I wish, with all my heart, that the Cops Off Campus movement was called something else.
I completely agree with the urgent need to end police brutality and mistreatment. I completely agree that protest and debate on campus shouldn’t risk violence.
I completely agree that the police needs reform.
If people want to protest that the head of the Metropolitan Police is coming on to campus, fine, let them protest.
Protest whatever your heart desires. I will support your right to protest.
But what I can’t support is ‘cops off campus’, because it’s a simplistic and disingenuous slogan that means something completely different from what it should.
Call your movement ‘end police brutality’ or ‘protect the right to protest”, but I don’t understand how anyone thinks its appropriate to try to create what is essentially a lawless town in a valley in East Sussex by disallowing any police presence on campus.
Cops Off Campus means police off campus, which means no law on campus. This is idiotic, and there are no two ways about it.
Any person who calls for the abolishment of policing and law is, in my eyes, undeserving of civil liberties and should probably be restrained for the good of the rest of the public.
I am not quite content living in a society where I may be stopped and searched because of my ethnicity, but I am happy that if someone comes at me with a knife and threatens me, they will be prosecuted.
Yes, the police mistreat people. But more importantly, there are police who are excellent at their jobs and excellent at working within their communities.
I had to report a racial hate crime committed against me, and I went to the police and they were understanding, kind and sympathetic.
Victims of crime need to be reassured that injustice will be prosecuted.
Victims of police mistreatment need to be reassured that the system will change, not that the system will collapse and we will live in an anarchist society where if someone stabs you, you’ll just have to deal with it.
If you want police off campus during protests, fine. Name your movement that.
But do not try to rip the safety and security away from others for some arbitrary principled cause with no practical implications.
Kindly grow up and learn how to change systems from the inside.
No one ever ended capitalism by going into a Starbucks and shouting about exploitation at the top of their lungs.
Workers and employees don’t have the power. Get into the upper ranks, get power, change from the inside.
Then, we wont need cops off our campus because they will be working for us in the right way, as many do and all should.
And in the meantime, let me live my life with the knowledge that there is a police force out there who can and have protected me.
And keep them on my campus.