President Obama, live on CNN, called for calm and peace whilst rioting was occurring on the opposite side of the screen after the Grand Jury announcement that Officer Darren WIlson would be not be charged in the killing of unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown.
I cannot think of anything more insulting than the President of the United States calling for peace and calm and then doing little to nothing to avert the situation we are currently facing. CNN commends the lack of rioting in NYC in response to the shootings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner as the “way it should be” but how long will their supposed restraint last?
Apparently, it already ended when the Village Voice reported ( http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2014/12/nypd-arrests-200-eric-garner-protests.php ) that a Long Ranged Acoustic Device, or LRAD was used and over 200+ demonstrators were arrested on the streets of NYC. For those who don’t know, an LRAD is a military sonic grade weapon that could permanently destroy your hearing.
In circumstances like this, it is not hard to imagine a scenario where these protests could potentially turn violent. In fact, if you watch the following video, you can see the protesters panicking and becoming agitated after they are attacked.
There are one of two things that someone could conclude if they are honest about the policing and policy tactics of the NYPD: either they are insane, or they want riots. After all, rioting is an excellent excuse to crack down on protesters. We might see it soon too if the cop who shot Akai Gurley is not indicted. Personally, I don’t know if the city–or the country–can take another non-indictment. Yet this keeps happening continuously over and over and over again throughout the country. It’s been happening for awhile, yet only recently the media has been picking up on these things and, for that, a huge thanks is owed to social media (fuck you, Robert McCulloch).
I think it would be very arrogant of me to make a prediction about these types of things, however I can’t see this ending in a way that doesn’t involve violence. But we must remember that non-violent civil disobedience, whilst preferable, cannot work if the people in charge systemically use violence to crush the opposition. I’m sure if I urged Syrians, Palestinians, and other oppressed groups world wide to adopt a Martin Luther King JR type approach to resistance, I would be laughed out of their respective countries.
To be clear, I am in no way condoning violence. However, I think people need to shut up a little more and listen to those who are protesting rather than condemning them as “cop haters” or whatever. The strategy of crushing dissent and hoping the anger fades or otherwise disappears is absurd.
I could say the now cliched mantra that “not all cops are bad” but at this point, that means absolutely nothing. It might be true, but the system is fucked up and if you don’t agree, you are fucking wrong. Period.
So what I will say is don’t hope for violence to spill over into NYC, but expect it, prepare for it, and be on the right side of history by condemning injustice no matter where it comes from.