MACC Legal Support was born specifically out of the state repression faced by NYC comrades who were kettled and arrested, and forced to face brutal conditions of detention on January 20th, 2017, during the massive protests against Trump’s explicitly white supremacist and patriarchal regime. We are expecting an even higher level of repression in the coming months and years, as anarchists and other militants prepare to fight the outright rise of fascism, neo-naziism, and the alt-right. MACC Legal is a committee of the NYC Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council, which is organized under the guiding principles of horizontalism, direct democracy and direct action.
Police Existence is Police Brutality
Since its inception in the mid-nineteenth century, the role of the police in the United States has been that of exploitation and oppression. In the 1800s in the North, police forced immigrants into deadly working conditions. In the South, their job was to catch slaves who had freed themselves from captivity.
Today the police play a similar role. They enforce obedience in a society that exploits many so a few can profit. The police work hand in hand with other aspects of the state–from the courts to local politicians–to brutalize all who act in resistance to the capitalism and the state. Their job is to arrest us, detain us, intimidate us, and to attempt to keep us from fighting back. Having the support of comrades is crucial in defeating the repression that is meant to break us. Our passion for freedom and our love for our comrades has to be stronger than their cuffs, chemical weapons, batons, and prisons.
MACC Legal Principles and Scope of Activity
MACC Legal supports all comrades who have been the target of police repression due to their involvement with MACC, their attendance at MACC supported actions, and to all those who are arrested and/or repressed alongside MACC comrades. We provide support in the form of fundraising, emotional and physical health care, political defense, propaganda, and coordinating legal support. While we know there is a need to support every person arrested at a demonstration and visited by the police and FBI, we want to be real about our capacity. We will work with and support other anti-repression committees and jail & legal support groups to defend all those facing repression. We are not lawyers and do not have lawyers in the committee, although we work closely with trusted attorneys. We believe there is a separate role for the legitimate political defense of comrades, which may not be covered by legal framework.
In addition, MACC agrees with the following political principles (borrowed from Can’t Touch This Anti-Rep Committee).
- We will respect a diversity of tactics in the streets, and defend all those attacked by the state for their actions towards liberation equally. We will not physically prevent fellow demonstrators from taking actions they deem necessary.
- While we may debate and disagree, we will not denounce fellow activists and organizers in public statements because we know that exposes them to state repression. We will not denounce protesters for engaging in self-defense or property damage.
- We refuse to cooperate with politicians in legitimizing the repression of other parts of our movement. We will not accept this as a condition for dialogue with city officials.
- We refuse to help police repress our movement. We will not help police identify and prosecute protesters, nor hand protesters into police custody, nor provide general intelligence on our movement.
- We will avoid posting and circulating sensitive visual information on social media, as police use social media to collect incriminating evidence against protesters. We will not collaborate with the media to make such information publicly available.