Why is it perfectly acceptable for people wishing to protest the Iraq war to act like a bunch of two-year-olds? According to several reports anti-war protesters marched through the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota en route to the Xcel Center site of the Republican National Convention. Had they been carrying signs and marching peacefully, that would have been the end of the story.
But it isn’t.
Of the estimated 8,000 – 10,000 protesters many were seen and subsequently arrested for various acts of vandalism including smashing windows, puncturing tires and throwing bottles as they progressed. Police were forced to use pepper spray in some cases and made at least five arrests.
According to Minnesota Public Radio, authorities raided several houses prior to the start of the RNC and confiscated several gallons of urine – yes, urine, wrist rockets and kerosene. Now, maybe, just maybe these people were planning an outing into the woods for a long camping trip. But somehow that doesn’t seem very likely.
What gives? Why do these people – supposedly grown up, mature adults – have to act like a bunch of two-year-old babies? The First Amendment guarantees a right to free speech and peaceful assembly. It does not, however, give anybody the right to smash windows, slit car tires, throw bottles, assail with weaponry, throw urine on someone or even douse them with kerosene and light them on fire. These people are supposedly anti-war and pro-peace, yet they amass large quantities of items that when used incorrectly can actually cause major harm and damage to people and property.
In the United States of America, we have laws that govern how people are allowed to voice their opposition to anything. These laws are designed to protect by-standers from harm while the protesters are exercising their right to free speech. It is a fair balance that is necessary to maintain peace and order. A protester’s right to free speech and assembly ends abruptly at the commission of random or planned acts of violence, vandalism or assault.
The display of one’s personal political leanings is not grounds for the invocation of violence or riot. There is no reason ever to deprive one of life or personal property when he or she is expressing a political view unless that expression extends to cause grievous harm or damage to another or another’s property. For those of you educated in America’s state sanctioned education system; that means if you don’t agree with someone’s political views, you may not beat the crap out of him or her no matter how wrong or stupid you may think that person is.
The people who are protesting the war want to be heard – that is understood loud and clear. But when you add in vandalism and assault, you lose credibility. You cannot make someone hear you or do what you want. Getting violent or stupid only makes you look stupid. It turns off the ears and minds of those to whom you are trying to communicate your views.
And what about the protesters in possession of urine? What were they planning to do with that? The only thing one can imagine would be to spray it on other people. What kind of sick, twisted, evil mind conceives a plot to spray urine on people? Assault with bodily fluids is akin to biological warfare! In some states intentionally having sexual intercourse with another individual with the intent of spreading HIV is tantamount to attempted murder. Suppose some of that urine contained the Hepatitis virus? How many people would have contracted that disease just because some stupid moron decided to spray urine on someone because the victim is not of the same political mind?
What is a protester going to do with kerosene? It is highly unlikely that he is getting ready to clean dirty engine parts and winter is too far away to start storing it now. Mixed with fire, kerosene has some rather explosive tendencies. Is the same evil mind plotting to spread Hepatitis with urine also plotting to light opponents on fire?
It is interesting to note that containers of urine or kerosene were never reported confiscated in Denver. Unconventional weapons of assault were feared in Denver; however none of them actually materialized. Seems that once again, Republicans are more mature than Democrats. It’s time for Democrats to grow up already and stop acting so immature.