Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: protest

Nov.
2nd

Occupy Wall Street: A loud scream, but what’s the plan?

Seattle has been occupied. Tacoma has been occupied. Good heavens, even Puyallup has been occupied.

If nothing else, Occupy Wall Street is a triumph of branding. Any collection of individuals with gripes about the status quo can call itself an “Occupy,” lay claim to some public space and instantly be anointed part of the international phenomenon begun by a group of enterprising protesters in Manhattan.

A mass protest of some kind was inevitable in the current pit of economic distress and widespread joblessness. There are legions of exceedingly unhappy people out there. To its credit, Occupy Wall Street has emphasized

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April
22nd

Protesting violence with violence? Senseless

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The masked anarchists who attacked police officers and a newspaper photographer in Olympia this month say they were taking a principled stand against cop brutality.

Proving themselves common thugs and punks is more like it.

Consider this statement from a 22-year-old protester accused of kicking a cop in the groin and knee with her combat boot: “The last time an officer said I assaulted him, the charge got dismissed, no contest. My Mom has a lot of money, my friend.”

Margaret Belknap indeed got a lucky break after she was charged with assaulting a police officer during an antiwar protest in San Francisco last year. Officials dismissed the charges after she completed a diversion program.

The only lesson she seems to have learned was that mom’s bank account can buy a get-out-jail-free card. Belknap is now charged with two counts of felony assault. She is one of 29 rioters who were arrested April 8 after a downtown Olympia protest turned violent.

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Sep.
14th

The Million Man Spending Protest

The conservative protest at the National Mall on Saturday has leaped to the Web and evolved into one of those Million Man March-style disputes over the size of the crowd. (Million Man organizers threatened to sue the National Park Service for estimating their crowd at a measly 400,000.)

Because this newspaper ran an AP story on Sunday reporting “tens of thousands” of protesters, we’re starting to get letters to the editor accusing us (here in Tacoma!) of being in cahoots with the cabal of liberals conspiring to marginalize Saturday’s crowd. Excerpt from one:

D.C. Metro Police estimated the crowd at 1.2 million, while the Parks and Recreation Department estimated the crowd at 1.5 million. This appears to be an attempt by the mainstream media (of which this newspaper is part) to paint this event as one attended by fringe element or by right-wing extremists …

We don’t print letters with dubious factoids (numeroids?) that we can’t verify. And I couldn’t verify estimates of either 1.2 million or 1.5 million protesters from the police, the parks department or any other agency that might provide a politically neutral tally of the protesters on the mall.
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