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You can’t really “go after the cops” in a frontal attack, unless you want to die. What they’re doing is as direct as you can get while keeping each other relatively safe.

Cops for the most part don’t prevent crime, but process some people (more than others) for some crimes (more than others).

One of the things they’re known to do is process crimes to protect private property. Another thing they’re known to do is killing black people without even having the excuse of the framing of a situation were it could be interpreted as excessive force used to stop or prevent a crime.

By doing crime and not getting caught, you are directly subverting their work. By rioting in spite of their mere existence, you subvert their directive of crowd control. By being a black person and lighting private property on fire, and leaving unscathed and free, never to be caught for that particular offense, hopefully, you’re laughing in the face of an order that wants you dead or imprisoned for merely being.

By rioting black people are basically saying “This is what we look like when we don’t give a fuck. You have no power over us.”

But the economy has control over people, people can’t riot everyday forever. It all goes back to normal, but not because they’re afraid or get tired, but they need to keep on living despite everything.

A last thing I’d add is that this very well applies specifically to looting, included in that many thongs that happen at riots: like graffitiing FTP all over, how much more direct connection you want? But trying to misconstrue it as mostly about a bunch of cold-blooded opportunistic people waiting to loot when riot strikes is totally false.

I saw livestream of it, most people were just standing around or walking around, looking at the broken windows, the fires in the middle of the parking lot, the FTP graffitis all over, and recording it to share it on social media, to let the world know. They were just showing up as a way to express their rage and sorrow.

Not saying “these are the good people, unlike the looters” nor scold them for not being more rowdy. Instead, I’d say that it’s much harder to “logically connect the dots between that behavior and going after the cops”, between people just standing around as bystanders, or sitting at home like spectators.