The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis cops unleashed the largest wave of protests in the United States in over 50 years as well as significant demonstrations around the world. Floyd’s murder focused many people’s anger on racist police brutality. Some Black people and others who have become activated by these protests, are now also discussing how to end the racist practices of the police in this society.
Some demonstrators have raised the slogan “Defund the police!” And this slogan has been picked up by some Democratic Party politicians. This means different things to different people, from abolishing police departments to reducing their funding and giving the money saved to various community programs. The Democrats in Congress are also talking about abolishing the use of chokeholds and other specific practices. But that’s like saying that the cops can only use one kind of gun, but not another.
Of course, we should fight to oppose racist police brutality as much as we can. But we need to recognize that the main purpose of the police is to maintain the “law and order” of the One Percent! That means their main job is to protect the interests of the One Percent. The capitalists, whose drive for profits means a society based on exploitation, oppression and racism, will never give up having police power to protect their interests. We cannot allow ourselves to be tricked into believing otherwise. If we want to get rid of police brutality, we need to get rid of the capitalist system that rests on this kind of racist violence.
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