Tag Archives: protest
“Chauvin was imprisoned not without his day in court, as celebrity loudmouths demanded. He was not thrown to the mob to be torn limb from limb, or boiled to death in a cauldron, or slowly dismembered on a torture rack, as used to happen in medieval times, or burned alive in a cage as ISIS liked to do.”
“Her message was clearly intended to get to the jury – ‘If you will acquit or if you find the charge less than murder, we will burn down your buildings. We will burn down your businesses. We will attack you. We will do what happened to the witness – blood on their door.’”
– Alan Dershowitz, claiming U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters incited violence during the trial of Derek Chauvin
He was also referring to how the former home of defense expert Barry Brodd was recently vandalized.
“This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence.”
McCarthy – who declined to do anything about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) after social media posts indicating her support for murdering top Democrats emerged – also revealed that he was moving to censure Waters over her comments telling protesters to keep up their demonstrations.
“Well, first, let me say that if I go to Cubbyhole, I think I’m going to be accompanied by at least one of my two campaign managers who are both gay. So there’s like a lot of, you know, familiarity with, with the community, at the head of my campaign leading it.”
His efforts failed and have resulted in a series if mocking memes.
Tom Freeman’s painting of the August 24, 1814 burning of the White House by British troops during the War of 1812. (White House Historical Association)
In the fall of 1989, the world watched the Soviet Union begin to crumble, as its various satellites in Eastern Europe started breaking free from the decades-long grip of the terrorist state. The seminal moment came in November when the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the democratic west joined with the communist east to form the New Germany. That edifice had been both literal and ideological; a true line between freedom and tyranny.
A month later came another equally stunning and even more sanguineous event; one that gained plenty of international attention, but seems to have faded into history. Shortly before Christmas gangs of angry Romanians stormed the central palace and captured President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena. The duo was subjected to a trial and sentenced to death; afterwards they were garroted. Their demise was similar to that of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, as World War II came to an end. Bands of anti-fascist citizens captured them after ambushing their convoy and rushed them through a trial, before stringing them up like wild animals.
I imagine the mobs who invaded the U.S. Capitol building this past Wednesday felt equally aggrieved and outraged by what they perceived to be an unfair presidential election. Spurred on by the vitriolic rhetoric of their dear leader, Donald Trump, they amassed in Washington from all over the country and launched their angry assault. In behavior similar to that of developing countries, these renegades overwhelmed Capitol Hill police and managed to enter the arena where lawmakers had convened just moments earlier.
That January 6 was a critical day. That’s when elected officials gathered to certify that Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidency two months ago and would be sworn into office as the nation’s 46th president on January 20. The gangs of right-wing ideologues who disrupted that stately process demanded otherwise.
This is the first time since 1814 that the U.S. Capitol had been invaded. And that was in the midst of the War of 1812; during the early days of the American republic. Great Britain was still trying to regain control of its former colony and succeeded in burning down the capitol. That was over 200 years ago. Last Wednesday came during a war of ideology and political differences.
I have never seen anything like it in my life. Indeed, it is something more emblematic of nations around the world struggling through the growing pains of a new democracy or any new regime change. It’s similar to what happened in Cuba on New Year’s Day 1959, when Fidel Castro led a ragtag band of rebels into the presidential palace in Havana to overthrow the brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista. Like Ceausescu and Mussolini, Batista had held onto power for many years through bloodshed and terrorism. He suppressed free speech and sought to annihilate anyone who dared to disagree with him. Unlike Ceausescu and Mussolini, however, Batista was able to leave Cuba and live out his life in peaceful exile – and wealth – in Spain.
The people who stormed into the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday aren’t freedom-loving patriots. They’re domestic terrorists; redneck hooligans supported and agitated by a psychopathic narcissist who didn’t fairly win the U.S. presidency in 2016. They weren’t the least bit upset over the blatantly fraudulent elections of that year and 2000.
For decades conservatives have lobbed conspiracy theories about mobs of left-wing anarchists swarming into American homes to seize firearms and bibles and force everyone to love Muslims and queer people. That has never happened. It didn’t happen after the raucous turmoil of the 2000 presidential elections and it didn’t happen four years ago. As upset as liberals were then, groups of enraged tree-loving abortionists and pot-smokers didn’t invade Washington and trash lawmakers’ offices. The biggest threat came from within the bastions of conservatism.
I hope devout Trumpists are happy with themselves.
One Capitol Hill police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, has now succumbed to his injuries. Four protesters also died; one of them shot to death. I’m saddened by Sicknick’s death, but I don’t give a damn about the others. Like people who drink alcohol heavily their entire lives and develop cirrhosis, they brought this upon themselves. The Capitol Hill police chief has resigned, and – as of this writing – nearly 20 people have been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s mayhem. Insurrection is a federal offense, and treason is technically punishable by death. The legal machinations over this debacle will play out for years.
