November 20, 2011

Something awfully wrong with this picture

And I note that we didn't pepper spray Tea Party idiots calling for armed revolution. We don't pepper spray anti-abortion protestors. And we don't pepper spray morons from Westboro Baptist church. Nor should we pepper spray any of these. They have a right to assemble and to their protected speech--even when it is hateful and bigoted. Anglican asked how to reconcile these images with the text of the First Amendment. Excellent question. When did protesting economic inequality become the last taboo? And as Fallows asks, how different is this from the fire hoses aimed at Civil Right's protestors?

8 comments:

Bob said...

"...we didn't pepper spray Tea Party idiots calling for armed revolution. We don't pepper spray anti-abortion protestors. And we don't pepper spray morons from Westboro Baptist church."

I am not getting on a pro-2nd amendment kick or anything, but I think it is assumed that if the above are pepper sprayed, the police will be sprayed with bullets.

mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mary said...

whoops, wrong link. I meant to say that there is something very wrong with these pictures too, but something right as well. ;)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/pepper-spray-cop-works-his-way-through-art-history/2011/11/21/gIQA4XBmhN_blog.html

Smitty said...

His posture, his demeanor...it all says "I'm just doing this to do it." Ho-hum. I think I'll pepper spray these kids, because I hate my life, I'm kinda fat, and the other guys on the force rip on me for being kinda a wimp.

Bob said...

"His posture, his demeanor..."

I was thinking that this says alot too. My thought was he was thinking:

"You dirty fucking kids, you just want ME to pay for your college. You need to learn to respect authority. Here, I will teach you a lesson..."

Bob said...

I was also thinking of the self restraint of the kids and bystanders. Don't you just want the smash that guy in the gut with a 2x4?

steves said...

There have been numerous comparisons on Facebook that are similar. This has stretched the bounds of rational thought, but I haven't bothered to comment because Facebook is so limited in it's ability to facilitate an intelligent discussion. It is different here.

I am way more sympathetic towards the OWS people than I am towards the Tea Party protesters. That being said, I think the methods used by protesters and what has occurred at the protests have been very different.

People keep making a big deal about some people bringing guns to Tea Party rallies. I would note that there weren't any instances of those guns ever being used.

Contrast that with the rapes, sexual assaults, and a murder that have occurred at OWS camps. The tea party protests generally didn't last all that long before the people went home. Contrast that with how the OWS groups have acted in some cases, moving into sites and generally being nasty, dirty, gross, and refusing to leave. Go to Youtube and you can find a video of one of the OWS guys taking a shit on a public sidewalk.

I am not suggesting that the police haven't used excessive force. I have seen instances where I think they did go to far. That being said, I think the OWS, in some cases, have gone beyond what other protest groups, including Westboro Baptist, Tea Party, and various anti-war groups, have done in their protests.

Streak said...

Steve, I think I see your point here (though the phrase "stretched the bounds of rational thought" gave me pause). Dave D made a similar point on Facebook that the OWS people have employed different tactics for different ends--trying to get arrested, for example.

I actually see this in a broader trend of a couple of things. One is police brutality, which we seem to see a lot of late, and it isn't just OWS, it is "don't tase me, bro," and the rise in use of both tasers and pepper spray across the country. Two is the increasing restrictions on free speech--and here is where I do see big differences based on ideologies. Free speech zones? People arrested for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts (not obscene), while Tea Partiers bring guns and talk revolution. Anti-abortion people have proven that they are a threat to civil order and to doctor's lives, yet I am unaware of any crackdown on them.

Finally, I am just tired of the "liberal media" bullshit that seems to continue despite the lack of any evidence. And this is a great example. The so called liberal media loved the Tea Party and saw it as a reflection of democracy, but had to be browbeaten into even talking about OWS. And while there have certainly been some horrible misdeeds in the OWS, we have many, many, over steps by the Police. An 84 year old woman was pepper sprayed in Seattle, and Oakland's crackdown included tear gassing kids and the disabled. Something is wrong here.