Saturday, May 5, 2007

My Other Two Fears

As noted below, the huge police buildup in Aberdeen makes this peace activist very, very nervous. However, I don't want to give readers the impression that I believe that the police are the ONLY ones to blow situations out of proportion. There are other groups that worry me just as much -- Counter demonstrators and violently-inclined anarchists.

There always seems to be at least one group of individuals who believe fervently in the cherished right of free speech -- that is, free speech that agrees with their stated point of view! If you happen to hold an opinion that does not meet their favor, then your free speech is of absolutely no concern to them!

Since those who support this immoral war don't want to hear from ANYONE who disagrees with them, many are apt to create a situation that can have a propensity to turn violent. They will try to use all forms of intimidation to provoke a reaction and, if someone gets fed up with their hate-filled message and even ends up yelling back obscenities at them, many either will resort to fisticuffs or go running off to the police swearing they've been threatened with severe bodily harm.

In either case, the police are prone to move forward in an aggressive manner and, at that point, all bets are off. A lot of peaceable people will try to protect themselves when someone is swinging a nightstick at them and the police will often perceive these instinctual movements as further evidence that the nonviolent person is attempting some act of violence.

The other group of individuals that really worries me are those violently-prone individuals who show up at peaceful rallies and put others in harm's way to satisfy their own twisted personal agendas. While I happen to be a pacifist, I would at least be lukewarm toward these sorts of individuals if they didn't use peaceniks as their human shields.

What happens too often is that a group of the violently-prone will start throwing objects or destroying property on the edge of a peaceful march or rally. When the police move forward to halt these activities, the instigators dart into the crowd which often makes it next to impossible for law enforcement to figure out who's guilty and who's innocent.

This is one kind of situation in which I bet I differ from many of my compatriots. While I do agree that the police tend to be overly aggressive in these sorts of circumstances, I concurrently understand the predicament they are placed in.

The destructive actions have stimulated their adrenalin. Their job is to stop the behavior. Since they can't be sure who is at fault in this massive sea of people, it's very hard to discriminate between the peace-minded and the violently-prone. It's almost inevitable that many innocents will be caught up in a frenzy of anger-fueled chaos.

So, if you have an idea that you want to attend our nonviolent rallies in order to turn them into violent melees, I have 2 words for you: STAY HOME. Don't play the coward's role by utilizing the conscious strategy of using peaceable people as your human shields.

If you're bound and determined to hold an event that includes a violent confrontation with the police, do it on your own time, not ours.


  1. You sound like a very smart person. I bet the cops are gearing up and ready because they're expecting more of the same from Olympia and Tacoma. I hope anyone with violent inclinations will choose a different place to fight and stay home to keep it safe for the rest of us.

  2. Man, I dig what you're saying, but I gotta tell you, the cops need to do some friggin police work instead of invading the lines of peaceful protestors to capture the anarchists. They should take pictures of those committing crimes and pick them up at a time less dangerous. The fact is they will take any opportunity to seize on protestors and crack skulls, so I don't really blame the anarchists.

    The way I see it, anarchists are like the grist in the mill that gets the grain ground. If we want a more peaceful society, then we have to accept that some poor misguided a-holes are gonna show up and raise hell from time to time. We may not like it, and we may not like being gassed and beat because of it, but a protest that doesn't end in chaos isn't really that important. Because the media doesn't cover it and the people don't care.


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