Relaxed Standards for OWS Violence
If you want to destroy someone's property, simply organize a left-wing political rally. Then you can bring your rocks and rebar and smash away without serious consequences.
It appears that the official attitude towards violence and vandalism depends on who is doing it and why.
The recent "Occupy" protest at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, CA drew, by some media accounts, approximately 4,000 protesters. While generally described as a peaceful demonstration, the protests left a residue of violence and vandalism. Protest "organizers" were quick to decry the violence and deny that the violence had anything to do with their movement. But it was, in fact, there. Violence or vandalism has shown itself in numerous OWS-inspired protests throughout the country.
The subject of this posting is not to analyze in detail the number or nature of the occurrences, nor to attempt to connect violence to the declared focus of the movement in general. I will accept at face value the conclusions by many in the movement and the media that the less civil among those involved are not, in fact, protesters, but are actually just agitators and people who want to act up, and they are using this venue to do so. One media account said that the people involved in the Oakland vandalism just wanted to "blow off some steam."
As has been widely stated before, though, this didn't happen at the "Tea Party" demonstrations. The MSM tried hard to ignore, diminish, and/or demonize the Tea Party movement, which didn't work. Angry citizens showed up at town hall meetings with congressmen to protest government behavior, and the MSM portrayed those law-abiding citizens as somehow less than civil, and even displaying less than proper behavior. You can bet your kids' college savings that any real violence would have been reported with considerable fanfare. Now they want to equate the OWS movement to the Tea Party -- thus giving it the same legitimacy. It is sufficient to say that there have been a number of articles on this site that have successfully ridiculed that assertion, and another one is not necessary.
It is interesting to note, however, that these poor kids who needed to "blow off steam" did not show up at Tea Party rallies. Why would that be?
The answer to that, although I have not heard anyone ask the question, is obvious: the Tea Party represents lawful, America-respecting individuals, while the OWS protests are intent on tearing down the system. The violence-prone kids know that also. No one told them -- they just instinctively knew it. What better place to "blow off steam" than a rally of selfish, somewhat lawless malcontents as opposed to a rally of law-abiding, hardworking stalwarts of the American way?
But there is something else they know as well: the manner in which violence and vandalism is handled by local authorities in general. If the violent participants at the Occupy Oakland Port had just shown up without a complicit political rally, they would have been treated like criminals and tossed in jail immediately, charged with destruction of private property and other crimes. Instead, they are given relaxed standards because they are entitled to "free speech."
That's the lesson here. And don't worry -- if the police should happen to give you any grief, they will probably let you off with a minor scolding. And if that is still not enough, you should be able to get the ACLU to defend you.