On February 18, 1965, a young man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot and killed by a member of the Alabama State Police during a non-violent civil rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama.
Seventeen days later, 525 civil rights activists marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in protest of that killing. They were attacked by state and local police armed with billy clubs, whips, and tear gas. (You can read the New York Times' entire horrifying accounthere.) That day—March 7, 1965—would come to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Here is the New York Times report on the event.
I’ve been reading about the industrial revolution, the rise of capitalism, and the formation of class consciousness that happened in my hometown, Lynn, Massachusetts. What follows below is just one example of how much of the fucked up shit today can be pinpointed in the rise of capitalism, especially industrial capitalism.
A little bit of context for the quote, in Lynn the shoe manufacturers, the big bosses of the only important business in the city (Lynn workers made shoes for the world until just before WW2) came together and founded a society for the promotion of morals that would be conducive to industry, aka they wanted to destroy the recreational culture of workers so they could be disciplined to work longer and be more productive.
Several examples of their new moral code: they took autonomy of education away from the neighborhoods and put it into the hands of the city government, which the capitalists controlled. After they had power they used the school to regiment students to become workers, tardiness and absence were punished. Corporeal punishment was encouraged to discipline the students. Apparently dozens of schools in Massachusetts shut down because teachers refused to punish students and/or students literally insurrected. In addition to that, girls and boys were separated officially because it was thought that sexuality caused workers to be less productive. They even made private gendered bathrooms because up until that time apparently there was no social need for privacy while using the bathroom. Temperance saw a major surge as bosses figured their workers would be more productive if they didn’t drink. “Bundling”, the practice of premarital co-sleeping, was greatly discouraged cause, again, it was seen as encouraging sex. Around this time poverty was increasingly treated with hostility (there is a whole section on how alms-houses became the first profit-prison system). There are several quotes from shoe-workers’ suicide notes in the book, they chose death rather than the newly humiliating status of poverty that moral societies created.
A whole bunch of other moral codes were imposed by the society upon the people of the city. Anyways, check out this passage about how the modern cop came to be a product of capitalism!
"Prior to the conversion of moral values into a legal code, the constables performed a minor function in the affairs of the town. Their main task was to canvass the town before the town meeting and read to each citizen the warrant explaining the order of the business. They also served as sergeants-at-arms, lending official authority to the chair, helping keep emotions in check, and maintaining order. The constables were chosen annually by the selectmen, received no pay except a share of the fine levied for an infraction, wore no uniforms, and carried no weapons. The badge of their office was a long staff ringed at the top with alternating bands of colored stripes. But the role of the constables gradually changed as they were called upon to enforce the standards of conduct that accompanied the early stages of industrialization. An illustration of changed that occurred is found in the constable’s badge of authority, the staff. In the late 1840s, John A. Thurston, deputy police-chief, cut the staff into pieces and made billy clubs. The need for a corps of trained, experienced, and armed police arose from the conflict engendered in the impositions of a moral code, which a portion of the population did not accept. A survey of arrests made in Lynn during the late 1850s shows clearly that the vast majority were for such offenses as illegal sale of liquor, drunkenness, and disorderly conduct; not for capital offenses or robbery.”
-Paul G. Faler, Mechanics and Manufacturers in the Early Industrial Revolution: Lynn, Massachusetts, 1790-1860
He was a friendless high school loner struggling with autism. So why did an undercover cop target him as a drug dealer? Our feature on the entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass.
In May 2013, Monica Jones, a student and sex-work activist, was arrested for “manifesting prostitution” by the Phoenix police.
Hers was one of over 350 arrests carried out by Project ROSE in conjunction with Phoenix police since the program’s inception in 2011.
Project ROSE is a Phoenix city program that arrests sex workers in the name of saving them. In five two-day stings, over a hundred police officers targeted alleged sex workers on the street and online. They brought them in handcuffs to the Bethany Bible Church. There, they were forced to meet with prosecutors, detectives, and representatives of Project ROSE, who offered a diversion program to those who qualified. Those who do not could face months or years in jail.
Sacking Rome: A Magazine for Vandals, issue one
From English Collective of Prostitutes:
Violence against sex workers is increasing.
Tragically, two sex workers have been murdered in London in the past three months. At the same time, the police have stepped up raids, arrests and closures of premises where women are working in relative safety. This is despite senior police officers admitting that: “[police] operations to tackle the trade are “counterproductive” and likely to put the lives of women at risk.”
Eighteen flats in Soho, Central London, have been closed. Most of the women who were evicted are mothers and have now lost their livelihood.
Women are appealing against eviction on Monday 24 February at Isleworth Crown Court. Please join us in demanding that these closures be stopped.
Please write urgently addressing your letters to:
- Borough Commander Alison Newcomb firstname.lastname@example.org
- Westminster Cllr. Nickie Aitkin in charge of community safety email@example.com
- And cc: English Collective of Prostitutes firstname.lastname@example.org
020 7482 2496
A man is filmed picking up and smashing a vase by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei worth $1m (£600,000). Florida artist Maximo Caminero, 51, was later arrested and admits to breaking the work in protest at the Perez Art Gallery in Miami only showing international art. Caminero now faces up to five years in prison for criminal mischief. Watch
Note that the photos in the back show Weiwei dropping a Han Dynasty era vase in the exact same manner.
Cops have no goddamn appreciation for art, I tell ya.