Posted by: inforodeo | September 18, 2008

Protesters Still Up To The Same Ol’ Things

I was shocked to see these protesters arrested protesting at the DNC!  They don’t look at all like conservative/republicans!

when i read the story [here: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/sep/17/dnc-protesters-lining-fight-city-charges/ ] , i learned they were anti-war protesters, and had been throwing rocks & being unruly in various other illegal ways.  i found the particular passage to be kind of funny:

Frank Anello, of Denver, said police grabbed him near the Auraria campus Aug. 24, the day before the convention began.
Anello, his pregnant wife and 3-year-old child were downtown to protest the war in Iraq.
He said the protest was already over, and Anello’s wife was using a porta-potty when a Humvee full of police in riot gear arrived. He said he was arrested after refusing to give his name or let officers search his backpack.
Anello said his face was covered at the time. He had covered it during the protest because he didn’t want police to identify him.
But, he said, police also had their faces covered.

uh … but police also have their names visible, will not refuse to identify themselves, and really, if you think about it, have no need to identify their personal name to a masked law-breaker. 
i’m a little concerned this guy who obviously planned far enough ahead to wear a mask so “police couldn’t identify him” brought his pregnant wife and three year old with him to a protest he was hoping would become violent. I don’t know if he was planning on using them as a shield or as legal leverage (if the police had to ‘tear gas’ them), but either way, when you read between the lines, the wife and 3 year old were not harassed or arrested. (we can assume neither happened, because if it had, even in the smallest amount, it would have been the first paragraph in this article, due solely to its sensationalist potential).  anyway … if i brought my wife (pregnant or not) and kids to a protest where i was expecting a ‘clash’ between police and my grunting-ape friends, i would hope i’d be captured and locked up for a long, long time.  that kind of stuff is irresponsible, and dangerous.

as to the parts of the story where we hear the sad stories of people “just going to get pizza, and then got arrested” or “but i wasn’t throwing rocks” … i’ve been present when protesters have been arrested,tear gassed, ticketed, etc. i’ve seen it in two of the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest, i’ve seen it in a podunk town in the rocky mountains.  i’ve seen it on television in other places … and the consistent thing that i’ve seen is that police only arrest those who were disobeying.  little old ladies who ‘accidentally’ wandered into the ‘stay out!’ zone are not arrested (though a few might get a whiff of the tear gas fired at violent mobs).  Kids with dreads are not automatically arrested when they’re on their lunch break from work & going to get a sandwich.  Police don’t have the time to arrest everyone they see … that’s why they post barricades and use bull-horns to advise people of places that are ‘off limits’. that’s why they warn protesters numerous times of ‘the rules’.  That’s why they fire tear gas or turn on the fire hose. They don’t want to arrest you, but after you’ve continually ignored them & pressed on, determined to break the law to its fullest extent, yeah …they’ll arrest you or ticket you. 

as for refusing to let them search your backpack … you do have some rights, but when you’re breaking the law, or when there is a situation that warrants it (a presidential nominee, former presidents and their families, or other important elected officials nearby, for example), some of these rights function a little differently.  it might seem complicated to try to keep track of all of these minor shifts (especially if your short term memory is burned out from weed, dude), but i like to think of it this way:  if i am guilty of no crime, i have nothing to hide … so “sure, search my backpack. here’s my driver’s license. that’s my car over there. here’s my concealed weapons permit, and yes, here’s my gun. no, officer, i’m actually picking up a pizza, and there wasn’t any other way around.” …

i’m going to wrap this up by being judgmental … by deciding, based on appearances, who i think is ‘not guilty’ in the above picture (for the fun of it, not because this should have any weight):

based on the picture, i’d say the only person i think may not be guilty of being a smart-*** protester is the guy, last on the right, middle row, wearing the orange shirt.  he looks a little scared, and it’s being defiant. he looks like he’s been crying, like he wasn’t looking for trouble.  honestly, with the exception of him, the dude on the top row, furthest left, and the girl in the bottom row with the giant earrings, everyone else just kind of looks like they’d be in a protest (though only a couple look like they’d really be ‘into it’ for life, rather than as some passing way to be ‘cool’). 

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