A more than interesting proposal

Can There Be Solidarity Between Movement Activists and Police Officers?

by Randall Amster



...call upon us - movement activists and police officers alike - to consider how we might break the usual cycle of "police versus protesters." For too long, the uber-elites have watched from their penthouses as factions of the 99 percent do battle with one another in the streets below - one in blue and the other carrying signs. The police-against-protesters motif is the dominant frame for nearly every social movement, with the images of clashes being distributed widely as part and parcel of the workings of movements themselves. Yet rather than engaging the centers of power directly, demonstrators are instead channeled into conflicts with police officers, who provide that "thin blue line" of deflection that draws the energy of a movement away from its actual targets.

This is by now a familiar dynamic, so much so that it is almost too readily accepted in movement culture. Protesters expect to be embroiled in a contest with police, and for their part law enforcement officers are incessantly trained in the tactics of protest policing. The official resources expended on such practices are enormous, and all the while the movement's deeper claims are obscured in a cloud of tear gas and blunted by the sting of pepper spray.

I would suggest that instead of repeating this dead-end drama, the Occupy Movement should actively work to win over the police and encourage more defections. I do not intend this in an idealistic manner, but more so pragmatically...

Read the whole article at the links above.