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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/19/12

Police State Blues: "Our rights do not end where the caprice of authoritarian bullies begins."

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Message Phil Rockstroh
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At mid-evening, on Saturday, March 17, upon the six-month anniversary of the occupation of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the NYPD initiated another brutal operation to expel OWS activists from the premises, and to discourage, in general, those who might venture attempts to exercise their right to free assembly and free expression across the whole of the city of New York as winter proceeds into spring.

After all, the NYPD suffered no ill consequences from its search-and-destroy mission launched in the late fall of 2011 to scour the park, renamed Liberty Square, of liberty.

Scene from Saturday's rally to reoccupy "Liberty Square." (Photo credit: occupywallst.org)

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In a police state, unjust actions by authoritarian bullies, operating at the behest of privileged bullies in power, act by caprice and will escalate their level of brutality by the degree that the public at large reacts with support and indifference to the state's assaults on civil liberties and common decency.

Bear in mind, police agencies, devoid of meaningful oversight, comprise a legal form of gang activity; therefore, when one is witness to their acts of brutality, and, as outraged protesters are apt to do, shower their ranks with taunts of "shame, shame, shame" -- rather than experiencing feelings of remorse, brutish individual officers regard the scolding as a badge of honor.

Why? Because they view OWS as a rival gang -- not a force of democratic passion and outrage. The defining creed of a violent gang, such as the NYPD, is to ensure their own survival by the modus operandi of violently crushing perceived rivals.

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If rank-and-file police officers ever surrender their arms and change sides, this event will have come to pass because the institutions of power that direct their actions (and that issue their paychecks) will begin to collapse.

Anything you can do to challenge and to help facilitate the end of the reign of exploitation and terror that is the neoliberal international superstate will, in turn, prove helpful in achieving the goal of ceasing the brutality inherent to the U.S. police state.

But, and I hope I'm wrong in positing this dismal augury, there will be much blood lacquering the pavements of the city of New York, and scores of other municipalities, worldwide, before that day arrives.

At our best, as a species, we human beings use our minds and imaginations to bring less suffering to the world; at our worst, we use said attributes to rationalize causing so much of it.

Although not widely acknowledged by mainstream opinion shapers, the struggle to retake the public commons by activists facing hostile local municipalities and their police enforcers and the imperative to reduce mankind's destruction of the ecological balance of the earth are related issues, of which the implications extend far beyond the political realm.

The unfolding of these matters determines how you spend your days " from when you rise in the morning, to what you eat, to which locations you proceed during the day, to when and how you sleep at night " right down to the state of your health and the condition of your soul.

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To those who proffer the excuse, "in my heart, I know you're right, but I have to be a realist about this": you're letting a crackpot realist mindset falsely frame the matter.  Given that the heart is more than a pump -- it is the alpha and omega point of the soul of the world i.e., animus mundi, perhaps, you are confused regarding the nature of reality.

Moreover, you sound like George F. Babbitt " giving a book report on Hannah Arrent's conception of the banality of evil from Eichmann in Jerusalem, and you have missed the point. Apropos: Evil is maintained by mundane means, by people who see themselves as normal and who live ordinary lives.

And it seems to be what you're actually trying to express is closer to the following: I feel overwhelmed and powerless about the situation. Addressing it makes me feel uncomfortable, so I'll just accept the matter, maybe grouse about it a bit, but I'll continue to accept the small comforts the system proffers and I'll hope that will serve as balm to my empty, troubled soul.

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Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh

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