A columnist of heart and mind

A columnist of heart and mind
Interviewing the animals at Children's Fairyland in Oakland. L-R: Bobo the sheep, Gideon the miniature donkey, me, Tumbleweed Tommy the miniature donkey, Juan the alpaca, Coco the pony

Friday, November 25, 2011

Slimebags? Or Patriots?

Last week, a letter to the editor in the Berkeley Voice called the Occupy protesters "slimebags," adding, "Water canons, stun guns, clubbing and arrests must be used on these freedom violators, with full force and with no possible legal actions against our police officers."
I couldn't agree more. Who do these kids think they are?
I watched the police break up the Occupy Cal encampment on the UC campus, and I was shocked by the violence with which the protestors attacked the police truncheons with their stomachs.
The chancellor had it absolutely right when he said, "It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience."
Right on! Violent arm-linking has been an intimidation tactic at least since the days of those infamous terrorists Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King. And, as Stephen Colbert pointed out, don't forget Occupy Oz, when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion linked arms as they skipped down the Yellow Brick Road on their way to murder a witch.
Then, a week later, an overwhelming mob of 12 students at UC Davis protested the events at Cal by sitting down, linking arms (that violent tactic again) and attacking the police tear gas canisters with their faces.
There's been some criticism of the police actions in that incident, and a handful of people - only 80,000 - have signed a petition calling for the chancellor to resign. But as Fox News' Megyn Kelly pointed out, "Pepper spray is a food product, essentially," just like those other yummy snacks, mustard gas and Agent Orange.
In fact, the restraint shown by the authorities has been admirable. It reminds me of the so-called Civil Rights marches of the 1960s, when the Birmingham police magnanimously provided some cute little dogs for the demonstrators to play with.
And, because Birmingham tends to get hot in the summertime, the police, no doubt worried that some of the demonstrators might get heat stroke, cooled them off by spraying them with fire hoses.
The entire University of California system is beset by tight budgets, and you might be wondering, as I did, where the money came from to buy such expensive riot equipment and give the campus cops their riot control training.
It turns out that the funding was provided by the Department of Homeland Security, which is also good news.
I don't know about you, but I'm sure relieved that Homeland Security is focusing on student protestors - but not all student protestors; the ones who rioted at Penn State are OK - instead of wasting their time chasing Al Qaeda and Timothy McVeigh wannabes.
It might be a long struggle, folks, but don't despair. The day will come when people think twice before speaking their minds; and government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations shall not perish from the earth.
We shall overcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant -- and does the Dept of Homeland Security realize how easy it would be to profile would-be terrorists matching the descriptions of the Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion, not to mention Dorothy and Toto? (Oh wait, Toto didn't actually link paws, so perhaps he's not an aggressor)