FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
This weekend in #OWS.
Let’s see who got arrested and/or committed a variety of illegal activities, shall we?
- Boston. Cyber-terrorism! Vandalizing! (Via AofSHQ)
- Charlotte. Public nuisance! (Blocking traffic, specifically.)
- Chicago. Trespassing! (Via @amandacarpenter)
- Cincinnati. Trespassing! (Yes, that one was boring. Work with me for a minute.)
- Gainesville. Bo Diddley’s son arrested at Bo Diddley plaza for tresspassing! (…OK, yeah, that’s a little ironic. And old. Hush with your insidious Earth-logic, hu-man.)
- NYC. Cornell West arrested as a favor for Cornell West! (I wonder how this guy feels about the fact that fifty years from now he’ll be remembered, if at all, for his cameos in the Matrix trilogy.)
- Oakland. Looming confrontation! (I wonder if anybody’s called up Governor Moonbeam yet to find out where he stashed the wooden bullets.)
- Orlando. Illegal camping! (Seriously, most of these people do have homes to live in.)
- San Antonio. …is proud of its fifteen-day no-arrest record. (Note: this is newsworthy.)
- San Jose. Illegal camping! Criminal vandalism! (I’m scoring that last one because while the cops took pity on the perp being in a wheelchair, I don’t have to.)
- Santa Ana. Illegal camping! (Solidarity, brothers.)
- Seattle. Chalk Graffiti! Obstructing a police officer trying to leave the scene! (Seriously, even if you’re ticked off at this list: you have to admit, trying to stop a cop from going away was pretty much asking for an arrest.)
Now, at this point some people are thinking: …And, Moe? This is not exactly unexpected, yes? People get arrested at protests all the time. And most of this is picayune stuff: it’s not like we’re talking about Sydney and/or Melbourne, where the cops went in and broke up the protests. Which is true: none of this is particularly unexpected… for left-wing protests. Which is not even remotely the same – and is increasingly more widely perceived as not being the same – as successful protests.
Contemplate this passage from Rich Lowries 2010 article “The Revolt of the Bourgeois:”
The much-analyzed speeches at the Glenn Beck Lincoln Memorial rally weren’t as notable as what the estimated 300,000 attendees did: follow instructions, listen quietly to hours of speeches, and throw out their trash.
Just as stunning as the tableaux of the massive throngs lining the reflecting pool were the images of the spotless grounds afterward. If someone had told attendees they were expected to mow the grass before they left, surely some of them would have hitched flatbed trailers to their vehicles for the trip to Washington and gladly brought mowers along with them.
This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society.
It was also the revolt of the people who in 2009-2010 netted 63 seats in the House of Representatives, 7 in the Senate, 8 governorships, and 19 state legislatures. And they did it in part by taking a good, long look at left-wing protests, isolated out all the things that they hated about left-wing protests, and then proceeded to generally not do them. That meant no drum circles, no ignoring of basic hygiene, no annoying and usually illegal overnight camping on public property, no confrontations with the cops, no deliberate violations of the laws, no throwing things at authority figures, no excreting on police cars, and a general avoidance of what we in the medieval re-creationist scene used to (impolitely) called ‘freaking out the mundanes.’
That left the Tea Party with… showing up, stating grievances in a loud but peaceful fashion, taking a look around to reinforce the realization that there were other people who agreed with them, giving a polite but firm reminder that the Tea Party would be also able to find the polling stations at the next election, policing the site for garbage, and leaving*. All of which works – it’s just not always all that much fun. And the Activist Left finds all of the behaviors listed above as fun, at least in the short run. So they’re going to persist in doing them: and then they’re going to wonder why this movement – like every other left-wing street movement in American history – never goes anywhere.
Actually, that last part’s unlikely: they Left will probably just blame it all on the Jews. Excuse me: “international bankers.”
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*OK, OK: and Revolutionary War-era costumes, for those who had them. Hey, every movement is allowed a little whimsey.