The Courts (and the Rule of Law) as Oppressive

John Clarke, former major organizer for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, has this recently to say on Facebook about the nature of courts–which the radical left simply often ignores:

John Clarke

The judicial wing of the state plays a huge role in wielding the repressive power of the state. The criminal courts, interwoven with the police, play a decisive role in the implementation of a brand of social control that is thoroughly class based and that enforces the prevailing racial hierarchy.

One of the incredible powers that judges have is their ability to render activity that would normally be perfectly legal effectively illegal. Two examples of this come to mind. The first is the capacity to set bail conditions. I know from experience that these are often arbitrary and completely unreasonable. On one occasion, following a protest an MP’s office, I was given a bail condition that banned me from the whole of Durham Region. If you are caught violating a condition, not only can your bail be revoked but you will be charged with the offence of breaching the condition.

The second even more egregious abuse is the injunction. These are often used against striking workers but are applied in many other situations. A judge can impose any number of restrictions on individuals, groups of people or everyone in the world. Freedom of movement, the right to assemble, express opinions or engage in any number of normal activities can suddenly be rendered unlawful and subject to severe penalty.

People often have a notion that the courts are a place to petition for justice and claim rights. In practice, they are a major part of the state’s repressive and restrictive powers.