It started with Occupy – our modern incarnation of mass political protest. On September 17th people descended into the streets, crowding out the public space, occupying monuments of power, camping out to make their voices heard, and demanding change by placing their bodies on the line. They practiced direct democracy, and said no to the status quo.
The police, those military-clad officers of the State, responded with force. They attacked, assaulted, harassed, and cleared the streets of any sign of unrest. They arrested crowds of protesters, shuffing them into parked school buses to be shipped off to the penitentiary. For many, Occupy was their first time being arrested, and it remains one of the greatest mass arrests in American history.
Now, six years later, the State has not budged. Last week the Supreme Court refused to hear a case that claimed the NYPD’s mass arrests during Occupy were unconstitutional.
Now, as social movements gather storm, and mass political protest once again becomes a tactic of resistance, this decision grants impunity to those same police officers killing, maiming, and arresting peaceful protesters. The State once again has defended its monopoly of violence. It has affirmed its stance towards its citizens: vermin to be swept asside for the sake of the perpetuation of neo-liberalism.
So let us make a promise: we will not stop swarming in the streets to demand change. We will be there and we will be arrested as we are meant to: together, en masse, fighting for a better world for everyone.
-The Blackspot Collective