obiora case. In that case, they of course did not support the demand that the death must have consequences. But now, when this is happening on the other side of the Atlantic, it’s much cheaper to pretend like they do…
Power demands all of these obedient oppositions. Those who show resistance in a legal manner. That is, in a completely innocuous way—for the power today. It needs NGOs that call for non-violence in every other statement they make. It needs for anger to be channelled into a standing position for a long time, to shout until one can no longer shout, and to update the Instagram profile.
Meanwhile, the police and the authorities reveal themselves. All this talk about peaceful protests shows what they fear: they fear violent protests! All this talk about good cooperation with organizers shows what they fear: organizers who do not cooperate!
Is there anybody who thinks that the police and the authorities will give the masses a recipe to create change? No, they would only do the opposite! Their recipe will never lead to any real change. Luckily, all that is needed is to turn the recipe on its head.
It is right to rebel!
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