PITTSBURGH: An Anarchist Statement on Unmarked Vans

Anonymous submission received on 08.16.20

On Unmarked Vans

As Pittsburgh joins the ranks of cities disappearing protesters into unmarked vans, we implore our fellow residents of Pittsburgh to resist the urge to fixate on procedural details. What happened yesterday was fucked up, and it would have been no less fucked up had the officers been uniformed and the van been clearly marked and all the proper paperwork been filled out. What happened yesterday was fucked up in all the same ways that it’s always fucked up when the PPD, or the DHS, or ICE or whoever, kidnaps a member of our community, regardless of what they’re wearing and what they’re driving when they do it.

Police abductions in unmarked vans scare us because they lay bare the absurdity at the heart of the institution of policing, an absurdity that we are conditioned not to see when the cops are wearing the right clothes and driving the right car. When the van isn’t marked, the spell is broken, and we see the police for what they are, a segment of society arbitrarily allowed to kidnap and kill with impunity.

You are right to be unsettled by what happened yesterday, but please see it for what it is, not an aberration or even a significant escalation, but an exposition into the expected behavior of an inherently violent and oppressive institution that we have tolerated for entirely too long.

– Some Pittsburgh Anarchists


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