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Abolition of the Police, Part 5: Longtime activist groups shamefully opposing abolitionist movement

July 22, 2020
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Ever since the Minneapolis Uprising, different police brutality groups have been grappling with how to deal with the mass popularity of the “Abolish the Police” demand - and the shocking maneuver of the City Council to at least pay lip service to this demand.

None of the long-term major police brutality activist groups truly support abolition and they have been scrambling to recover ground that the Uprising took - and it hasn’t been pretty.

All of the groups have been attacking the City Council as hypocritical, untrustworthy, and late to the game - that’s all true but it totally erases what brought these proposals forward - the great Uprising. These City councilors didn’t come up with this on their own - they are scrambling to keep up with, and try to regain the trust of the population who have made it crystal clear that we don’t want these goddamn cops anymore. They are not to be trusted AT ALL - but they are reacting to the power of the people.

So while these groups are trying to act like they are attacking abolition “from the Left” - really they are pushing quite conservative programs that place them, shamefully, in a block with the Mayor, the Chamber of Commerce, and Bob Fckn Kroll!

One group has been pushing for the community to rally around the Chief of Police - basically insinuating that the MPD must be preserved as a “Black-led institution”! But Arradondo’s role like every other Police Chief is to maintain the rule of the status quo. He even lied about George Floyd before the video came out!

Another long-term group has a laundry list of reforms, including things like limiting cops work hours so they get enough rest (!) - all of these completely obscure what the role of the police in society is. It’s not an accident that police are so brutal - it’s a necessity for capitalism.

Finally one group has gone so far as to lobby AGAINST the reform of the City Charter to end the mandatory Police Department and number of cops in the city. Maybe they should change their name to “The Coalition to Keep the Cops”. They posit that instead of abolition they want “community control” of the police but admit that would require a city charter change as well - so their opposition to the present effort is pure sectarianism, and one that puts them in bed with Frey, Rybak, and Kroll.

Abolitionists can’t uncritically support the Charter amendment either - already many city councilors are walking back their commitment to dismantling the MPD. Real abolition will come from struggle not the government. Don’t get caught up in city hall gymnastics; keep building popular power in the communities and workplaces.

But whatever damage is done to the MPD - and a lot has been done already, these killers are demoralized and on the defensive - is a victory for the Uprising and the people of Minneapolis.

Don’t go along with these misguided attempts to throw a lifeline to the MPD.