The Appalachian Workers Alliance stands uncompromisingly with the current movements of the people against systemic police brutality and murder of Black and Brown men and women. These modern lynchings are not acts of isolated “bad apples,” but are instead the institutionalized practice. The police are the foot soldiers of national and racial oppression in the United States. The origins of the police are as slave catchers and strike breakers. Their function is to protect the status quo, no matter how unjust it is, and the status quo is anti-working class and white supremacist.
The severe sentences handed out to Black and Brown workers in this country every day for minor crimes (if these “crimes” weren’t frame-ups, as they often are) stand in stark contrast to the inconsequential slaps on the wrist officers receive for their state-sanctioned murders of oppressed people — if they are even condemned and punished at all. We will show no solidarity with the police or their so-called “unions.” The Fraternal Order of Police and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association are not labor unions because police are not workers. Police are armed enforcers of a state and economic system that exploits workers and oppresses people of color. Real unions pledge to not cross picket lines while police, in fact, bust unions and break up picket lines. The PBA was founded with support from the Ku Klux Klan and the far-right John Birch Society.
The Appalachian Workers Alliance is committed to real change and real justice for all workers. As a part of these goals, the Appalachian Workers Alliance also upholds the right, individual and collective, of oppressed people to self-defense. The popular cliché that violence only begets violence is just a smokescreen used to disarm and endanger workers, especially workers of color. When racist police aim their guns at the people, the people must be able to defend themselves and each other.