Faith and police together

HERTFORDSHIRE, England — Members of the U.K.-based Police Pagan Association were involved this week in the launch of Faith and Police Together. This new initiative to link the faith and policing communities was kicked off at Westminster Hall in the houses of Parliament on April 18, hosted by MP Holly Lynch. PPA representative Andrew Pardy was invited to speak on the work of the PPA in line with recent policing policies. On the website of Faith and Police Together is a statement of purpose: “#FaithAndPoliceTogether is a collaboration of several faith based organisations [which] each have a long standing track record of working alongside police and statutory bodies with outcomes that have helped towards wider community transformation within police related priorities. “We believe that faith is a massive force for good and by promoting the concept of police and faith groups working together we can: help bring about community cohesion; help serve some of the most vulnerable within our society; offer various levels of support to those working within the police force; equip and support volunteers to deliver projects that bring about community and individual transformation; help faith communities offer insight and intelligence around policing issues.”

The launch, which involved a range of faith groups, included discussion of issues including the faith response to disasters such as the Grenfell apartment block fire, and a number of grassroots faith-led projects.

Column: Warriorship, Gods and State Monopoly of Violence

I write this as a devotee of war gods with the purpose of examining various theories about the State’s monopoly of violence, counter-insurgency and warriorship. This essay is written in the aftermath of the killing five police officers during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas July 7 and the killing of three police officers in Baton Rouge July 17, the same city where Alton Sterling was killed July 5. These two targeted attacks have highlighted other incidents in which police officers have been shot. For instance, a man in Oakland is accused of shooting at a police officer July 23, “solely because she was a police sergeant in uniform.” Several law enforcement officers have also been shot and killed while attempting to transfer prisoners or detain individuals: for instance, two courthouse bailiffs in Michigan were killed by an inmate July 11, a Kansas City police captain was killed July 19, and a San Diego police officer was killed July 28.

Column: Dionysos

At the keynote address of the recent National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach, the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, Thomas Jordan, warned that the southern San Andreas Fault is long overdue for a large earthquake. And in 2013, the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast estimated “a greater than 99 percent probability of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake in the next 30 years in the state as a whole.” I’ve written before about ongoing crises such as California’s drought and the inevitable consequences of the American delusions of progress and white supremacy. Drought, especially, is a crisis characterized not by a singular event, but rather by an ongoing “non-event” (Cohen 72-73). Furthermore, the longer a drought lasts, the greater the emotional anxiety generated about when it will finally end.

Culture and Community: Ferguson and Its Importance in Today’s Society

The small town of Ferguson, Missouri has become a household name over the last week. Following the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by local police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, the city went into a state of turmoil as local residents responded to the shooting and police responded to the community. The protests of community members sparked a response from local police that displayed a clear picture of the militarization of law enforcement in this country by turning the streets of an average American community into what looks like a war zone. City Data reports that Ferguson had a population of 21,135 in 2012, and approximately 65% of the residents are Black. This urban area has a documented history of disproportionate arrests and police involvement with people of color from a predominantly Caucasian police force.