It’s no surprise the courts have ruled that Occupy Augusta may not conduct a First Amendment free speech assembly in Capitol Park in Augusta. Nor is it surprising that Capitol Police in Augusta have banned the Blaine House Nine from Capitol Park, a move of doubtful constitutionality.

As is true in most societies around the world, and certainly in most capitalist societies, the courts, like the legislative and executive branches of government, are created and maintained primarily to protect the interests of the ruling class, the aristocracy, or what has accurately come to be known as the 1 percent.

This is the principal job of the courts, and by and large they do a good job of it. To cite but two examples of this, witness the delivery of the White House to George W. Bush in 2000 and the promulgation of the ridiculous idea that corporations are people and thus have a right to pollute and corrupt the political processes of real people at will and to whatever degree they deem necessary — and to do so anonymously.

Police have a similar role here and in most societies around the world: To serve and protect the interests of the 1 percent. Like the courts, the police do a good job of this, despite being almost entirely composed of members of the 99 percent.

The police, however, do suffer occasional lapses, such as the ones who declined to break up Occupy Albany (N.Y.), instead inviting politicians to do their own dirty work; and the Egyptian police, who initially declined to bust up peaceful demonstrations in Cairo.

Unfortunately, the Capitol Police in Augusta chose another path.

Lawrence Reichard

Bangor

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