And Donald Trump will go down in history as a president who fomented a riot and placated the rioters.
The nation will move forward, as time does – whether anyone on the far left or far right like it or not. The spirit of a truly democratic society can’t be quashed. It never has and it never will.
“She’s decided to completely ignore all of the credible, credible, fraudulent evidence that has been continually pointed out. We’re out here in front of the secretary of state’s house and we want her to know we will continue to be here.”
Carrying American flags and guns, about two dozen protesters, including Peters, marched up to Benson’s Detroit home at night, while chanting “Stop the Steal”. They accused Benson, a Democrat and Michigan’s chief election officer, of ignoring widespread voter fraud. Peters, a corporate trainer who lives in California, live-streamed the protest on Facebook.
“They are acting like an uncontrolled mob on the street with uniforms and badges that they don’t show. You shouldn’t — police don’t do this. Watch this! What kind of bullshit is this?! This is a shame.”
– Lte. Gen. Russel Honoré (U.S. Army, ret.), on the “11th Hour with Brian Williams”, responding to news footage of federal agents using batons, tear gas and other items to combat protesters in Portland, Oregon.
Among those injured was U.S. Navy veteran Chris David who had been trying to talk to police and suffered a broken arm in the chaos. Honoré led the recovery in New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, which occurred in the midst of another disastrous Republican presidential administration.
Twitter actually showed some backbone this week when it placed a warning label on a tweet from Donald Trump in which he warned if protesters tried to set up an “autonomous zone” in Washington D.C. they would be “met with serious force!”
Here we have foreign-born Abraham “Avrumy” Knofler screaming about a “Black Lives Matter” sign in front of one of the most dangerous establishments in the world – a coffee shop in New York. “I was making a protest – all lives matter,” he told Gothamist.
Yes, they do, Avrumy. But assholes don’t matter at all!
I looked at Tom* with what he later described as a scowl. “Are you serious?” I asked.
“Um…yeah,” was his only reply. He then looked embarrassed – almost as if he realized he’d just said the wrong thing. Or, in this case, just pissed me off.
It was the fall of 2002, and we’d known each other for a few years and been roommates since May. Things weren’t turning out as well as I’d hoped. Pooling resources is supposed to help people get through tough time. So far, the only thing that had turned out well was the new puppy he got in August, after the death of his last dog.
I like Tom – for the most part. You never really know someone unless you either spend the night with or move in with them. Tom and I had never spent the night. I do have standards! But Tom was smart and highly-educated; something of a wild man with few bounds.
He was a little like me: a native Texan of mixed ethnicity (in his case, German and Indian) who graduated high school in 1982 and attended the University of North Texas (although I didn’t arrive there until 1984). But he was more conservative, and our political discussions on race and gender often went sideways with his right-wing logic.
This evening’s conversation was a perfect example. I can’t remember what set it off, but I had mentioned that the modern civil rights movement “had to occur”; that it had to take place. He refuted that claim; calmly stating that it had been completely unnecessary; that eventually society would “come around” and realize it was only fair to give all people a chance; that folks just “needed to wait”.
“Wait?” People had already waited – more than 400 years, from the arrival of the first Europeans to the 1950s, when Martin Luther Kind launched his quiet revolution.
People had waited through the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam. People had waited through every major political and social event since the Salem Witch Trials for an equal place in American society. People had waited through the name-calling, beatings, shootings, stabbings, lynchings and relocations.
People had waited. Long enough. And that’s why everything finally exploded in the 1960s. I believe the catalyst was the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Just a few years into the decade, the first U.S. president born in the 20th century was cut down by a delusional madman (or a cavalcade of them, depending on who you ask); thus squelching a promising future to an American that was moving irreversibly forward. But the centennial of the Civil War – a conflict about one group of humans owning another group, not property – helped fuel the embers of dissatisfaction. People had finally said, ‘I’ve had it. This is it. We’ve done everything possible to make ourselves valuable and worthy of a seat at that great American banquet table.’
And, in the midst of the mayhem, old White fools like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan stood around saying, ‘I don’t know why they’re so upset. They live in a free country.’
A high school English teacher once said all that happened in the 1960s was boiling in the 1950s. The Korean War – the sadly “forgotten war” – was a blight in an otherwise great decade. It was marked by the creation of the grandest economy at the time and included the seminal Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.
Tom didn’t know what to say to me after my rant. It was more of a lecture. I can get emotional with those sensitive issues, but I’d maintained my decorum – each of us standing there in boxer shorts chugging beers. He was truly speechless – a rarity for him. But alas… he had to concede I was right. Or more, that he could see my point.