On November 16, 17 and 18 the Communitarian Police celebrated their 12th anniversary in Zitlaltepec, municipality of Metlatónoc (the mountain area in Guerrero). The System of Communitarian Security and Justice extends across an area which includes 53 communities in the Coastal and Mountain area and operates from three headquarters.
It is estimated that crimes such as assaults, burglaries, homicides and sexual violations against women have decreased by 90% in the region as a result of the system. According to the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Centre, the failure to address these crimes before the creation of this system in 1995 had generated a climate of injustice and impunity for the indigenous peoples and farmers of the region.
By returning to their traditional forms of conflict resolution, these peoples found not only an efficient means of combating violence but also a way of recovering their own identity.
Nevertheless, since its foundation the System of Communitarian Security and Justice has been persecuted, undermined and criminalized by the Guerrero government. Almost 20 arrest warrants have been issued against the leaders of the Regional Coordinator of Communitarian Authorities (CRAC) and against the founders of the Communitarian Police, and investigations have been launched against several communitarian policemen.
More information in Spanish:
At the 12th anniversary of the Communitarian Police, they demand unconditional respect for the Communitarian Justice system: En 12 aniversario de la Policía Comunitaria, piden respecto irrestricto a sistema de Justicia Comunitaria (CDHM Tlachinollan, 19/11/2007)
So how about that? In Mexico they call the UN's 2020 vision of neighborhood cops "communitarian cops." The Mexicans call the system, created in 1995 (the exact same year Community Policing was created in the USA) the Communitarian Justice System.
But in the USA, land of the free, nobody calls it a Communitarian Justice System... except maybe a few lawyers and judges and supreme justices who are rewriting US history and declaring the Southern secession was based on a "communitarian vision."
Legal Studies Forum
Volume 24, Numbers 3 & 4 (2000)
reprinted by permission Legal Studies Forum
GERARD E. GIANNATTASIO
[excerpt] "Professor Boscawen, the Northern pundit whose Militia Law in the Colony of New Wales and Cornwall had taken the legal world by storm when it was published fifteen years before, went on to praise Chief Justice
Taney’s communitarian vision. Into a stunned, reverent silence he stated his view that this notion of government, for which Dixie had taken up arms in 1861, was just when weighed against the freedom which informed and upheld it, that of free association.
The lawyerly waffling came next as the New Englander went on to remind his audience that, unfortunately, this communitarian vision had been linked to slave-holding and inequality in 1861. This, he pointed out, need not be the case in the 1990s. He finished by suggesting the helpfulness of Chief Justice Taney’s vision of community to a quest for a constitutional interpretation seeking workable compromises with which Americans might actually be able to live. He concluded that this vision of the first Catholic to sit on the Supreme Court might be of more utility to the nation and its uniquely text based politics (fancy for “we got us a written Constitution”) than any intellectual posturing about a jurisprudence of original intent or windy rambling rhetoric about radically substantive paradigmatic hierarchies of normative constitu-tional meaning.
“Toward Constitutional Vision” was as big a hit in Biloxi last August as Jefferson Davis’s “Forward in Hope and Service” had been in its day. For the rest of the weekend Professor Boscawen had to listen to people repeating back their favorite parts of his speech: Taney misunderstood, communitarian vision valuable, the South’s cause just, and Scott correctly decided (“As the law stood before the War, I understand that, sir, but correct, sir, correct”). " [end excerpt]
Is the EU a communitarian "new legal order?" The Jean Monnet Center at the NYU School of Law published a Political Review of the European Court of Justice and its Jurisprudence by J.W.R. Reed in 1995 which explains how "Communitarian constitutional jurisprudence"merely amplifies and never contradicts the language of the Treaty."
