April 18, 2021

Peaceful Protests Around The Nation Are Being Greeted By Police Violence. Remind Me Again How Peaceful Protests Are Better?

By Tim Cushing
I have written at least two (admittedly) incendiary posts for this site responding to the response (and — one level further — commenters’ responses) to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin has been arrested and is now facing a shifting set of charges — some of which are unlikely to be sustained. Minneapolis is still burning. And it will probably burn again once the justice system is done with what’s left of Chauvin and his criminal charges.

In these posts, I openly advocated for the targeted destruction of government property. I do not apologize for that. If the problem is law enforcement, it should be law enforcement’s stuff that burns. Say what you will for peace and reason, but we’re dealing with unreasonable forces that consider themselves soldiers in a warzone, rather than public servants in troubled areas where a little kindness on their part would go a long way.

Peaceful protests can effect change. I’m not arguing that they can’t. But decades of peaceful protests — interrupted occasionally by violent civil uprisings — haven’t changed much in this nation. And that’s just the last 50 years of this on/off cycle. The anger presenting itself now dates back more than 300 years to slavery. And the 300 years following that haven’t been much better. Nearly 100 years after slaves were freed, governments in America — along with the populace supporting them — treated blacks as subhumans only worthy of very limited rights and privileges.

But let’s go with the argument that peaceful protests will bring peaceful resolutions. Here’s how that’s playing out around the nation.

This guy is bleeding from his skull and the police have the nerve to tell the media he “tripped” pic.twitter.com/WPjvZNAneo

— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) June 5, 2020

1️⃣7️⃣3️⃣ San Antonio, TX: police abruptly open fire into crowd of peaceful protestors

?: “Everybody put your hands up!”

??‍♂️??‍♀️??: ::starts shooting::

pic.twitter.com/XNbbVursCQ

— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) June 3, 2020

1️⃣8️⃣0️⃣ Wilmington, NC: police kneel “in solidarity”…

…so protestors will get closer…

…for the police to shoot them.

pic.twitter.com/Jxm2NXtw8A

— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) June 3, 2020

Seattle police pepper spray, gas and flashbang peaceful protests for the third day in a row. @MayorJenny should be ashamed of herself and everyone involved. #seattleprotest #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/Jole1XcSLG

— anxiety feverdream (@catsayshello) June 3, 2020

#BlacklivesMaters SAN DIEGO PROTEST WE ARE BEING PEACEFUL pic.twitter.com/91TuXmWuKe

— Mariah (@mariahalize3) May 31, 2020

2️⃣0️⃣3️⃣ Huntington Beach, CA: police open fire on unarmed protestors laying flat on the ground

pic.twitter.com/rQopNRvr8Y

— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) June 3, 2020

TURN THE VOLUME UP: This footage is unbelievable!

This happened today: Philadelphia Police Officers were firing tear gas on peaceful protesters who were TRAPPED on a fenced off hill on the side of a highway!

THIS IS SAVAGE BRUTALITY!pic.twitter.com/r5UgBAfAcd

— Trisha (@Trisha_Tahmasbi) June 2, 2020

2️⃣3️⃣2️⃣ Huntsville, AL: police officer gets out of his car and just walks around casually pepper-spraying people

pic.twitter.com/9TkDjzUVqM

— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) June 4, 2020

2️⃣4️⃣0️⃣ Indianapolis, IN: police teargassing a worship service for sport

pic.twitter.com/JAVQZjZkUY

— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) June 4, 2020

Here is a 38 photo sequence of what happen this morning with Joyce Beatty, Shannon Hardin, Kevin Boyce, protesters and Columbus Police. pic.twitter.com/ZZEd6MfJCh

— Kyle Robertson (@KRobPhoto) May 30, 2020

Fuck NYPD #BarclaysCenter pic.twitter.com/9hJTROT8RK

— Jane Doe (@crankberries) May 30, 2020

we were doing nothing wrong. the organizers of this protest put so much fucking effort into keeping it as peaceful as possible and look at what these pos cops CHOSE TO DO TO US#columbusprotest #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/sY4PQlMQc8

— BLACK LIVES MATTER (@rottenstrwbry) May 30, 2020

#RICHMOND #VIRGINIA peaceful protest attacked. pic.twitter.com/saxfBeDkAn

— JUST ADD HAND SANITIZER (@Justiceaddwater) June 2, 2020

Need more? Plenty can be found here. And Twitter has no shortage of footage showing cops behaving violently in the face of non-violent protests.

With a nation watching them — including the hundreds of cameras present at any protest — police officers are acting as though nothing matters. They have responded to accusations of excessive violence with excessive violence. They have greeted non-violence with violence. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Empathy and self-awareness are apparently traits considered to be weaknesses by our nation’s law enforcement agencies. Proving protesters right isn’t helping the cops win. But leaving it up to ineffective and cowardly legislators isn’t ending the cops’ winning streak either. The cops claim fear provokes every violent reaction they have. But when they have nothing to fear, they engage in violence anyway.

Let’s not abandon peaceful solutions. But let’s not pretend they’re more effective than violence targeting the objects of state oppression.

Source:: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200605/09490144651/peaceful-protests-around-nation-are-being-greeted-police-violence-remind-me-again-how-peaceful-protests-are-better.shtml