FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What If Occupiers Armed Themselves?

You’ve probably noticed that our government and corporate-owned media treat the Occupy Movement differently from the Tea Party.

Think back to how some Tea Partiers brought guns to their protests, where some protesters even suggested killing President Obama.  They weren’t pepper-sprayed.  They weren’t bashed in the head, and they weren’t even told to take their guns home.

I’m glad police didn’t stomp on the Tea Party. Even ill-informed, inane, racist protests should be permitted. The problem is that the First Amendment prohibits the government from choosing which protests it allows. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to understand that.

Why such different treatment? Some people say it’s because the Tea Party didn’t camp out. But does camping and building a library (which, in a move reminiscent of the National Socialists in 1930’s Germany, the NYPD destroyed) and chanting and sitting-in merit more government attention than armed people threatening violence against the President?

An even more disturbing difference is that the Department of Homeland Security — which is supposed to use its broad powers to protect us from terrorism — may have helped coordinate a national crackdown on the Occupiers’ nonviolent protest. The Occupiers pitch tents, not grenades. They hang expressive signs on buildings – they don’t pilot airliners into them. The Occupy movement shouldn’t even appear on the DHS radar screen.

The mainstream media are similarly “fair and balanced.” The Occupy Movement is widely criticized (as if according to talking points) as lacking a “clear message.” There was no real criticism, however, of the Tea Party’s cacophony of self-contradictory idiocy. Obama is a fascist and a socialist! This Big Business-friendly President is “a Communist”!  Well, where’s my share of the bailout, comrade?

Mainstream media wondered when the movement will be “over” and suggested it would end when temperatures drop.  The Tea Party, which had no encampments, no library, and just a few short protests, was never seen as having an end; it’s been elevated to the status of a political party.

Remember how, after Obama was elected in late 2008, right wingers, believing Obama opposed gun rights, stocked up on guns and ammunition, as if arming themselves for revolution, or a race war? It was reported as just another interesting story. What would happen if Occupiers armed themselves?

The media would report it as foreboding a revolution. Pundits would muse that “we have too many gun rights.” There would be calls for a screening process for dealers. Gun dealers would discriminate.  The Occupy Movement would be designated a terror group – as it just was in London.

Or (perhaps more likely) gun rights would go untouched — the government probably would just shoot Occupiers, as Ann Coulter has suggested.

Recall last January, when Jared Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and killed several others, including a federal judge.  The government and mainstream media seemed to dismiss the idea that Sarah Palin’s targeting Giffords on a map of Congressional districts — with a gunsight — could have motivated Loughner.  The media made it seem as if it were impossible to determine whether Loughner was politically left or right.

But what would happen if someone shot a Republican?  Politicians and pundits would assert that the shooter, even if he’d never actually rallied or camped with the Occupy Movement, was “influenced” by its “dangerous rhetoric,” no matter how vague.  The Occupy Movement would be declared a terrorist group.

The Giffords shooting isn’t the only violence by right-wingers. Death threats were made, and bricks were thrown through the windows of, several Congressional supporters of Obamacare — little media or government attention was paid.  But imagine if Republicans received death threats?

A lesson to be drawn from all this is that, unequivocally, we have a right wing government that’s supported by right wing media. (Can we finally declare dead the myth of the liberal media?)  If you’re right wing, you can protest all you like, in any way you like – apparently, the only way for you to get arrested is if you actually gun down a Member of Congress.

But if you oppose the right wing government, even nonviolently, well, you’re dangerous.

BRIAN J. FOLEY is a law professor, comedian, and author of A New Financial You in 28 Days! A 37-Day Plan (Gegensatz Press 2011).

 

More articles by:

Brian J. Foley is a lawyer and the author of A New Financial You in 28 Days! A 37-Day Plan (Gegensatz Press). Contact him at brian_j_foley@yahoo.com.

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail