Monday, January 5, 2015


Mobilizing tens of thousands of police from around the country to come to New York to demonstrate is far more than a memorial to fallen comrades.

While it is Mayor DeBlasio to whom many in uniform turn their backs, it’s the millions of Americans who say “Black lives matter” who receive the menacing response. Loud and clear, the message is the police will not be moved. Counter attack rather than reform, continuing violence against minority communities and protesters alike is the standard.  Immunity for abuses of justice and crimes by police remains sacrosanct.

One needn’t be a seer, just an ordinary observer of historical experience, to raise the alarm against the political mobilization of police forces, now highly militarized as exposed in Ferguson.

An interesting sidelight concerns reactions to circumstances in which a crazed individual kills, as was the case in the assassination of the two police officers in New York. It is certainly reasonable that the events in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere gave shape to the irrational mindset that randomly targeted two innocent policemen for murder. But Fox News, former Mayor Giuliani and police union chief Lynch only have eyes for their chosen political (progressive) enemy, not for the crazed mental state of the shooter. By contrast, remember most media reaction to the rash of assassinations by anti-abortion and other ultra-right vigilantes: ‘the Left is politicizing random acts by deranged individuals.’

Fortunately, there is no indication that the millions who believe in justice, that “Black lives matter”, will be turned around by a sea of blue uniforms. Once upon a time, protesters against the Vietnam War had to move forward despite massed “blue meanies”. And, of course, there was Selma. When the cause is just, it can transform public opinion and change what’s politically realizable.


  1. As usual, thank you Leon, for clarifying and alleviating my confusion. Your sense of historical context, applied to the current situation, is very helpful.
    - Sally

  2. Right on. You have said this eloquently.

    The police have said that the right of dissent should be abolished because it endangers them

  3. Agreed.- Paul Stamler

  4. Yes, it is painful to see the police falling into solidarity line with rabble-rouser Lynch, There must be dissidents who
    feel he doesn't speak for them; after all, not only we but the police themselves were betrayed by "officer" Pantaleo, the chokeholder.

    At the big demo, thousands of marchers, whites and blacks, turned aside to shake hands or greet the cops in their better form. The bipolar polarization was whipped up afterwards.

    It will take years to bring down the fever...
    -- Linda Asher