Jun. 12, 2020

Calls to defund the police gain traction, but what does it mean?

The increasing calls to defund the police in the wake of the death of George Floyd have been seized upon by some Canadian lawmakers and social activists hoping for significant reforms. 

To understand what motivates this bit of insanity, we must go back to the 1960s at the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan and a militant leftist group called the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

 In 1969, the SDS created a separate faction originally called “the Weathermen” and later the “Weather Underground” (WUO). The "Days of Rage" was the WUO's first riot in October 1969 in Chicago, timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. The WUO took part in domestic attacks such as the jailbreak of Timothy Leary in 1970. In 1970, the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government under the name "Weather Underground Organization". In the 1970s, the WUO conducted a bombing campaign targeting government buildings and several banks.

Beginning in 1974, the organization's express political goal was to create a revolutionary party to overthrow what it viewed as American imperialism and recreate America as a socialist state. The WUO announced that its January 29, 1975 bombing of the United States Department of State building was "in response to the escalation in Vietnam”. The FBI classified the WUO as a domestic terrorist group, with revolutionary positions characterized by black power and opposition to the Vietnam War.

The Weathermen were outspoken critics of the concepts that later came to be known as "white privilege" (described as white-skin privilege) and identity politics. As the civil disorder in poor black neighbourhoods intensified in the early 1970s, Bernardine Dohrnsaid, "White youth must choose sides now. They must either fight on the side of the oppressed or be on the side of the oppressor." The Weathermen called for the overthrow of the United States government.

Although the Weathermen seemed to die off following the end of the Vietnam war, the organization was structured on Che Guevara's foco theory (its central principle is that disruption by cadres of small, fast-moving paramilitary groups can provide a focus for popular discontent against a sitting regime and thereby lead a general insurrection) later adapted to urban guerrilla warfare.    

The basis for the charges of racism in current protests come from radical leftist anarchists still determined to foment a race and class war to further their aim to overthrow the US government and replace it with a Marxist/Leninist nation. The rioting and looting associated with American protests is driven by anarchist groups trying to hijack legitimate concerns over police brutality. They do not want peace; they want a race war.

Defunding police forces is consistent with the aims of anarchists bent on destabilizing the nation and taking over in the ensuing chaos. We need to be wary of where protests can lead us.

I doubt that many Canadian protestors are aware of the anarchist background to the US protests or that radical anarchists are using the Floyd killing to further their agenda.