Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Drying the Tinder for the Bonfire of Revolt


Wow. The Powers That Be have become so insecure that big protests are now considered dangerous and a threat. In the past, huge protests and civil disobedience were a way to vent frustration and send messages - great ways to do that, in fact, that usually kept the property damage at a minimum, loss of life at a minimum and let the protestors feel like they had a way to fight the System.

Massive police raids on suspected protesters in Minneapolis
Glenn Greenwald, Salon
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying...

Normally, my supply of patience for whiny hippie protestors is, shall we say, limited. That said, let them protest. Generally they make fools of themselves to the majority of people watching them and it makes them feel superior, as if they have struck a blow for justice. Everyone gets to look down on the other party, every goes home happy and smug.

Squashing these fringe voices, though, is like the old Forest Service theory of fighting every single forest fire that erupted. By squashing the natural tendency of forests to cleanse themselves through small fires - it eventually led to forests primed for a huge explosion. By allowing "controlled burns" you can reduce this risk. Protests are the controlled burns of the political world.

For some reason, the elites seem terrified of any sort of dissent these days. It's amazing and unnecessary. By crushing these protest groups through pre-emptive strikes, you are are making the same mistake the Forest Service made back in the 20th century, you are priming the political landscape with the tinder for a huge firestorm in the future.

These raids will only serve to fuel the paranoid fantasies of these groups. Instead of feeding their psyches with the smug self-righteousness of big protests, allowing these groups to feel heard and validated, you are feeding their anger, their hate and their paranoia, which is guaranteed to drive some of them over the edge into an open-source insurgency frame of mind. Do you really want to prime the pumps of 4GW on U.S. soil? Especially with hundreds of thousands of U.S. war veterans returning home to an economy that is sluggish if not already in recession?

And just what are the cops thinking here? What in the world has the elites so spooked that these types of raids seemed like a good idea?

This type of resistance to any sort of dissent or non-mainstream thinking has infected every level of U.S. society it seems. If you were among those calling the run-up in house prices in 2005-2007 a bubble, you were a fool to be castigated. If you point out that the federal government is bankrupt, you are called unpatriotic. If you protest the RNC, apparently you are a target for police raids - BEFORE YOU EVEN PROTEST.

I don't get it. What am I missing? What is so frightening to the security apparatus in the U.S. that a bunch of smelly old hippies are regarded as a big threat?

4 comments:

David said...

It's a dry run for the total privatization of 'security' in the US. Warning shots designed to demoralize and to strengthen the mindset that only troublemakers protest, and they get what they deserve. Direct action and violent protest is going to increase over the next few years as the economy goes tits-up, and there is money to be made supplying police forces with new toys. It may be the last great bubble.

Jay@Soob said...

Bad news for the GOP. Very bad news.

David said...

They do seem to have lost their mojo this time around. When the media start turning on the GOP, you know it's trouble...

Everything they do is turning to sh*t right now. Hard to see how they can pull out of the tailspin.

One October Surprise, please!

Flagg707 said...

Hard to pull out of the tailspin indeed. This is going to be a very interesting couple of months for politics.