All Alone Together

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

It wasn’t too long ago the murder of George Floyd awoke the anger of the public. The Minneapolis police with swat teams’ chemical weapons, firearms and batons quickly found themselves on the defensive defending intersections when they could no longer defend areas of the city. The police aren’t trained to put down a civil uprising because if they were trained, they would fail. The police in Minneapolis were outnumbered by citizenry by 425 to one. In the face of a general uprising, the police would be swamped and frightened. If they did something stupid, it would become a blood bath if they didn’t do something stupid it would become a rout.

I’ve told this story before, but it is so insightful it bears repeating. During the First Great Depression, Brooklyn police were sent to assist in an eviction. When police arrived, they were met by a mob trying to stop the eviction. The police began removing furniture which the mob would take and put back in the apartment. Police called for backup, but the mob got bigger and angrier and broke down into a general melee. By midafternoon, every available policeman in Brooklyn was involved. That evening the chief of police called the landlord and said, “we’re not going to do that again tomorrow.” The limit of police power had been reached.

When I was growing up in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention thousands of young people Hippies and Yippie’s came to town to protest the Vietnam War. In the parks by the hundreds, they practiced defensive tactics arm locking maneuvers and the Chicago Police lost their minds. This is the police you know, four or five of us beat up a black motorist just for shits and giggles. But looking out at a field of hundreds of citizens preparing to do battle it suddenly wasn’t as much fun as it used to be. After the convention and after the riot the Kerner Commission ruled it a police riot. The police had rioted after being threatened by the populace.

Sometimes we see adversaries as ten feet tall and see ourselves by the puniness of our weapons. They have to defend everything. We have to defend nothing. They have to maintain themselves at great expense while we maintain ourselves at little expense. They are identified while we are invisible. They expect trouble we choose what trouble they can expect. Their numbers are limited our numbers are infinite. I mention this only because an authoritarian madman sends the DHS to Portland to foment trouble and attempt to resuscitate a campaign that would leave even Jesus stumped. In an effort to show his power he will display his weakness. In an attempt to resuscitate his campaign, he will assassinate it.

When in situations such as we find ourselves an orange madman “Thinks” all he has to do is send in “his” men and the problem is solved. Because he is an ignoramus and lives in a comic book reality, he thinks, “Bam! Biff! Socko!” But history tells us that people will end up dead on both sides. Whether for labor rights or civil rights or economic rights the war only goes one way. You’re out a police car. We’re out a match. You are out an office building. We’re out a match. It is dreadful to think about and to contemplate such things but when an orange Fuhrer sends an ersatz Gestapo to an American city it is time to contemplate such things.

Before the American Revolution they had committees of Correspondence people of good faith sharing ideas and local news building a network. So, when Paul Revere yelled “The British are coming!” he knew who’s houses to ride to and alert. He wasn’t just riding aimlessly through the streets shouting his fool head off. He was a man on an intelligence mission alerting the organization to awake. Police in Portland have complained about protestors with laser pointers. Thanks’ Chief! Great Idea! How else can you stifle police and amuse the cat for only $2.99? Police armed with stun grenades and rubber bullets complain of protestors with cat toys. That not strength, that’s weakness.

The media cover a burning trash can or broken window as violent revolutionaries. During the railroad strike of 1877 strikers burned down 39 buildings including the depot. Destroyed 104 locomotives burned 1,400 rail cars in Pittsburgh. Just how far would you like to carry this? Repression only knots the oppressed together and only works short term. Working 800 policeman for ninety hours a week not only destroys the budget it destroys the policeman. In the end they must declare war on us or accommodate us.

Shooting voters has a proven detrimental effect on campaigns especially during an election year. So, while the orange Fuhrer is crazy enough those who give the actual orders are not. But history has shown that Americans might not be the smartest people on the mud ball, but we are the most cantankerous. If you push us, we’ll push you right back, we came here in a Revolution and we’ll go out the same way. We are a people not to be trifled with lightly. A nice little hornet’s nest of self-interest.

In 1932, Colorado legislators failed to include state funding for the WPA, and projects stopped, and workers became unemployed. A mob broke into the state capital and flushed the lawmakers from the building out a back door running for their lives. Two weeks later, the funding was included. If you happen to see Mitch McConnell mention this story to him. History is a harsh teacher and she won’t grade on a curve.

Americans are a funny people affable and fun loving, but with a mean streak. If you try to scare them you will anger them. If you try to fight with them, they will crush you. They have you outnumbered 300 million to one.

“The first thing is to raise hell,” says I. “That’s always the first thing to do when you’re faced with an injustice and you feel powerless. That’s what I do in my fight for the working class.”
― Mother Jones

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