With growing concern around the police decision to criminalise anti fascists and not the racist fascists they oppose, one comrade shares her experiences of the people we’ve been lead to believe are there to protect us.
(Trigger warning for police violence and racism)
Many people in my life ask me why I use the acronym ACAB. So many family members, colleagues and friends tell me that I am wrong; that not all cops are bad, and the police have a hard job. People know police officers irl; in the hours where they aren’t acting out the state’s monopoly on violence, when they are dads, brothers, or just Paul from down the pub. But what they don’t understand is that all of them, even the kindly one with a grey beard, are complete and utter bastards.
I am a woman who oozes hefty privileges. I am white, cis, able bodied, and functionally middle class and I have an education. I have parents that love me and my life has been generally happy. Yet the sum of my experiences with the police is horror, oppression and violence. Imagine for a second, if they treat me like this, how my experiences differ from the more vulnerable or minority groups in this society. I imagine it’s a whole lot worse for them, and not without evidence. From extreme institutionalised racism to rape victims being failed on a systemic level.
(Anyway- I am not one for writing detailed blogs and planning out well organised arguments. What I can do though is make lists.)
Here is a list of all the interactions with the pigs I can remember.
If you take anything from this it should be the following:
- Feminism must be intersectional
- FUCK THE FUCKING POLICE TO HELL.
The first was a chubby, pink cheeked bobby at school. He taught us about stranger danger (despite the fact you are more at risk from people you know) and that we must never go out at night alone (rape culture starts young, folks. And the police are part of it).
Then, as I was lucky and didn’t need to interact with cops much, my Year 11 Work Experience was a placement with the local police (I wanted to be Dana Scully). During this weird week I witnessed and experienced: a cop punching Gypsies, a weird cop telling me to punch him then threatened to arrest me for assault (!) I found a spliff end in the canteen AND I was driven to a make out spot to “look at the view of London”. Needless to say, I didn’t want to be a cop anymore.
Of course there were the student demos. That’s the first time I was kettled for hours and had to do a piss on Parliament square. Over this period I spent a lot of time outdoors, feeling cold and anxious that a horse would kill my friends, eating biscuits and desperately bargaining with and/or berating coppers.
The UKUncut days; this was where shit really got real for me. At one fluffy shop occupation a woman was arrested for putting a leaflet through a door. The police responded by pepper spraying the crowd at point blank range. There was also the senior police officer that would turn up wherever we went to protest, and referred to us by name. He also showed me his old stab wound * puke *.
There was the time a friend’s housemate was assaulted by her boyfriend and she was offered money for information on his activities.
Not to forget: Fortnum’s.
Then there was the Dale Farm eviction. The absolute worst thing I’ve ever seen, it wrecked of hundreds of lives. So much senseless violence, hatred, racism and fucking bailiffs. I think it irreparably damaged my faith in humanity. I was grabbed, thrown, shoved, hit, incarcerated, denied my antidepressants, intimidated and mocked by police that day. What I saw was a cop-led incident of ethnic cleansing, and I wish that hell existed so those bastards could all go to it.
Shortly after that there was a cool Halloween sleep out against the anti-squatting legislation where squatting in residential buildings has been criminalised. That night I saw police encircling us and dragging people out of the crowd. My friend was arrested. We had to de-arrest my boyfriend. A girl was brutally grabbed at by the police whilst we held on to her. Eventually they threw her like a ragdoll into a van. They told me I was scum because I hadn’t anywhere to sleep that night (it was a sleepout after all).
At Notting Hill carnival I watched police stop and search as many black guys as they could. I saw a young guy assaulted in the back of a van, heard his screams as I was repeatedly threatened with arrest. When I protested, I was told I wasn’t very clever and to fuck off.
I have witnessed an escalation in their violence and aggression with the recent Antifa marches. One of the first things I saw was my friend being thrown to the ground by a police officer, in the middle of a crowd. If people didn’t pick him up and lead him out he could have died. Saw a lot of violence that day, most of which we were subjected to by over excited, giant cunts. Fuck the Thick and Stupid Group.
The final experience, but sadly not the last in my joyful life was the recent counter demo against the racist EDL on Saturday. I spent half the day freaking out, talking to my kettled, injured and soon to be arrested friends on the phone. Thankfully they were able to get help, but the same was not true for almost 300 other comrades. All arrested whilst challenging the repugnant EDL and fucking fascism. I spent the evening outside a cop shop being spoken down to by stuck up power tripping shit heads. I was threatened with arrest for standing on a pavement and cheering for a bus full of handcuffed Antifa (who would remain on that bus in the car park for several hours more).
Basically, cops are cunts. I haven’t even mentioned the systematic problems they perpetrate in our society. All of the deaths in custody and their blatant racism which goes hand in hand. I haven’t mentioned the people they have murdered, like Smiley Culture, Mark Duggan and Jean Charles de Menezes. I briefly mentioned their track record on rape cases. It really does make horrific reading, and even more horrific for those experiencing the ACTUAL rape of women by undercover coppers?
The list is horribly endless.
* exhale *
I will end now. This blog might all sound a bit self-indulgent, but I wanted to get it out. This is why ACAB, and as a white middle class cis woman I wouldn’t know the half of it.
Open your eyes to it and it will seem obvious.