Adam Elliott-Cooper
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Futures of Black resistance
Disruption, rebellion, abolition
in Black resistance to British policing
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This chapter provides an analysis of Black Lives Matter, and its most radical vision: police abolition. It pushes the boundaries of how policing can be resisted, and what demands can be made for radical change. The chapter begins with the newer waves of protests and rebellion against police racism. Shutting down shopping centres, roads and transport hubs engenders fresh ways of thinking about protest. These radical forms of protest reflect radical demands made by Black Lives Matter activists, who argue that the police are beyond reform. Whereas the previous chapter outlined the recent growth of policing and prisons, this chapter details how activists are demanding the erosion of police and prison power, alongside the provision of alternative social policies and community-led solutions to reducing violence and harm. This requires a radical vision for a world in which police and prisons are abolished. The final section connects this emergent form of black organising against policing to more spontaneous rebellion against police violence. It argues against the distinction made between peaceful, legitimate protest and the revolts which respond to an instance of police brutality. It is through this wider understanding that we can see black resistance to policing beyond organised campaigns and protests, and into the everyday and the spontaneous, among people who are often not identified as political or activists.

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