Susan Gemmell, Victoria Stoddard, Evelyne Viegas
March 6, 2007, IMT 550B – Policy, Law, and Ethics in Information Management, Winter Quarter, 2007
Dr. Karine Barzilai-Nahon, Instructor, Information School, University of Washington
Comparison between communitarians and individual rights:
|Communitarians (COM)||Individual rights (IR)|
|Criticize that IR put too much emphasis on the rights of citizens||Criticize that COM perform ”social engineering” (character education, faith-based initiatives)|
|Focus on individuals and the social dimension of human existence||Focus on the individual|
|Government intervention is needed||Government involvement forces loss of individual liberty|
|Society shapes the individual||The individual shapes society|
|Responsibilities are anchored in the community||Responsibilities are a personal matter|
|Positive rights and negative rights - Without positive rights (i.e. public education), there wouldn’t be any negative rights (i.e. the ability to write your ideas, voice your opinion intellectually, etc.)||Positive rights and negative rights – COM push too hard on positive rights to the detriment of negative rights – forcing taxes to pay for public education deprives me of property|
|Government surveillance is needed on search engines to protect society (terrorists, pedophiles, etc.)||Freedom from surveillance – the ability to search without government knowing|
|Privacy not needed on searches – what are people doing that needs privacy?||Privacy critical on searches – my business|
|A balance is needed between individual autonomy and social cohesion Identification on the Internet would discourage people from doing societal harm.||Anonymity critical during searches to protect free speech and privacy|
|Apply filters, zones, etc. to protect kids on the Internet, but community should manage this authority||freedom to read, write, think, speak, and associate freely on the web – parents should watch what their kids are doing on the Web|
|Allow freedom of expression on the Internet to protect free speech (neo-Nazi, racial, etc.)||Allow full freedom of speech on the Internet|
Comparisons between communitarians and American authorities:
|Government is needed somehow, for instance to fight terrorism, protect children online||Government involvement in the Internet reduces interchange of ideas on the information highway|
|Responsibilities are anchored in the community, including parents. The government needs to provide flexible time to their parents to take care and educate their children||No mention of responsibility|
|Positive rights and negative rights are both needed and in particular the ability to write one’s ideas, voice your opinion intellectually, etc.)||Freedom of speech is in the constitution, and Internet benefits from the same protection as books and the media, as opposed to other broadband media|
|Government surveillance is needed on search engines to protect society (terrorists, pedophiles, etc.)||Government has enacted laws to protect children online; with the Patriot Act, Internet searches are being enabled by the FBI via programs that can identify “bad” users|
|Privacy not needed on searches – what are people doing that needs privacy? |
|Privacy on Internet falls under the privacy law of mass media; with the exception the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to regulate Internet sites that collect personal information from children (under 13). |
The Patriot Act is revisiting the privacy of users online
|A balance is needed between individual autonomy and social cohesion (gwu). Identification on the Internet would discourage people from doing societal harm and in case of acts such as terrorism||Government expect to be able to identify people on the Internet (Patriot Act) Note that the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is also being revisited by the Supreme Court|
|Apply filters, zones, etc. to protect kids on the Internet, but community should manage this authority||Filters applied to prevent pornography to reach children. See in 2001 the Children’s Internet Protection Act, and e-rate federal funding in libraries|
|Allow freedom of expression on the Internet to protect free speech||Allow full freedom of speech on the Internet; market regulates freedom of expression. Protection of children is the exception with laws trying to enforce children protection|
Positioning of communitarians with respect to Chinese authorities
The Chinese authorities limit individual rights, including access to information via the Internet. The Internet is monitored via laws and administrative regulations, and the web is routinely censored. Examples of information that is blocked include outlawed groups, such as Falun Gong; news sources that cover taboo topics; such as the Taiwan government, media, or other organizations; religious content; obscenity, pornography and criminal activity; sites linked with the Dalai Lama and his teachings (Wiki-China, 2007).
The Golden Shield Project is a censorship and surveillance project owned by Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of the People's Republic of China. It was formally known as the Great Firewall of China. According to MPS, the objective of the shield is to improve the capability and efficiency of the police. The Chinese government views the Golden Shield as “one of the most important projects for ensuring its political power” (Wiki-GS, 2007).
The communitarian manifesto suggests there might be some sympathy toward the Chinese Authorities’ approach: “The basic communitarian quest for balances between individuals and groups, rights and responsibilities, and among the institutions of state, market, and civil society is a constant, ongoing enterprise. Because this quest takes place within history and within varying social contexts, however, the evaluation of what is a proper moral stance will vary according to circumstances of time and place” (Com, 2007). However, the communitarians state clearly that “If we were in China today, we would argue vigorously for more individual rights” (Com, 2007).
Comparisons between communitarians and Chinese authorities:
|Individual rights to access information are respected||Individual rights to access information are suppressed|
|National security and community safety are more important than individual rights||National security and community safety are more important than individual rights|
So, did you read the part above that says: "The communitarian manifesto suggests there might be some sympathy toward the Chinese Authorities’ approach." We made almost the same observation in our Anti-Communitarian Manifesto: "Communitarians teach that all free American neighborhoods should be governed like Chinese-Soviet community collectives (Etzioni 1992)." How many Americans have read the communitarian manifesto? I still wonder....
In other news, we've been getting great feedback internationally. Yesterday I got 2 emails from London and New South Wales regarding Common Purpose, communitarian regulations and related land grabs. Why is it that people from EVERY other country in the world know about communitarianism, but most Americans have still never even heard of it? Has ONE U.S. news reporter asked Hillary of Obama to explain it? Are Mexican peasants really that much more educated and capable of understanding the new legal order than dumbed down Americans?