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Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?

Edited by Truthout staff, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? collects investigative reports and essays exploring racist police violence, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures.

Edited by Truthout staff

“An invaluable resource … Everyone who cares about justice and democracy and a future in which they mutually inform each other should read this book.” — Henry A. Giroux

Do police in the United States keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do history and global context explain recent police killings of young Black people in the US?

Truthout’s first-ever print anthology addresses these and other urgent questions. Edited by Truthout staff — Maya Schenwar, Joe Macaré and Alana Yu-lan Price — Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? collects investigative reports and essays exploring racist police violence, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures.

Published by Haymarket Books, you can order Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? from Truthout today! Directly ordering the book from us will help ensure that we can publish more reporting and analysis like this in future.

Contributions cover a range of issues including police violence against Black, Latino and Indigenous communities; law enforcement’s inhumane treatment of pregnant people and those with mental illness; and the impact of racist police violence on parenting. Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? also profiles the organizers who are fighting back against this violence and finding new ways to keep their communities safe.

The book’s contributors include William C. Anderson, Candice Bernd, Aaron Miguel Cantú, Ejeris Dixon, Kelly Hayes, Adam Hudson, Victoria Law, Mike Ludwig, Sarah Macaraeg, Page May, Andrea Ritchie and Roberto Rodriguez, with a powerful foreword by Alicia Garza, cofounder of Black Lives Matter.

Why We Dream About a World Without Police
By William C. Anderson, Praxis Center | Op-Ed
Monday, 18 July 2016

What’s the Future of Resistance to Racist Police Violence?
By Various Authors, Truthout | Interview
Sunday, 12 June 2016

Fighting to Live Free of Police Violence While Black
By Alicia Garza, Truthout / Haymarket Books | Book Excerpt
Tuesday, 07 June 2016

More praise for Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?:

“As a long-time organizer immersed in the current Movement for Black Lives, I read the contributions hoping to learn and to be inspired. I found the essays to be informative, illuminating and challenging … I cannot recommend this anthology any more highly. It’s an indispensable primer for anyone who wants to understand the current rebellions and uprisings against police impunity.” — Mariame Kaba, founder and director, Project NIA

An extraordinary collection of writings … Simultaneously enraging, invigorating, radically imaginative, practical and inspiring.” — Kay Whitlock, coauthor, Queer (In)Justice

A powerful collection of essays by organizers, legal activists and progressive journalists that take us beyond the ‘few bad apples’ theory of police violence, insisting that we interrogate the essential role and purpose of police and policing in our society. These writers have highlighted some of the critical questions that the anti-state violence movement is wrestling with.” — Barbara Ransby, author, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

“Resisting state-sanctioned violence, especially by police, has become a paramount issue as a result of grassroots activists mobilizing throughout the country. Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? gives journalists, writers and activists at the forefront of activism and reporting on state-sanctioned violence in the United States a welcome platform to present their ideas for growing a movement against this violence so activists may have a lasting impact, which empowers and lifts up communities of color.” — Kevin Gosztola, managing editor,

“This brilliant collection of essays, written by activists, journalists, community organizers and survivors of state violence, urgently confronts the criminalization, police violence and anti-Black racism that is plaguing urban communities. It is one of the most important books to emerge about these critical issues: passionately written with a keen eye towards building a world free of the cruelty and violence of the carceral state.” — Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? goes behind the headlines to ask the deeper questions: Do the police make communities (particularly, communities where Black and Brown people live) safer? Who do community residents fear? Are there ways to address those fears without the police and carceral state? What would we have to create in order to do this? What steps must we take to get there? Each of the essays examines these interrelated questions in depth. Read together, they provide an extremely thorough, and timely, examination of the issues underlying these recent events, forcing us to rethink the very idea of justice in this country.” — Alan Mills, Uptown People’s Law Center

“A great collection of new voices — mostly people of color, mostly women. These are not the old guard but activist/scholars based in a range of organizations and struggles … Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? replenishes our will to make sure that Black lives do matter, that the lives of Black women, Black workers and Black transgender folks also matter, that from the notion that Black lives matter we can draw broader definitions of liberation for all … This book had me crying out for more.” — James Kilgore

“With heartbreaking, glass-sharp prose, the book catalogs the abuse and destruction of black, native, and trans bodies. And then, most importantly, it offers real-world solutions … The authors don’t just rage against the system. They offer potential solutions. Instead of armchair politics, the book is a call to action.” — Chicago Review of Books

“This volume serves an important function in a time when traditional news outlets, often out of touch and depleted through budget cuts, have left a noticeable gap in coverage of calls for police accountability … Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? is an urgently necessary book, one that deepens and complicates thinking around police violence without waiting for a fresh on-camera brutality to restart the national conversation.” — NewCity Lit

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