Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 10, March 27, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Police Powers and Violence against Women


Like the police killing of George Floyd that has continued to give rise to the stand against
state-organised racism, the death of Sarah Everard has led the outpouring that enough is enough.

Events over the past few weeks have demonstrated the hypocrisy of the police and the government over the claim that the police are serving and protecting the public.

From the police attack on the vigil marking the murder of Sarah Everard to the police violence at the demonstrations in Bristol against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, it has demonstrated that the so-called "rule of law" in the hands of the ruling elites means the unlimited expression of police powers and impunity.


Women are demanding their just place as equal members of society and of the body politic. The outpouring of this sentiment was seen in the vigil at the bandstand on Clapham Common, and it was this that the police violated.

The attack on the vigil on Clapham Common on March 13 can be seen as a signal that power should be seen to lie with the state, and that the people should be kept disempowered, that power was not what the people were entitled to. It emphasised that in particular women could not feel protected by the police.

The murder of Sarah Everard has touched a nerve. Like the police killing of George Floyd that has continued to give rise to the stand against state-organised racism, the death of Sarah Everard has led the outpouring that enough is enough. Women must be safe to walk in the streets, and to do so they stand defiant against police violence, and are putting forward the affirmation, "Reclaim the Streets". They are standing proud to end the violence against women, as well as taking their stand in the front ranks of the fight against the anti-social offensive, as well as the movement against war and aggression. Women are demanding their just place as equal members of society and of the body politic.

The outpouring of this sentiment was seen in the vigil at the bandstand on Clapham Common, and it was this that the police violated. Despite the protestations of the members of the government, it seems certain that the order to attack this vigil came from on high. And police violence and brutality has continued in a high-profile manner, under the guise of upholding safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. Far from the government upholding its responsibility towards women, it is displaying its systematic violence towards them. It is a travesty and an insult that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick thought fit to assert that statistically, more men are killed then women. Does that even begin to resolve the problem? Does that negate the experience of women, and make them feel protected? As has been pointed out, it was Cressida Dick that in 2005 authorised the Special Firearms Command to send officers to apprehend the innocent Jean-Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Station, who followed the shoot to kill policy.

The links have been drawn therefore between the violence against women, the stepped-up violence of the police against protests and the passage through Parliament of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The nub of this Bill is the arbitrary criteria for the banning of protests and assemblies, in other words, the criminalisation of protest and dissent, on the say-so of those in authority, let alone any objective criteria. It emphasises that society is becoming openly based on the exercise of police powers, synonymous with maintaining the status quo against the humanising of society.

In the face of this, the waves of action against state-organised and state-inspired racism, for the elimination of all forms of state violence, and against the "rule of law" based on police powers, are building into a united torrent. Its aspiration is for decision-making power to enable the people to exercise control over the direction of society. In this, women are playing a forefront role.

For the elimination of all forms of violence against women! No to the anti-social agenda and its violence against society and its members!


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