This month the United States will observe the Fourth of July, our annual celebration of “freedom.” Undeniably, it’s worth paying tribute to the sloughing off of hereditary monarchy, a form of government which “ha[d] laid . . . the world in blood and ashes,” according to Founding Father Thomas Paine. Yet the continuation of slavery and settler colonialism following the victory over these “crowned ruffians” constitutes no state of freedom.

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If you’ve spent any time in left organizing spaces over the past ten or twenty years, especially online, you’ve probably heard people say “we’re having a general strike! Everyone out!” And then predictably, nothing happens. It’s almost an inside-joke among left organizers that if you say “general strike,” they’re the magical words that will make everyone go out of work.

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In the past few years, the push for civilian oversight of law enforcement has expanded nationwide. Body cam technology and police reform are increasingly being written into law, and social movements like Black Lives Matter have generated incredible energy. Along with it, however, new ways of obstructing the work of holding law enforcement agencies accountable have and continue to emerge.

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