How do you feel about strikes and unionisation by police officers? Our solidarity shouldn't extend to these labour struggles, or should it?
I don’t oppose strikes or unionisation, but no, I wouldn’t be extending any sort of solidarity to the police under any circumstances.
When workers are on strike, it’s a visible sign of the daily struggle bubbling to the surface, the struggle between us and them, bosses and workers, you always feel like you and the strikers are instantly on the same side and it makes sense to support each other because we’re in the same position.
That’s not the way it is for the police, they are quite clearly not on the same side as us, they’re on the other side, and they’re willing to do any one of us serious physical harm to make sure the other side wins. They don’t give a fuck about solidarity when they’re baton charging miners or protecting fascists, fuck ‘em.
Let us go to people: that is our only salvation. But let us not go to them with the smug arrogance of people who claim to hold the infallible truth and, from their alleged infallibility, look down their noses at those who do not subscribe to their ideas. Let us go out and become brothers with the workers, struggle with them, and sacrifice ourselves alongside them. If we are to earn the right and opportunity to demand of the people the sort of commitment and spirit of sacrifice required in the great days of decisive battle ahead, we need to have proved ourselves in the people’s eyes, and shown that we are second to none when it comes to courage and self-sacrifice in its small, day-to-day struggles. Let us enter all the workers’ associations, establish as many as we can, weave ever larger federations, support and organize strikes, and spread everywhere and by every means the spirit of cooperation and solidarity between workers, the spirit of resistance and struggle.
It was then that the great general strike broke out in October last, and at once it spurred the Revolution forward. This general strike had long since been spoken of. In February, Poland had already attempted it within success; but you know the old ditty: “Oh, such an Utopian scheme, worthy of you Anarchists. Years of organising work are needed to prepare a general strike. To begin with, a warchest is necessary.” We all know the tune; but this is what happened. The bakers of Moscow struck, and the printers and compositors followed suit. Once again, it was not the work of the Socialist organisations. The working men themselves ceased work for the purpose of improving their conditions of life. Thereupon troops were called out; but this time the working men offered armed resistance. Three hundred bakers, armed with revolvers, barricaded themselves in a garret and fought against the Cossacks. Many of them were killed, but as a result all the workers of Moscow ranged themselves with the strikers. Whilst the theorists were still arguing that general strikes were impossible, there workers visited all the workshops and caused all work to cease. In a few days the strike became general.