This is a communiqué written by Unicorns Against the Existent, it is in response to a recent police propaganda campaign and ‘out reach’ program targeting transgendered people.
We are anarchists, Trans and (?), who recognise that our oppression is brutally created and maintained by capitalism and the state. The police as the armed enforcers of the state and guardians of capital, have not only contributed to our violent oppression in the past (incarcerating us for being queer) but also repress and pacify our struggle for total liberation in the present.
We refuse to celebrate the state’s attempts to promote its self as our protector and guardian. The police do not ‘serve and protect us’ – they are not our friends or comrades – they are not part of the working class – their job is to control and discipline the working class. It makes no difference what an individual officer’s gender or sexuality may be – a police womyn can never be feminist and the police are anathema to anti-oppression struggles. The moment they choose to join the police force they annihilate any shared basis with our struggles and identification with us and become complicit in our oppression.
We recognise that violence against trans people is just one of the extreme expressions of capitalism and the states degradation and exploitation of our bodies and genders. This abuse will always be institutionalised in a system that has a fundamental need to control all elements of our lives – including reproduction, our labour, relationships and sexuality. Despite peddling the illusion of individuality and (consumptive) choice, capitalism requires us to live highly prescribed, routine existences in order to be neatly catalogued, identified, under constant surveillance and therefore dominated.
Under this system, control over the reproduction of the labour force (and there fore reproductive choice) and our sexuality must all be tightly maintained in order to keep us weak, complicit and to perpetuate our oppression. At a time when reproductive freedom is once again under assault in the USA and where abortion is vilified all over the world – we draw the links between the vicious policing of our bodies and genders and the control of all oppressed peoples bodies, lives and choices.
Controlling us in these ways is fundamental to the functioning of the state and capital, therefore our oppression can never be eradicated in this system – it can only be veiled or superficially amended.
This portrayal of the police as caring and protective of trans people is a deceptive attempt to veil the true relations of power that lie at the root of our oppression as trans people, as well as gender queer, poor, queer, female, people of colour and all who suffer oppression under this system*. This attempt by the state and police to present themselves as partners against oppression is just another absurd feature of our advanced late capitalist society that clutches liberal ideology and social democracy so close to its maggot-ridden heart. But we refuse to see them mock us without comment – to be silently and passively placated by the lie that we can be safely protected by the vultures that prey on our lives, labour and freedom. The same vultures standing guard over the system that violently inhibits our ability to define ourselves and manage our own lives.
We will never be free of our oppression under the capitalist system, and although it is understandable that we attempt to reduce the harm and suffering that we experience, the cause of our suffering can never become the solution to it. Further, trans people of colour, trans womyn, poor trans people and trans sex workers will all continue to suffer the multiple, manifold oppressions of poverty, misogyny, police harassment, criminalisation and racism – all symptoms of and yet integral to capitalism and the state.
Up until now this has just been a counter propaganda sticker campaign but we would love to see many strikes against the state, either under the appropriated name of anti-police trans gender project or through other forms. We encourage and have solidarity for diverse actions carried out against the capitalist state by people of all genders and identities.
Due to currently lacking a movement here in Australia, we are currently unable to protect our selves using the necessary organisation, collectivity and solidarity. Although we are not there yet we can build and work towards this through struggle. We want self-determination and liberation, not to further give up our power to the police and state. We recognise that due to the intense levels of violence trans people experience that there is at times a physical need to resort to the police. We are kept so weak by the violence and oppression of the state that paradoxically we sometimes have to turn to the state as it currently holds a monopoly on our ‘protection’, and so violently criminalizes our attempts to defend ourselves (see NJ4). But this does not mean that we will embrace the states attempts to gain a stronger paternalistic hold over our self-determination and convince us of the need for their protection. And so we refuse to buy into the states’ lies and manipulation peddled through its various propaganda campaigns.
On an end point we would like to take note of the apt aesthetic and design of the poster itsself, looking like some thing from an dystopian 80s movie telling us this is our fucked up future, think Running Man or Robo Cop). And so perhaps our artistic additions are a little ‘B grade’ and add-hock in design also as we felt an urgent need to respond. And now here accompanying our amazing graphic design work is our communiqué, which further expresses our political critique and feelings. We prefer to remain anonymous to reflect that this is beyond an ‘identity’ issue for us, as our understanding of oppression is based on naming the systemic and root causes of it.
Transgender anti-police project, a force that wont be reckoned with.
No justice, no peace. Fuck the police.
*We haven’t failed to note that the poster also depicts a trans womyn of colour – the group of trans people most vulnerable to violence at the hands of the police, the capitalist economy and generally in the capitalist social order.
The link to the Transgender Anti-Violence Project of which we speak. It is running out of the Gender Centre, an organisation that includes “for people with gender issues” in its title.
(We think our words and actions should be strong enough for this last image to be taken as completely ironic and harmless against our points, though we do have our critique on the lack of strong words and actions in australia, which has come to leave irony as the main mode expression by our generally quite frightened and socially controlled hipster cliques, leading us to a state of confusion, over whether that which should be ironic is really intended or then understood for its nuances of irony at all. And so although we would never chose irony to attempt to express our views, we have tacked on this ironic image as an opportunity to engage with the former, and for fun).