2007 - 2021

Dystopian America


Death-of-William-BurkeExecution by robot, noise cannon, tasers, summary execution – US policing suddenly appears as a proto-techno fascism in full flight.

Yes the police work in difficult circumstances, yes policing an armed population is fraught. None of that matters. None of that is an excuse for the 571 dead this year alone. The reality according to Fatal Encounter is that Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and Walter Scott are just three of at least 2,009 people killed by police since August 9, 2014, the day of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Speaking to a dozen visiting Americans at the weekend, three messages occurred over and over. The first was a crushing realisation that Trump might win, and the idea of Clinton as some kind of liberal certainty now we’ve dispensed with ‘Krazy Lefty Bernie’ is just another lazy assumption, second I heard people giving serious voice to the idea that the police should just be disbanded given the absolute collapse of discipline and trust, and the third was that “Make America Great Again” was really code, code for ‘Make America White Again”.

Many of the people I spoke to were veterans of the civil rights movement. What they described were political and social changes that would undo fifty years of progressive gains as America hurtles back to the cultural status of 1956, armed with the weaponry of 2016.


The state murder of Alton Sterling followed by the execution of Philando Castile in Minnesota has led to huge peaceful protests by the black community – and now wider communities in solidarity, but after Dallas it has also sparked the arrival of a new military policing.

This is morphing from an issue of race to the people versus the state.

The need for solidarity, and government intervention has never been clearer.

You can’t win a physical battle against a military police force with an armed white militia in the background.

The message from the police is clear in each botched gruesome arrest: “Stop resisting”.

Death Online

What is the impact of our experience of routinely watching people being murdered online?

We used to treat the people from the olden days with a bit of a contemporary sneer. How could they be so debased to have a crowd turn to up for an execution? Now we do it at on our swivel chairs whilst munching a tuna sandwich and a flat-white.

The #BlackLivesMatter isn’t the first political movement focused around a hash-tag, but it’s maybe the first in which the social media was such a pivotal legal  and communicative part. Recording, streaming and sharing police atrocities is now a mainstream part of our media diet.

“An NPR investigation found that since 2006, the Pentagon has given local police departments around $1.9 billion worth of equipment. That includes 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers, 11,959 bayonets, 479 bomb robots — like the one Dallas police used to kill a gunman during a standoff last week — and $124 million worth of night-vision equipment.”

This is a media war and we’re all combatants. The man who posted the film of the police shooting Alton Sterling has been arrested.

We need to know this reality. We need to see this. But clicking and liking and sharing won’t cut it.

The perils of clicktivism seem really precise today.


We need to move quickly from the dangers of a quasi-voyeuristic passivity to a much more active coordinated solidarity. If the anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and 80s had echoes of the civil rights movement in the deep south, the movement against police brutality now has echoes of apartheid South Africa.

Our response no needs to mirror that of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, but this time against America, with boycotts and actions of solidarity against the US State.

Comments (5)

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  1. nick says:

    as the left has always said – the fight is on the streets and in the work places and not in parliament, government, the meeja inc social meeja…

    if the protesters had not resisted the pigs, the killin would just continue…

    the rage and discontent (why the english working class voted for brexit) is a class war and the capitalist class in the u.s. wants a race war not a class war – divide and rule, white (working class) set against black working class…so expect more tit for tat killins

    1. nick says:

      a thousand pardons, i said ‘race’ war – there is no such thing as race, i can only think i was angry/upset about the crack down on the protests

      race is a fascist, divisive tactic…so again my profound and sincere apologise to any one (rightly) offended

  2. Dougie Blackwood says:

    We are not so far away from the same circumstances here in UK. Our new PM (Theresa May – after the withdrawal of the other numptie) is a right wing xenophobe with delusions of grandeur. She panders to the white power people and grants every wish from Big Brother and his spooky pals.

    The poor, the migrants and the disabled are liable to be air brushed from existence and banished to ghettos in Northern English towns to make life better for those that don’t want to see them suffer. That will make it easier for the London Media to ignore their plight and we will be in the “Never Had It So Good” days again.

  3. john young says:

    USA Sodom/Gomorrah for sure yet we still slavishly follow them and worship at their altar.

  4. Wul says:

    “Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and Walter Scott are just three of at least 2,009 people killed by police since August 9, 2014”

    Can this really be true? It means that every 3 years, US police kill as many Americans as Al Quaeda did in 9/11?

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