By One Toronto Member, One Hamilton Member, One Former Member
The past year has witnessed the emergence of a popular movement whose scale and intensity has surprised radicals and social conservatives alike, and which has provoked shock waves of reaction in the ranks of police agencies across North America. In the wake of the protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, and subsequently spread to dozens of major American cities, there has been a corresponding increase in public awareness of police violence and its relationship to racial dynamics in Canada. Anti-police sentiment is on the rise.
When flagship liberal publications like Rolling Stone are publishing articles envisioning a world without cops, and tens of thousands of first-time demonstrators are taking to the streets across the continent to protest police violence and demand racial equality, something is definitely in the air. These are exciting times for anarchists, and all those who have long viewed the police as the violent goon squad of a white supremacist, capitalist state. But public perceptions are a fickle thing, and mobilizations themselves will not address systemic racism or police violence any more than much larger demonstrations were able to stop the Iraq War. While it is important for anarchists and other anti-authoritarian revolutionaries to actively participate in this developing movement for police accountability, we also need to consistently and emphatically push for a long-term organizing strategy with abolition as its goal.