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What I Mean When I Say “Get Rid Of Cops”

It’s useful to remember that when we people like me call for the abolition of the police, our proposal is not “leave the world exactly as it is except without the police.” The idea of police abolition goes hand in hand with the idea of communities taking care of the basic needs of their people. No baby is born to a life of crime. Instead, babies are born into a world without adequate shelter, food, education, leisure time, arts, communal structures, play, and all the other things that make life worth living or even possible in terms other than mere existence. As long as we continue to allow our society to work at the whim of corporations and the wealthy and the powerful, there will always be a need for an armed force to enforce those whims. When I say “get rid of cops,” I also mean “take the money we use on cops – whether here inside our borders or via our armed forces – and use it to build a better world.” Of course we can go even further than that, past the need for states and borders at all. But imagine, for a start, if we used the money we spend on tanks and rifles and flash-bangs and bombs and drones and rubber bullets to instead house the houseless (and everyone else), feed the hungry, clothe the naked, educate all who want it, provide a basic income, get rid of the idea of landlords, allow people to have leisure time and to develop their minds, bodies and spirits as they see fit. Then we can deal with the few folks who’d be left who simply can’t or won’t be members of such a society. And we can do it without cops.

Published in Politics & Activism

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