Sunday, November 1, 2015

State Coercion

New York City just made another payout to settle a lawsuit for an illegal arrest of Occupy protesters by the New York City police. I've lost track of the lawsuits that city has settled for police overreach during Occupy. It's in the millions. It's a small fraction, though, of the amount the city pays out for illegal things their cops do, overall. False arrests, unjustified killings, illegal surveillance, profiling, and on and on.

We know something about that in Albuquerque. In July the local business journal reported that the $248 million Albuquerque paid out last year on acount of its police department makes it the highest in the nation in payouts per officer, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

The state -- that amorphous entity that includes the governing body of a nation and all its arms and its associated ruling elites and has a logic independent of its individual actors -- pays out fines like this one  after another and never blinks and never slows down its illegal oppressive activity. It's well documented that President Obama's drone strikes kill far more civilians than combatants but they continue unabated and the federal state keeps making payments and issuing apologies and keeps bombing civilians.

Fines and lawsuit payouts don't phase the state one bit, and until people begin to see the police and military and prison systems and judicial systems as coercive arms of the state, it's not going to change. It will just get worse.







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