July 22, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A discussion about the origins of the police and their relationship to racism, class and capitalism featuring Dr. Khury Petersen-Smith.
From Baton Rouge to Boston, communities around the nation — and the world — have taken to the streets in protest of the racist police murders of #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile and in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. Once again our streets ring with the challenge "Who do you protect? Who do you serve?" as the movement raises the question of the police and their role in society.
According to The Counted, at least 574 Americans have been executed by the police in 2016 so far — with Black and Native people brutalized and killed at nearly 3 times the rate of whites.
The police were invented to repress and control oppressed and exploited people — not to keep us safe. From their beginning as a force to quell strikes, urban riots, and the threat of slave insurrection, the police have always existed primarily as enforcers for the 1% and defenders of their property.
Khury is a Boston-based activist, researcher, and educator. He has been involved in struggles against racism and in solidarity with Palestine, participating in a relief convoy to Gaza in summer 2009. Khury also focuses on US imperialism and participated in a peace delegation to Occupied Iraq in 2004.
Khury co-authored the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement With Palestine [Black4Palestine], signed by over 1,100 Black activists, artists, and scholars. He is a member of the International Socialist Organization.
Khury recently completed a PhD at the Clark University Graduate School of Geography, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University where he studies U.S. empire, territory, place, and resistance.