The Holocaust is the only genocide most liberals and so-called progressives acknowledge. But the ongoing genocide of Indigenous people on Turtle Island, the genocides of Africans by colonizers looting their continent, the Japanese imperialist massacres of Chinese and Korean people, the Nakba and ongoing colonization of Palestine, the CIA backed coups of democratically elected leaders in developing countries—all of that is connected to what is going on right here, right now.
The city’s ruling class is flexing its muscles to displace people who are already living precariously, right before a Vermont winter settles in. That’s not loading the gun and shooting it, but it’s the pencil-pusher equivalent. When my people were put in camps and killed during the Shoah, German citizens went along with it because that was what it took to maintain the status quo, what it took to keep their lives moving forward. Are you, my fellow residents of Burlington, ready to toss out our Sears Lane neighbors just to maintain your property values?
The police officers whose staffing cap we’ve just raised are an essential part of the repression of poor, working class, and left-wing people. Indigenous and Black people bear the brunt of this repression because the white working class needs to have someone lower on the ladder than them to ensure that they remain complicit. The police and military of America are tools of imperial dominance; they have no place in a peaceful and just society and must have their resources completely stripped away, their membership re-educated and de-radicalized, so that they can interact with the rest of society in a humane manner.
For us to make progress as a society, for us not to doom ourselves to more of this neoliberal hell, we must recognize the police as an enemy of the people and defund them. To raise the police officer cap is more steps backwards than I care to count.
Take the money we’re not paying cops and use it to GIVE PEOPLE HOUSING! We cannot expect anyone to be raised out of poverty if we bulldoze their dwelling places and displace them. If people are so threatened by houseless folks who are just trying to live their lives, make them not houseless. It’s actually that simple.
We don’t need the city council or the mayor. They need us to continue to play along with this electoral sham so they can maintain power. The truth is, the city council, the mayor, even with all their power, can’t actually take the actions we need to take. The power they hold is incapable of dismantling itself. We can attend meetings, protest, go through the motions of airing our grievances, and we’ll do this song and dance until we’re so deep in the neoliberal hell-pit, that the only way out will require more than strong words and a veto-proof majority.
Reform will not save us. Revolution is the only path forward.