| March 15, 2003 – Seventh International Day Against Police Brutality
March 15, 2003, marks the seventh year of this international day of protest and solidarity against police brutality. It first began in 1997 as an initiative of the Black Flag collective in Switzerland along with the help of ‘le Collective Opposé à la Brutalité Policière’ (COBP-Montreal).
Since its first year, the International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB) has been a success. This date was chosen because on March 15th, two children, aged 11 and 12, were beaten by the Swiss police.
This day is also an opportunity to create and strengthen an indispensable international solidarity against the ever-increasing collaboration amongst global police forces. The IDAPB is one step in ending the isolation of groups and individuals who, engaged in this struggle, are subjected to daily repression.
The police, the right arm of the State, abuse their power on a daily basis and exercise violence with total impunity. Within the police brotherhood, the complicity of silence eradicates the possibility of one police officer’s innocence. Everywhere they continuously violate the very laws that they are supposed to uphold. The police check I.D. without reason, ticket, harass, steal, spy, beat, deport, arrest, imprison, torture and kill. Their primary targets are “the undesirables of society”: the poor, the homeless, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, immigrants and persons with irregular status (“illegal immigrants” and people working under-the-table), sex workers, activists and student activists, the marginalised, organised workers, queer, gender-based and feminist activists and people who question and don’t accept the legitimacy of the authorities.
In response to the breadth and depth of anti-capitalist globalization demonstrations opposing the fortress of capitalism, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the deepening of poverty, the generalised misery and deterioration of living conditions, governments invest in their police forces, in order to maintain, at whatever cost, law and order for ‘social peace’.
The reactionary security craze following the September 11 events in the U.S. gave free reign to world governments to create new fascist anti-terrorist and racist anti-immigration laws. Systematic surveillance of all means of communication, tougher border controls (if not their closure) and total discretionary powers to all police forces directly affect all “undesirables” (the ‘dangerous’ class).
Facing a global police state, we have the responsibility to act and support all victims of State force. We urgently invite you to participate in the International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB). Until now, this event has taken place in several forms: street theatre, murals, publications, demonstrations, conferences, postering, workshops, exhibitions, radio and television shows and other cultural events. Some groups have organised more than one activity while others have formed coalitions. All collectives or individuals decide on what type of action, depending on the political climate of their country, the energy and willingness of people to organise an event, the resources available, etc. The key thing is the imagination and the creativity of the people involved.
POLICE = LEGAL TERROR!
DOWN WITH POLICE STATES EVERYWHERE!
ORGANISE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY!
Some suggestions and needs:
* If you can’t organise for March 15th, try to organise as close to the date as possible.
* If you can’t or don’t want to participate, please spread and forward this message.
* We need more languages, so any translation of the message is very much appreciated. Could you please send the translations to the below email addresses, so that we can publish them on our websites.
* If you organise anything, can you please let us know, in order to strengthen solidarity and to be able to build a publication about this worldwide event.
* For questions, commentaries, or to find out more about COBP-Montréal and COPB-Vancouver please contact us and visit our websites.
c/o The Alternative Bookshop
2035 St-Laurent, 2nd floor
H2X 2T3 E-mail: idapb2003 [at] yahoo [dot] ca Websites:
COBP-Montréal and COPB-Van