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What did you expect to happen?

You sit in streets, spraypaint on walls, and arrogantly invade the space and lives of others. What did you expect to happen?
So the crowd is gone... mortified at the flash rounds that were shot. How shocking! Did you really expect the police to tolerate your "Free State" which happened to be right square in the middle of streets that people depend on to get from one place to another.

<b>I have the highest respect for people who believe in their cause, and can articulate why they have the beliefs that they do.</b> 9 out of 10 of the people opposed to war can make their opinion known without intruding on the lives of others. They can be active participants in a very dynamic debate.

If you want to block streets, fine, block streets. But don't bitch at the cops who will come for you. Civil disobedience means just that: if you do it, you run the risk of punishment. It comes with the territory. It doesn't make the cops assholes -- they work for a living just like you do.

For those who practice civil disobedience, and accept that arrest is part of it, I also have the highest respect for you. For those who actively disobey orders and then say "golly gee, the cops care about that!!", I say, please -- think about what you do rather than being just another radical lemming.

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Thugs 21.Mar.2003 00:12

TomPepsi

I'm just now reading about this via SmirkingChimp. Civil disobedience should merit civil arrest not violence by the powerful. Those who smash and do harm participate in the reap and sow machine.

What justifies a "peace officer" in harming anyone, or a disobediencer in harming anything? If they can't remain civil then the cops belong in the ranks of the state police/Gestapo, the torturers aka terrorists. The use of violence or destruction plays into their game.

It was said in Nazi Germany: "The Jew is a dangerous animal. When attacked he fights back."

"If you aren't with us, you're against us," said W. If you're against us and fight back you are then dangerous and there is a place for you, and those like you.

Block a major highway or transit route and who gets pissed off? People who need to be turned on, not turned off.

Cram into your Senator's office, or your Assembly person's office, refuse to leave and keep asking questions or reading a "statement of belief and fact" then who will get pissed off?

Joe and Jane Average will hate you making their commute 2 minutes longer. They aren't inconvenienced if the Senator's office is disrupted for a few hours or days. Of course they won't really learn a hell of a lot about the issues via their TV news, but if a battalion of the non-violent went door to door with love and fact...

How about even one fact, such as another September 11 that ripped apart one of the oldest democracies in the world. The coup in Chile, 1973. The murder of President Salvador Allende. The installation of General Pinochet and a reign of terror, torture, disappearances and the establishment of Operation Condor, a South American terrorist network.

All of that was the consequence of the plotting of President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger with the assistance of the CIA. These are facts and can be easily found -if one is willing to do the work.

This is not ancient history, not when W appointed K to head the investigation of the WTC attack. Whatever happened to the independent investigation into the attack?

When is violence justified? When is a war "just?" As soon as one says, "This is a good reason" for beating someone up, for the use of torture or murder, then the book is wide open with its thousand blank pages, to be filled in with all the other "good reasons."

Once a person buys the first good reason for violence, a just war is not far away.

If war -violence- could solve deep issues why didn't the world transform in 1918, after the unparalled horrors of the Great War? If the Nazis were evil why did the OSS/CIA US government enter into nice bargain after World War 2?

Physicians have an oath, "Do no harm." Doctors of Peace, healers, might heed it too.


many of the cops ARE assholes 21.Mar.2003 00:58

Alex

<snip>
It doesn't make the cops assholes -- they work for a living just like you do.
<snip>

They picked a violent job, violence is wrong. Maybe, maybe there is a cop somewhere who went into police work to make the world safer; he/she might have significant problems with using pepperspray, rubber bullets, percussion grenades, and truncheons on NONVIOLENT demonstrators. Most don't.

Until humans understand that violence breeds nothing but revenge and a peaceful world can only be built with peaceful actions we are lost as a species. People who engage in active nonviolent civil disobedience have a right to resent being brutalized even though they take and take and take it.

MLK said something to the effect that "We will overwhelm you with our capacity to suffer."

Gandhi also explained the path to success through nonviolence as, "First they ignore us, then they laugh at us then they attack us, then we win." Now I'll be the first to say that the third step sucks, really sucks, but it is essential.

Protest vs. Civil Disobedience vs. Riot 21.Mar.2003 03:51

Vigil

The Oregonian (of all folks) had a good line in an editorial just the other day. They said (paraphrase), "There is a difference between protest, civil disobedience, and riot. We urge both the protesters and the police to recognize and act on this."

As Aaron says, if a person does civil disobedience, they should expect to be arrested. I think the people out there peacefully blocking freeways, bridges and intersections, doing graffiti and "arrogantly invading other people's space" :) understand and accept this. However, the police do not. The first police response to civil disobedience (occasionally with the courtesy of an "order to disperse") is often to start whacking people with sticks and beanbags and rubber bullets, throwing them to the ground, and - in a word - rioting.

Some comments 21.Mar.2003 06:36

Aaron mitigated-disaster@db0.net

Comments on earlier posts:

"They picked a violent job, violence is wrong."
No. They picked actually quite a noble job. You really think that people become cops because they want to be able to beat people up indiscriminately? Yes, some cops are bad, but the overwhelming majority are good people trying to do a good job. Of course you'll oppose them, though, because they try to control your behavior when you want to lash out.

"People who engage in active nonviolent civil disobedience have a right to resent being brutalized even though they take and take and take it. "
The only true civil disobedients at the protest last night were those who were peacefully sitting at 2nd & Burnside. Spraypainting buildings, smashing windows, and throwing acid isn't civil disobedience, it's assault on personal property. For those who were at 2nd & Burnside, I watched and saw no one brutalized, just dragged away after repeated warnings.

"The first police response to civil disobedience (occasionally with the courtesy of an "order to disperse") is often to start whacking people with sticks and beanbags and rubber bullets, throwing them to the ground, and - in a word - rioting. "
That's not what happened last night though. Cops went from 3pm to 11:30pm without engaging demonstrators, Steel Bridge excepted. I hardly call 8 1/2 hours of following, monitoring, and facilitating a knee-jerk reaction of some rogue rioting cops.