FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What If Occupiers Armed Themselves?

by BRIAN J. FOLEY

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.

January 17, 2018
Seiji Yamada
Prevention is the Only Solution: a Hiroshima Native’s View of Nuclear Weapons
Chris Welzenbach
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Thomas Klikauer
The Business of Bullshit
Howard Lisnoff
The Atomized and Siloed U.S. Left
Martha Rosenberg
How Big Pharma Infiltrated the Boston Museum of Science
George Wuerthner
The Collaboration Trap
David Swanson
Removing Trump Will Require New Activists
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: United States Strategy
Binoy Kampmark
Macron in China
Cesar Chelala
The Distractor-in-Chief
Ted Rall
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
Mary Serumaga
Corruption in Uganda: Minister Sam Kutesa and Company May Yet Survive Their Latest Scandal
January 16, 2018
Mark Schuller
What is a “Shithole Country” and Why is Trump So Obsessed With Haiti?
Paul Street
Notes From a “Shithole” Superpower
Louisa Willcox
Keeper of the Flame for Wilderness: Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Sinister Plan to Kill the Iranian “Nukes” Deal
Franklin Lamb
Kafkaesque Impediments to Challenging Iran’s Theocracy
Norman Solomon
Why Senator Cardin is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Fred Gardner
GI Coffeehouses Recalled: a Compliment From General Westmoreland
Brian Terrell
Solidarity from Central Cellblock to Guantanamo
Don Fitz
Bondage Scandal: Looking Beneath the Surface
Rob Seimetz
#Resist Co-opting “Shithole”
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Unique
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John Campbell McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
Weekend Edition
January 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
George Burchett
Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett
Roberto J. González
Starting Them Young: Is Facebook Hooking Children on Social Media?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Between the Null and the Void
Andrew Levine
Trump After Bannon: What Next?
John Davis
Mud-Slide
Ajamu Baraka
The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Stirs the Methane Monster
Paul Street
Lazy Liberals and “the Trump Effect”
Carmen Rodriguez
Trump’s Attack on Salvadoran Migrants
Mike Whitney
Oprah for President, Really?
Francisco Cabanillas
The Hurricane After Maria
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail