Another Interesting Question on Protests

The G-20 is meeting in Pittsburg this weekend; last night police in riot gear tear-gassed, blockaded and beat up protestors, arresting 17.

Question: why do people who come out to protest corporate globalism get ambushed, gassed, beaten up, and arrested, while people who come out to protest in favor of corporate-run healthcare can come with guns, nooses, and threats of violence---and nothing happens?

Any thoughts on this one? It may be a good clue as to who's really running law enforcement.


  It definitely cuts both ways. I think law enforcement tend to be more conservative, or pro-government, but also that left-wing protesters tend to be more confrontational, more anti-government in a methodological sense, than conservative protesters. Conservative protesters tend to be more obedient, respectful of authority, the law, the system in general. That's why they're less likely to be tear-gassed, blockaded, beat up, etc. I didn't hear about the noose incident you're referring to, but a well-known Libertarian, Ernest Hancock, was one of the folks involved with the well-publicized bringing of guns to the anti-Obama protest in Arizona. There was no threat of violence -- if you heard that, it was probably from a hoplaphobe (someone with an irrational fear of firearms). Compared with protests of the radical left, conservative protests tend to be peaceful and well-behaved (with perhaps the exception of the anti-abortion movement). Rarely will you hear of them engaging in sit-ins, street blockages, etc.

  Some libertarians might take the moral of that to be that when we protest, it's important that we be calm and respectful of authority. I disagree. When it comes to freedom, it's "use it or lose it." While I am not advocating that people engage in violence, in other respects the more rebellious left-wing protesters serve a vital function. They help preserve the public's ability and latitude to protest in general. If it weren't for them, other protesters probably wouldn't look so calm and respectful to the authorities by comparison, and would be more likely to suffer official harassment, arrest, etc., themselves. This country has slid far enough down the road to a police state, that when I see protesters flagrantly breaking the law, disobeying police orders, resisting arrest, etc., it warms my heart even when I don't agree with the specific cause they are advocating, because they are exercising people power. The absence of people power is total government power, and we most assuredly *do not* want that.

  Certainly it would do many conservatives a lot of good to experience getting gassed, beaten, or arrested by the police, although one hates to see any innocent people learn the hard way in such matters. But if more rebellious forms of protesting are effectively suppressed to the point where relatively calm, peaceful, and obedient conservative protests draw reactions, the lesson may come too late to do the good that it might have done if conservatives had lost their illusions about armed government agents sooner. So let's hope we never lose the brave protesters who are willing to assert their rights and uphold people power by defying the police.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))