Policing Protest

Published by Linchpin, ~ February/March 2010
By Jeff Shantz
State Repression Columnist

Only a few days into the Olympic spectacle and much talk had turned to black blocs and a few broken insured Hudson Bay Company windows. Yet much of the discussion has been framed within a strange liberal duality of choices between militant demonstrations (said to be offensive to working class observers) and supposedly “peaceful” symbolic protests, like the march the night of the opening ceremonies (which is presented as more palatable to working class audiences). As if the actions of the demonstrators are the real question and determine the structure of events. Anyone who has ever been on a picket line might find this a bit strange —working class folks have never been involved in dust ups with the cops?— and it has me reflecting not so much on the specific actions in Vancouver as on the broader context for policing and protests.

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