Burton Trapped in Car, Generations Trapped in Banking Debt

Date:

We have had months of outrage from media & politicians over the last months about the 2 hours Joan Burton spent stuck in a luxury car. This morning we saw a wave of Garda raids at dawn on political activists involved in that protest, one of whom faced 8 Garda barging into his house to arrest him while he tried to get his two young kids ready for school.

That's the nature of policing in this country, one law for the rich and powerful, and another for anyone who dares to stand up to the powerful.  The laws are written to protect those with wealth and power, to allow them to keep the rest of us down and desperate. It fast it turned out almost none of their scams that caused the crisis were even illegal (under the laws they paid politicians to draft).

The French proto anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon wrote over 150 years ago that
“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.
 

To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored.

That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

Who can look at Irish Water from its inception to this mornings arrests and deny that these words hold as true today?

Anarchists are opposed to policing in its current form since it embodies the antithesis of what we believe so strongly in: freedom. By being given a monopoly over force and violence, the legitimised abilities to pin you to the ground, silence you, lock you up - they have the power to violate your liberty at will, all in the name of the law. But who makes the law, and more importantly, whom does it serve?

The police force is the state’s physical and intimidatory means of maintaining a desired status quo in society; one of socio-economic divisions and inequalities. Alexander Berkman stated that crime “is the result of economic conditions, of social inequality, of wrongs and evils of which government and monopoly are parents”. On the one hand we have the state, politicians, bosses and capitalists, who thrive on vast amounts of money and power.

Instances of white collar crime, fraud and embezzlement that are actually investigated and brought before the courts are rare (they make up a small percentile of overall economically motivated crime). Most crime, and thus policing action, targets individuals and communities that suffer greatly from social and economic deprivation.

In the last decade, crime has increased in areas like Tallaght and Blanchardstown. Drugs have devastated these communities, and economic and property related crimes have soared. Policing action in these areas, to quote Berkman again, “can only punish the criminal. They neither cure nor prevent crime. The only real cure for crime is to abolish its causes, and the government can never do that because it is there to preserve those very causes”.

To name but a few examples of policing displays that highlight the preservation of existing disparate conditions in society: the historic targeting of black communities in the USA (and the black-white prison ratio that domonstrates this), violent and repressive tactics used against those who stand up for their rights (workers and students who fight against cuts), police using their position of power to commit crimes themselves; violent assault being a big one (one has only to delve back some years to the Terence Wheelock tragedy). To put it plainly, the police have a vast amount of power given to them by the state, and they play a pivotal role in keeping society as it is: serving the interests of few at the expense of the masses.

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