Sunday, September 07, 2008

Crowd Control at RNC

It's simply amazing to witness the firepower used by police, riot squads and stormtroopers against unarmed citizens in Minnesota. The increasing militarization of our whole society is one of the most dangerous, alarming trends of modern times. We were no longer facing police in St. Paul. We were facing an army. How is this any different from the political crackdowns in Communist China or the old Soviet Union? I suspect those fearful Americans cheering the stormtroopers in America would feign outrage at the same oppression in those other nations. But this is the way of things. All that is needed for fascism to triumph is for good people to sit down and say nothing.

There is also a more broad line of questioning. How should the deployment of any of these weapons be judged? There were clear incidents of violence by a small handful full of the many thousands of protesters who visited St. Paul, most of those incidents isolated to Monday’s protests (among these incidents: store windows were smashed, a delegate bus was hit with a brick, and at least one counter-protester was aggressively handled). But in each of the separate incidents I witnessed where Triple Chasers, pepper spray, or impact rounds were used, there were no evident acts of violence on the part of protesters.

No comments: