ACAB

What does ACAB stands for?

ACAB stands for “All Cops Are Bastards”, or “All Coppers” as it came out of the UK.

The political slogan “All Coppers are Bastards” originated in the UK as early as the 1920s but it wasn’t until the ’40s that the phrase was abbreviated by English workers on strike. In mainstream media, ACAB really took on its modern meaning in 1970’s when the Daily Mirror newspaper ran the four letters as a headline on its cover.

Punk & Skinhead Appropriation

In the punk scene, the phrase was made popular by London’s East End first-wave Oi! band The 4-Skins. The band formed in 1979 and featured their song “A.C.A.B.” on their first album The Good, The Bad & The 4-Skins (Secret Records, 1982). In later years, ACAB (also numerically rendered as 1312, representing the ordering of the letters in the English alphabet) turned into a popular slogan both among right-wing scum and anarchist / anti-authoritarian movements across the world.

Because non-racist skinheads (SHARP, trad-skins, left-wing skins, etc.) may use this acronym as well as fascist boneheads, it should be carefully judged in the context in which it appears.

 

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