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Repression, exploitation and dispossession: policing protest


Policing protestWithin the policing of protest, the question “whose police?” appears with great clarity. Whose interests are protected, whose security ensured? From South Africa to India police have deployed violence to enforce dispossession, from Bahrain to Egypt police act as part of repressive state apparatuses crushing movements for freedom and from South Korea to Cambodia police have protected corporate profit-making from the demands of striking workers battling exploitation. In the UK, intelligence-led “disruption policing” makes ever more urgent critical inspection of what passes for contemporary democracy.

Spain: how a democratic country can silence its citizens

Spain, one of the European countries at the sharp end of imposed austerity measures, has also been in the vanguard of imposing restrictions on protest against them. Archive: originally published May 2014. Español

Egypt’s police: a department of thugs

Mina Fayek

Ironically, the protest which was peaceful and demanded freedom for political detainees and an end to the "protest law" ended with more of them locked up and served with trumped up charges.

I was arrested 75 times: how violent policing destroys mental health

Police harassment drove me into hospital. Why aren't we questioning their tactics? This is the final article in Transformation's series on the politics of mental health. Content warning. 

Barton Moss: policing in the absence of democracy

Violence has been a running theme within the policing of anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss. Individual officers are acting with impunity. Is this reflective of a policing strategy seeking to disrupt the protests on behalf of vested interests?

White-washing the water cannon: salesmen, scientific experts and human rights abuses

Scrubbing away the white-wash of 'less lethal' riot control reveals a history littered with humanitarian disasters, weaponisation, inadequate testing, and corporate profiteering. What does a 'public consultation' on water cannon mean when this history is hidden?

Violence visited on Cambodian garment workers

Cambodian garment workers make around $80 a month, taking on long hours of overtime in harsh conditions. Now workers across the country are standing up for themselves to demand more—but the fight for a better wage in Cambodia is a dangerous one. At least four garment workers were killed this month during a crackdown on protesters demanding a decent wage from the government and international clothing companies. This video shows the workers who are standing up—and the violence consistently employed to keep them quiet.

Race, class and the price of policing

Metropolitan Police officers assaulted two protesters, then claimed they had been attacked. Video footage exposed their lie. One of the victims, this week awarded a £20,000 settlement, writes about police brutality

South Korea: rail workers, repression and resistance

An almost unreported strike in South Korea, which has just come to an end, epitomises how a ‘free’ market can be incompatible with the liberty of workers to defend their own security.

"There is Marikana everyday in South Africa" - an interview with Abahlali baseMjondolo

Film: Struggling for the right to decent housing and against the criminalisation of poverty, South African shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo face severe police repression. Here S'bu Zikode outlines the lethal consequences of police militarisation and the ANC's political capture of the police.

"Our self-confidence is the main reason for police harassment..."

For adivasis in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, economic exploitation and social degradation go hand in hand. This interview with Madhuri Krishnaswamy of JADS, an adivasi organisation, reveals routine police protection of entrenched power hierarchies – and the political confidence found to fight back.

Disruption policing: surveillance and the right to protest

From overt, intrusive surveillance to 'network demolition': disruption is central to the strategies of intelligence-led policing. Deployed within the policing of protest, it poses a grave threat to the exercise of dissent.

Policing Bahrain: the long arm of the British

Just after the Arab Spring was brutally crushed in Bahrain, Britain's John Yates, the former Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner, became an advisor to the Ministry of Interior. What happened next?

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