Several years ago I was a cop on the front lines of an increasingly hostile strike, an action conducted by a certain local aerospace company. The group had ignored the request to stop blocking traffic and continued chanting- something about being underpaid and the fact that management and the cops, to use the vernacular, sucked.
The first rock arrived with the phrase, “%$#& you cop!” Then it got ugly.
Not much has changed since then. We have witnessed the mob mentality in Los Angeles (Rodney King riots), Seattle (WTO) and Vancouver, B.C. (Stanley Cup riot). More recently we have watched the protests from the somewhat ambiguously entitled, “Take Back Wall Street.”
An offshoot of this last protest likewise got ugly in Seattle’s Westlake Mall (Post-Intelligencer). Police arrived en masse to move along a large group that had been camping in the mall for several days. It was time to leave, the cops told the protesters. It’s a city park and not a KOA campground.
The result was typical. Some of the protesters who refused to leave began flailing their limbs like adult children having tantrums, and wailing “Police brutality!” like a glee club chorus.
Is this what passes for protest today?