Police Terrorists Trained to Hate Protesters and Anarchists
Did you know that anarchists killed several police officers during the 1999 anti-WTO protests in Seattle?
No, you don't know that, because it never happened. But this is the kind of thing that many rank-and-file police believe who have been trained to police summit protests, including the ongoing anti-RNC protests happening this week in St. Paul, Minnesota. There were riots and lots of police violence in Seattle in 1999, but nobody was killed during those protests. Yet, police officers doing anti-protest policing in many American cities have been told this lie about anarchists.
This is probably not the only lie about protesters and anarchists that are indoctrinated into the police. Those who attend protests and those who have been arrested can attest to hearing incredible anti-protester beliefs coming out of the mouths of the police. Numerous online message boards have seen comments about protesters that come from police officers.
Police doing protest duty at summit protests usually get anti-protester training in the months and weeks before the event. They go through briefings about protesters, so we have to assume that these anti-protester myths and stereotypes are a constant part of police training. And with the heavy involvement of the FBI, Secret Service and Homeland Security in the policing of summit and convention protests, we also have to assume that protesters are being labeled as “terrorists.”
It's widely known that militaries throughout history have had to use different kinds of techniques to get soldiers to kill people. Most humans are against themselves being involved personally in killing or hurting people. New soldiers have to go through training that breaks down their moral qualms about killing. These techniques usually involve dehumanizing an enemy. Soldiers are indoctrinated, and also terrorized, into killing what is supposed to be a faceless enemy. Yet, despite all of this training, wars always include soldiers who refuse to kill people.
The same process is at work in American police departments (and most police departments around the world). Police are trained in various techniques to bully, harass, intimidate and be violent against people. If you are poor and brown-skinned in the United States, you bear the brunt of this police violence on a daily basis. The police brutality that we've seen in Denver and St. Paul this week is the result of ongoing indoctrination of the police against protesters, especially any protesters of the left-wing stripe. Local police departments have been militarized to deal with protesters, with much of this militarization happening during the Clinton administration. After 9/11, local police were further turned into anti-terrorist organizations, with the effect that they see their work as fighting terrorists. Local police are also bringing home the terror tactics that the U.S. has been using in dozens of countries around the world for the past century.
The war on terror has escalated into an increased war on the “rabble” of America, most significantly protesters and anarchists. This doesn't surprise us, because the U.S. government has always been at war with dissidents of many kinds.
We do not have any hope that the police will change their attitudes or their ways. The purpose of the police is to act as the violent arm of capital and the state. The only way for the people to stop the police is to stand up to them, abolish the police and build a different society which needs no police.