Recently, the Saint Paul Federation of Police (SPFP), the local cop “union,” [for a review on why we don’t consider cop associations unions, click here] released a transparently racist and fear-mongering political release attacking a current mayoral candidate. The candidate endorsed by the SPFP denounced the SPFP’s release, which has generated a news story about different politicians condemning the SPFP’s action, and demanding various sorts of response. The Anti-Police Terror Working Group of the Twin Cities General Defense Committee, Local 14, releases the following statement, to clarify that we oppose the SPFP as enemies of the people, and refuse any claim by politicians that they could serve as the solution to the problem police pose any decent society. For freedom to be in the hands of the people, it must be seized by the people themselves.

  1. The police are illegitimate and divisive, violently enforcing a white supremacist, patriarchal, and classist organization of society. While they justify their position and their monopoly on violence by claiming to combat crime and enforce law and order, in fact the blame for most crime can ultimately be laid at the feet of the indignities and violence of capitalism and its various oppressions. The largest crimes – wholesale exploitation, dehumanization, and planetary destruction – are not even recognized as crimes by the state. The role of the police is to uphold exploitation and oppression, and the truth is that they have historically been very effective in that role. The police cannot be reformed, because the police’s ‘proper’ role in the state has always been to uphold an oppressive order through violence.

  2. For the reasons stated above, we consider police the enemies of the people. Police unions are organizations precisely and openly dedicated to preserving the police from even formal accountability to the people, and always represent the most reactionary and violent components of a reactionary and violent force. We refuse to recognize them as ‘unions,’ and instead insist that they are enemies of the people, organized for the purposes of being enemies of the people. Their appropriation of the language and some of the functions of a labor union does not effectively disguise their role in society.

  3. No politician is willing or capable of taking on the police. Even if they were, we do not place our hopes or faith in the future in the hands of politicians. We refuse any expectation of endorsement of politicians. Any future we could want will be a future under the control of the people, not the state or their enforcers.

  4. In the context of the current mayoral campaign, the Saint Paul Police Federation (SPPF) – the cop ‘union’ of Saint Paul – released a transparently racist press release supporting candidate Pat Harris by accusing a competitor of somehow contributing to violence as a consequence of being the victim of a burglary in which two firearms belonging to the candidate’s father were stolen from his home. Pat Harris has received, and accepted and advertised, his endorsement by the SPPF.

  5. Unusually, the cop union release was widely recognized for the racist garbage it was, and even candidate Harris quickly denounced it. While a denunciation is rare, we should note that Harris has thus far refused to renounce the cop union’s support, instead calling for the current leadership to resign. Neither the cop union nor the cops themselves are capable of being reformed by a mere change in leadership.

  6. The multiple and overlapping struggles against the police have resulted in a contemporary moment when politicians can attempt to score political points by openly criticizing the police, or even questioning their need. We do not necessarily question the sincerity with which some candidates may hold such opinions, but insist that the job of securing a liberated and liberatory future lies with the people themselves, not those who seek to represent us in the twisted context of capitalism and the state. The fight against the police is ours, and all of society’s, and a free world depends in part on our refusal of solutions to the police arbitrated by politicians, both of whom truly represent only the interests of the state and capital. As a consequence, we see current refusals of the legitimacy of current cop union leadership as attempts to co-opt the heroic struggles of the anti-police movement, from Ferguson to Saint Paul and beyond.

  7. There is no place for the police in a free and human society, certainly no role for the most reactionary components of their institution. The struggle for that free future belongs to us and cannot be executed by politicians. We must take the responsibility for our own freedom.

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