Police

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Tue Jun 6 15:32:05 MDT 1995


This has been a very lively exchange that has been emotional on both
sides.  I suspect that the differences in understanding concerning
police is rooted in the differences in occupation and community of list
members.

One question concerns the appropriate tactics to advance in legal cases
and in relationship to the police.  I believe there is a lot of room here
for further discussion, and possibly, agreement.  I trust that all, for
instance, would agree that the appropriate tactics to pursue vary greatly
depending on the struggle, class composition of participants, and reality
of police intervention in differing communities.  I, for one, would
certainly not want to tell activists in another community what their
tactics should be.  What may appear as "ultraleft" in one struggle, may
be useful for another.

I do believe, though, that SOME of the disagreement is based on the
different experiences and background of list members.  In some
communities the police are especially brutal and that brutality gives
rise to class hatred.  Many Marxists tend to look at class society from a
strictly intellectual standpoint.  Others, who are engaged in struggle,
view the question both intellectually and emotionally.  As one who in
1970 went through what might be called an "intellectual radicalization",
I can relate to this distinction.  In High School, I basically locked
myself in my room and read everything I could find on radical theory for
a year, and opened the door and called myself a Marxist.  Many years
later, I worked in an automobile assembly plant and, consequently,
developed a strong class hatred for owners and supervisors.  In a similar
vein, it is entirely reasonable for people to hate the police after they
have seen the police brutalize their friends, family and community.  One
would hope, though, that the choice of political tactics is not driven by
that emotional content.

Jerry


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