Last week the Red & Black Cafe in Portland kicked out a cop who came into their anarchist-owned-and-operated cafe.
First of all, kudos to Red & Black for kicking a sorry shithead cop out of a space he didn’t belong. Cops don’t belong in an anarchist cafe, and people in Portland know that — or should know that. But this has nothing to do with the cafe being vegan or whatever their dietary choices are. This is about cops and why they’re not allowed in spaces run by the anarchists.
There should be no question about it. A cop doesn’t walk into an anarchist cafe, like a clueless moron, and expect the darkness in the universe to resist decking him in the face, or at least escorting him to the nearest exit ASAP, reminding him never to come back. He should have seen any one of those scenarios coming for him. But this cop admits he was gathering intelligence and “familiarizing” himself with the neighborhood, which him and a bourgeois reporter (who also happened to be in the cafe at the same time?) turned into a PR stunt for the PPB. All the more reason police should never be allowed in anarchist spaces, because even if they act friendly and vegan etc. etc., they’ll never stop gathering intelligence. In many other countries where the anarchist presence is much larger than in the US, uniformed cops don’t even think about stepping foot in an anarchist space. Even reporters who try to disguise themselves get booted, like in a Spanish anarchist space last year.
The cops — enforcers of the commodity, capital, and bourgeois values — should never feel “welcome” in spaces which anarchists own and operate. The cop’s only aim is to undermine these communities, spaces, and networks. If they really felt “sympathetic” to the anarchist movement, they wouldn’t be cops. American police have attempted to infiltrate, at times succeeding, every significant anarchist space in the United States since the labor movement of the late 19th Century. In recent years they’ve even infiltrated vegan potlucks. They’ve infiltrated anarchist protest organizing groups and charged them with “terrorism,” they’ve bombed black community movements, and locked up dozens of environmental activists in prisons for thought-crimes. They freely and openly communicate with Homeland Security and the FBI, and spy on anarchists’ homes. The police use their influence and power to shield society from influence by the anarchists who seek to build stronger communities than the ones the police manage. If you don’t know this then you haven’t learned what the police really stand for: social control.
Our aims do not include helping the police “do their jobs” and collect information on us, but include making their jobs harder — impossible. We want to make their jobs obsolete through the power of communities and social networking. The police everywhere are in complete submission to the commodity, enforcing the rules society has created to protect its commodity basis, reducing everything of social value to the form of the commodity. The police want to colonize all social life and make it cooperate with the institutions that a commodified society implies.
Red & Black proved their valor to me at least by kicking the cop out of their shop. There should be more places saying “no” to the cops.
The bourgeois reporter who got the major media and CNN in on this “story” is a complete moron and only trying to attract some corporate attention to her work. She writes on her blog,
With all the recent disturbing stories regarding the police in Portland, I thought I would try to show my support of the police by just being friendly.
So, with the cops hacking homeless people to bits in Portland, you actually feel you need to “show support” for these assholes? Wow. Go back to the suburbs and wave the flag somewhere else. Corporate reporters wouldn’t have any crime “content” if the cops weren’t there spoon-feeding them their information. It seems this symbiotic dialogue has to establish itself at the outset of any cop-reporter relationship.
Now, about the alleged “discrimination” against the cop and the “color of his uniform.”
What a bunch of bullshit. I used to work at a neighborhood bar (not an anarchist bar) and plenty of discrimination happened against anyone who didn’t make the door man happy on a Friday night. If you didn’t look like the kind of customer the bar wanted, you didn’t get in. It’s as simple as that. For Red & Black, it’s perfectly obvious and justified that cops are not allowed to waltz in there willy nilly and start talking openly about why shooting homeless people shouldn’t have given the police such a bad rep. (The anarchist community in Portland responded to this appropriately by staging large demonstrations, sabotaging the police stations, including a Starbucks where the police hang out.)
Let me get this straight. So if an anarchist discriminates against a cop, somehow that is news. But cops racially profiling and discriminating all the time with weapons, prisons, and the judicial system is not newsworthy… Well, I could care less about being “politically correct” because I will discriminate against a cop when I have the power to do so. And I will exploit the fact that I discriminate against the cop, and encourage other people to do the same as me.
Fuck the cops — they’re not welcome in the Red & Black Cafe.
Red & Black Cafe website.
located on the corner of Stark & SE 12th Street in Portland, OR.