(WSWS) On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced new measures to deal with what he called an epidemic of gun violence in America. Speaking of his plan from the White House, Biden said nothing about the social causes of the spike in gun violence being reported in many US cities, nor did he mention the continuing wave of police killings that take more than 1,000 lives every year in the United States.
Saying that now was “not a time to turn our backs on law enforcement,” Biden announced that states and localities could use any portion of the $350 billion in pandemic relief funds allotted them under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan enacted in March to fund their police departments.
What is really driving Biden’s diversion of pandemic relief funds into the strengthening of the police is the mounting social and political crisis in the country and the growth of social opposition in the working class. The entire ruling class, complicit in a policy of mass death, is fearful of an eruption of working-class opposition that will escape the control of the pro-corporate trade unions and the two parties of the financial oligarchy.
The police are part of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state. They are the frontline force for suppressing the working class and upholding the system that exploits it. All factions of the ruling class and both of its parties seek to shore up the police to be thrown against a mass movement of workers.