TWO videos, one by the FBI and one by the British police, have just been issued giving advice to people about actions they should take in the event of a terrorist attack.
The video from the FBI is entitled ‘Run, Hide, Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event’ and advises that should anyone find themselves in the middle of a ‘shooter event’ they should first of all run away if there is an escape path or hide if escape is not possible.
If your life is in danger and these two options are unavailable the FBI recommends that people fight, using physical aggression and ‘improvised weapons’. The video issued by the UK National Police Chiefs’ Council differs significantly from the FBI’s in that it instructs people to ‘run, hide, tell’ if they are caught up in a terrorist gun attack. The dropping of the advice to ‘fight’ and its replacement with the instruction to tell the police is no accident.
It expresses the desire of the British ruling class to instil a sense of passivity in the working class, even in the most life threatening situations. Instead of fighting they insist that the only course of action once all else has failed is to sit back and wait for the state to come to the rescue, and possibly kill you in the process as the bullets fly, or stoically accept your fate. On no account must people even think of fighting back.
This blatant attempt to instil both fear and passivity in the working class goes hand in hand with the state’s latest attempt to place the armed police above any ‘rule of law’, so that they can shoot to kill without any inhibition.
Following the arrest of a police marksman after the fatal shooting of Jermaine Baker in Wood Green last week, the Tories have quickly ordered a review to look at ending the situation where armed police have to answer awkward questions about their use of ‘shoot to kill’ and make it impossible for any officer to be prosecuted for gunning down unarmed people.
Instead, any killing of the unarmed and innocent will be brushed aside under the doctrine of being a wrong ‘split-second’ decision – or unavoidable in the pursuit of terrorists, unfortunate but inevitable. This is both a licence to kill by the police, and a demand that the working class must submit to its fate.
In fact the capitalist state is insisting that it must have the monopoly of violence, to be used against the working class to destroy every right that workers have secured by centuries of struggle. Currently the anti-trade union bill is poised to become law and gives the police unprecedented powers over striking workers on picket lines.
While the police are claiming immunity under the law, trade unions are to face criminal prosecution for any act deemed ‘violent’ by the state during strikes or protests. Workers are supposed to sit back and passively allow their picket lines to be attacked by the police and not fight back.
Today the gains made by the working class in the past cannot be defended in a passive way. As the world crisis of capitalism drives the ruling class into a war against every right workers have won, and the working class more and more turns to strike action to defend, itself the issue of fighting the orchestrated violence of the state, and other forms of terrorism, becomes absolutely vital.
Workers must demand that their unions seriously take up the question of building workers defence squads to defend the working class and its communities from the violence not just of ‘terrorists’ in general but above all the terrorists of the capitalist state and its armed ‘shoot to kill’ police.
Workers defence squads must be formed by the trade unions to protect picket lines from police attack and defend communities from being destroyed as this capitalist crisis develops. As the working class moves inexorably towards an all out fight with this Tory government and the demand for a general strike to kick out the government becomes unstoppable so the organisation of workers defence squads to physically defend the working class becomes absolutely crucial.
Once established these will develop to provide the organised revolutionary forces through which the working class will take the power and establish socialism.