Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Are the Police Up To?

I watched several recent shows on the BBC about Detroit and Motown during the '60s.

One thing that struck me was how similar the story of the riot of 1967 was to other riot stories.

In 1967, the all-white Detroit police force put the local Black community under heavy pressure with threats and brutality. Eventually, the community erupted under the pressure and five days of riots ensued. 43 people were killed, 33 of them African American.

What does this remind me of?

Lama Rangdrol's film, Festival Cancelled on Account of Rain, describes his experience as a young Black man growing up in Oakland, CA, being hunted by the police. Meanwhile, other young African American males were being killed on the front line in Vietnam.

The Brixton riot of 1981 - young Black men were being put under a lot of pressure by the police under the Sus laws. The police would harass Black youth whenever they went into central London and beat them up either in the back of the police van or in the prison cells, or both. To read more, see this interview with Alex Wheatle.

Anybody else see a pattern here?

Of course, I was aware of police brutality from a very early age. I just wonder - have the police learned their lesson yet? Or did they deliberately provoke Black communities to explode, over and over again?

Just a thought.

I am sure there are people in the Metropolitan Police and other police forces who are working to bring about positive change. What are people's experiences of this?

What's going to happen this summer if it's a hot summer and if there are still high levels of unemployment?

I watched the film "Babylon" recently. More about this soon.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need to get more Black men working in the police.

Nolver® said...

I don't live in the UK as you know, but one thing I noticed is that there are hardly coloured people working in the police in England. There are even more coloured people working in the police in Holland...