Police as agents of the state

Statement on the recent strikes in the Military Police in Brazil

Does the conjunction between police protests and action by sectors of the working class mean that they are all part of the same struggle?This question was posed to our comrades in Brazil, during the recent strike by the Military Police. The statement that follows aims to make it clear that while police officers may often be recruited from the poorest layers of society, and are also being strongly affected by the crisis of capitalism, the essential role of the police is to defend capitalism from the struggles of the working class.

Methods of infiltration by the democratic state

The revelations in The Guardian during January that exposed four undercover agents of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), and the outraged response to them from the ‘democratic’ media and politicians, are nevertheless worthy of attention. Concerns about the first agent – PC Mark Stone (aka Mark Kennedy) – were first made public in October 2010 on Indymedia, but it was the collapse of the trial in early January of 6 activists accused of conspiring to break into Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station that grabbed the headlines. Apparently Stone, wracked with remorse, had threatened to ‘go native’ and give evidence for the defence.

Lies and repression: The state prepares to confront the working class

The ruling class is well aware that the perspective of a deepening economic crisis opens up the possibility of growing social unrest and rising levels of class struggle. Accordingly it is  preparing its repressive apparatus: the police, surveillance, intelligence and the legal system.

‘Kettling’: a display of democratic repression

The response to protests against the G20 on 1 April has drawn criticism of the police tactic of ‘kettling', forcing demonstrators, and anyone else in the area, into a confined space and keeping them there for hours without food, water or toilet facilities. This is not a new tactic and its use has to be seen in the context not just of the whole repressive arsenal wielded by the democratic state, but also of its ideological campaigns.

Hillsborough disaster shows the real function of the police

On Saturday April 15, 1989, at an FA cup tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, 96 football fans were killed at Hillsborough stadium, Sheffield. This slaughter not only showed the contempt of the football authorities, the media and the police for the working class; it also showed that for the state, its police force is not there to protect and safeguard the masses, but has been perfected to repress them.
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