The Best Thing That Money Can Buy

Police. They might put up a facade of peace and justice, but appearance is not the essence.

Equilibrium can be obtained in situations of imbalance by letting things be. But to maintain imbalance you need to exert external force. And this force becomes necessary in human society when one class “possesses” and other does not. Some people are systematically empowered to dictate the terms on which other people live, work and trade. The ones who do not fit into their idea of a “law abiding citizen”, are dealt with according to their whims.

There are unacceptable people like Salman:

The police said Salman, 25, and his six friends, including two women, had showed disrespect to the national anthem while it was being played inside a movie theatre in the city on August 18. A few others who saw the group remaining seated and allegedly “making catcalls” when the anthem was being played lodged a complaint with the police.

And like factory workers all around the country:

Gowda continued, “The police then forcibly tried to shove workers into the company bus using such violence that two workers fell to the ground. They pounced on the workers, beating them and stomping on them with their boots. The two had to be hospitalized along with seven others who were suffering from the effects of hunger strike.”

And like the activist protesting against actions of Indian armed forces:

The Indian human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for nearly 14 years to protest a law that gives impunity to armed forces serving in the state of Manipur, was arrested Friday just two days after a court ordered her release from custody

And hundreds of thousands of other “agitators”, most of them unknown.

A recklessly driven police bus went out of control at Rangmahal Square on Thursday morning and crushed a woman to death.

After this incident, demonstrators (including the victim’s son) were beaten by lathis.

Innocents, more often than not, are framed by police just to “close the file” or due to pressure from their higher authorities (mostly when the actual convict is rich enough to bribe the officers). And lets not forget the famous Indian Police Encounters. [1] [2]

Now, where is the media that argues for the interests of poor, oppressed and the minorities? Where is our police force? The truth is, we only have each other. Protests give us voice against injustice. They accuse us of being outside agitators, promising alternatives if we cooperate, but they will do anything to undermine the struggle.

Why don’t we realize that we can aim beyond these police structures. These are just working alternatives. We do need help in some situations but that help doesn’t have to be from cops. We can call our friends or people who, in the particular case, might resolve our problem. For example, Collectives and Communes like The Rape Crisis Center, community-based organizations like SOS Collectives and groups like the ones who searched for thousands of Holocaust survivors and volunteers in Syria, WhiteHelmets.

Even in day-to-day life, communities with “right to issue orders” and “right to settle disputes” and agreements based on diffused sanctions and various social sanctions are examples that prove that we are capable enough of managing our own affairs without a specialized group which has a monopoly over the use of violence!


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