Protests at Saint Paul RNC

This gives a reasonable idea of what it is like to get tear gassed:

Why is this important? Remember this:

In my view, which may not be popular, when the Ohio National Guard shot dead four kids, at least one of which was, by the way, a passer-by unrelated to the demonstration, and all of whom were running away, you, me, the Saint Paul Police, the Republicans, and everybody else in this country lost the right to get indignant about a few anarchists breaking a window at Macy’s or roughing up a Fox News Van. Anybody got a problem with that?


  1. #1 Shawn
    September 1, 2008

    Amen to that. And in the end, what’s a Macy’s store window? It’s not a person, it’s an inanimate object that can be replaced. All over the world people get far rowdier at protests than anything any anarchist has ever done at one of these things in this country.

    Shit there have been rampages committed by sports fans after a game in this country that make even Seattle ’99 look like an ice cream social.

    Sometimes living in a free society can get a little messy. Sometimes things get broken, deal with it. Any sane person would rather have a few broken windows over a few dead kids.

  2. #2 Webs
    September 1, 2008

    I’m not sure all blame can be placed on the Tin Soldiers for the 1970 KSU protests/riots.

    All sides did some stupid things. I have no problems with protesters, but rioting and burning down a University building goes outside the boundaries most would create for peaceful protest. Firemen were not exactly “blocked” from putting out the fire either. They were hit with objects and likely not very kindly asked to move away from the building. Not to mention when the National Guard asked the students to disperse on May 4th they were pelted with rocks.

    Then there’s the Governor making some stupid remarks followed by National Guard troops that had been sent out nearly 2.5 days before the shooting. They also had little training in riots and were unsure what to do during the time leading up to the shootings as they seemed to be unfamiliar with the campus.

    I have 100% sympathy for protesters to the point they are no longer peaceful and law-abiding.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    September 1, 2008

    Webs, law-abiding by whose definition of the law? On what day–when the raids and arrests are made or when the few charges that stick actually make it to court? And are they still law-abiding if they’re well-behaved but in a crowd with a few other individuals who aren’t?

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    September 2, 2008

    Tin soldiers should not have been let near the students with bullets. The only possibe reason to fire on the students in any event might, MIGHT!, (might, but really,never) have been if under direct attack with deadly force. The fact that some students were obnoxious the day before r earlier in the day to the firemen was not a reason for the National Guard to execute four other students on this occasions.

    No. The event was a national disgrace equal to a major political assassination in magnitude. Times four.

    100% symptathy until they are no longer law abiading, then execute them?

    They were shot to death, web. Do you have a child? If so, imagine your child as a high school senior or college student who shows up intending to be peaceful at a rally and then is shot to death by a National Guardsman. Now imagine that you daughter feels really slighted and upset about, I dunno, an unjust war or something, and about the gas canister that landed at her feet. So she throws the gas canister back at the cops. Then they shoot her to death.

    Would you feel OK about the second version in which your daughter is killed? Would you be OK with me saying “Oh, that’s what she deserved, get over it!” for the second version of this?

    I know this is not you, Webs. Or this is not what you mean. Is it?

  5. #5 Webs
    September 2, 2008

    I think I should clear some things up…

    I by no means condone the actions of the soldiers. I have empathy for them and the situation they were put in. I can drone on and on about how tough their job is but we have all heard it before. Just understand their situation and life experiences are different from ours, and it’s never easy being thrown into a riot situation not knowing all the variables.

    Do I agree with the actions the soldiers took? HELL no! To me it’s pretty simple, you shoot only with the intent to kill, and if you do not intend to kill then don’t shoot.

    I meant to get across the point that the students are not completely innocent too. Was it necessary for the students to antagonize the soldiers by throwing things at them and yelling at them? Especially after burning down a building and rioting through the city? Do any of these actions by the protesters justify execution? Of course not. But when someone points a gun at me I start to question my actions and I do a cost benefit analysis as to whether or not what I’m doing is worth the possibility of death.

    There have been plenty past examples of where peaceful protests to an agressor lead to an outcome or got the message across that the protesters intended. But I have a hard time seeing how the protests at KSU were peaceful. So I guess I am more conflicted than anything else. Especially reading this from the link I provided above:

    The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest avoided probing the question regarding why the shootings happened. Instead, it harshly criticized both the protesters and the Guardsmen, but it concluded that “the indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.”

    This was the position I attempted to take. I hope you understand that I do not mean to offend anyone, I guess I just don’t understand the situation completely.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    September 2, 2008

    I agree with you, pretty much.

  7. #7 Webs
    September 2, 2008

    Sorry for the confusion 😉

  8. #8 Dereck Coatney
    September 3, 2008

    Did we lose the right to get indignant? No we did not. The deaths at Kent State do not vindicate all future protest.

    That said, I still hope they smash every single window.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    September 4, 2008

    We lost the right as long as a) there is cultural continuity along the relevant lineages (that is still the case) and I think as long as the “tough guy” side government is getting tougher looking, tougher acting.

    Were there to be a total revolution or something, this might not apply any longer. Depending.