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LAPD-demo "Scuffle" Info

by Simplicius Sunday, Jun. 29, 2003 at 3:31 PM

Peacenik activism, unwilling to confront police violence when and where it happens, will never change anything in the United States. A (reposted) response to a call for info on the arrests at the demo.

At yesterday's demonstration outside of Bush's fundraising dinner in Los Angeles a man was brutally arrested for setting a U.S. flag aflame. At the sight of the fire, two police officers rushed into the crowd and tackled the man. Within seconds, angry demonstrators surrounded the now weak-legged "peace officers" (who were quite visibly shaking in their boots) demanding that the man be let go. Ten or twenty police officers then charged the crowd, swinging their beat-down sticks, and formed a circle around their endangered comrades. Needless to say, the flag-burner was carried away, but the crowd continued to taunt and confront the police as they retreated back behind their yellow tape. This came on the heels of an earlier incident wherein police had rushed the crowd and arrested a man who had set an efigy of Bush aflame.

Within minutes of the second scuffle, rally organizers and National Lawyers Guild representatives took hold of a microphone and claimed that the officers would be prosecuted for attacking the man's constitutional right to bun the U.S. flag.

Are we to believe that police officers will be reprimanded for arresting a rowdy man when they are hardly punished for putting bullets in unarmed citizens reaching for their cell-phones?

This outrageous claim on the part of organizers and lawyers guild reps was made in conjunction with a weak argument that the crowd stand down from police because "we" shouldn't let police provoke violent responses which will overshadow the demonstration's message when the events of the day were reported on the eleven o'clock news. Apparently ANSWER supports insurgency in populations abroad but fears media and police backlash when actual confrontation becomes possible at home. Obviously ANSWER must tone down its rhetoric to appeal to the peaceniks who attend their demonstrations. Such is obvious from a facetious rhetorical question, referring to today's demonstrations, on LA's Indymedia: "Did someone say the peace movement is dead?"

Today's mainstream activist's mantra that confrontation and "scuffles" with the police do nothing but taint the movement's image is a far cry from the long tradition of radicalism in the U.S. which demonstrates that engaging police in violent confrontation is the ONLY way to get a greater part of the population on "our" side. Arguably, if rally organizers had incited the crowd instead of trying to pacify it with ridiculous promises, the event would have raised more eyebrows and gained national, if not international, attention. In other words, news of the demonstration would have overshadowed news of Bush's fundraiser. This is not to say that demonstrators should have become violent. Rather, it would have been a perfectly suitable occasion to call for mass civil disobedience and militant non-violence. Demonstrators and demo organizers were too weak to seize the opportunity, and instead intimidated demonstrators with the idea that the big media would not be sympathetic to their cause if the demnstration turned ugly. Must the flaw in this logic really be pointed out? Is it not obvious that violence is perfect fodder for the media spectacle, and that peaceful demonstrators are lucky if their numbers are reasonably estimated by the media and the authorities?

The "peace movement" may not be dead, but it is certainly little more than a ghost, which is to say, it is undead. The chant "No Justice, No Peace" rings hollow in the mouths of demonstrators unwilling to upset the "peace" in the name of justice.

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Update on arrested man! John Sunday, Jun. 29, 2003 at 8:21 PM
what la Monday, Jun. 30, 2003 at 11:05 AM
total bs matt Monday, Jun. 30, 2003 at 11:30 AM
matt thinker Monday, Jun. 30, 2003 at 3:03 PM
I Get It kiddo Monday, Jun. 30, 2003 at 3:13 PM
well... matt Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2003 at 12:15 AM
nation of cowards Sheepdog Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2003 at 4:15 AM
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orale jahwarrior indio Saturday, Jul. 05, 2003 at 4:18 AM
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Is this true? FluxRostrum Friday, Jul. 11, 2003 at 12:11 PM

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