Yes, cops have families to support and can't afford to lose their jobs, and the police force enforces obedience. But precisely because of these reasons, cops are always one of the last social forces to support change of any kind, whether it's reform or revolution. Their job is to enforce the existing order of class, race, gender and property relations. That's their job. And many cops embrace this. Not all, but many.
The point here isn't to be moralistic and bash the cops, but to be realistic for our own sake and the sake of the movement and understand the real motivations and dynamics of the police. It doesn't really matter what any individual cop wants or believes, or even what the rank and file collectively wants or believes. They can not afford to switch sides.
And historically, in virtually every revolution, the police do not go over to the side of the revolution: they hold out until the bitter end. The army is a different story. The key tipping point of most revolutions happens when the rank and file of the army switches sides. And when it comes to the application of physical force, the army trumps the police every time, so when the army switches sides that's usually the end of the show, and the police go into hiding. But the time very rarely comes when the police ever act in solidarity with protesters: can you name a single instance in US history when that has happened?
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 6:44 PM, Jon Good <email@example.com>
Gee, Doug. Some cops may have families to support and stuff, and the police culture (or even their union) isn't really known for being friendly to dissent.
I know that it sucks and they are doing awful stuff, but honestly, their sympathy is important. Because there will come a time when we will need the cops, and many of them will be on our side. Not their bosses and the mayor's cronies who give the orders, but there will be some in the rank and file who will be on our side when push comes to shove.
Some cops may be "in sympathy" with us, but have they ever disobeyed orders to crack down on us, or any protesters anywhere, for that matter, when the orders came down? No. Their "sympathy" is ultimately worthless.
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 10:14 AM, gail zawacki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I don't know. But a blue shirt cop told me:
1. They don't get told anything until the last minute
2. He's in complete sympathy with us
3. The reason there was such a large presence last night was the cops saw on the livefeed that we were planning another march to Wall Street at 7. Not sure if that is true or they mixed it up with the GA.
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 11:50 AM, <email@example.com>
Why is it so often the officers in white shirts that are the most violent?
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 9:21 AM, Elysa Lozano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was wondering if anyone/group is collecting videos of individual arrests.
I know some folks who would love access to theirs at this point.
Wondered if this was being centralized at all?
Or if people happened to take video of individuals being taken down?