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Who do the police "serve and protect"?

April 4, 2003 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

It became very apparent to us in Greensboro, N.C., just how much of an "us vs. them" situation it is when dealing with police during a demonstration.

When a group of 70 angry but peaceful students protested the war recently downtown, police wearing riot gear suddenly charged us, spraying mace and waving batons. One student was grabbed and dragged to the ground.

As we shouted in opposition, the police continued to shove us back beyond the edge of the street, pulling another student from the sidewalk and hitting yet another student in the face with a baton.

While more than a dozen cops found the time and resources to block roads and attack students, they haven't found the time to warn students at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro about an attacker who has assaulted eight women and raped one in the past three months. Only in the past few weeks have the cops managed to put up a warning and description of the attacker.

While some have taken on this issue without the help of the campus or city police--like the women's studies department, the campus newspaper and some of the women attacked--one begins to question who the cops are really "serving and protecting."

As socialists, we realize that the cops serve the ruling class, crushing all dissent concerning a war that the ruling class is waging--and putting corporate protection above helping working-class people.

Katie Bender and Ellen Kelly, Greensboro, N.C.

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