Friday, May 25, 2012
Nothing To See Here. Move On.
Now, I have to admit that compared to some of the Occupy nonsense in other cities recently, the Times had a point when it said: “On the final day of the NATO summit meeting here, Chicago was oddly quiet.” I’m sure they meant “disappointingly quiet,” but that’s just one man’s opinion. The obligatory comparison to the 1968 Democratic Convention riots wasn’t missed. “By Monday evening, after a few police/demonstrator clashes, some said they believed that the ugly scuffles would not overshadow what had amounted largely to an uneventful weekend.” Can’t argue with that.
There might also be something to be said for preparation and the successful tactic of “wall-to-wall” cops. The mayor, a big fan of leftist demonstrations, didn’t want major disruptions to upset his visiting buddy, Barack Obama, so he ordered all hands on deck. There were a few breakaway marches that did some destruction, but Oakland would consider that a mere trifle compared to their recent experiences. And there were the menacing marchers wearing anarchist masks. In many states, wearing a mask solely to hide one’s identity is illegal, but either Illinois doesn’t have such a law, or the police simply didn’t think it was worth enforcing.
In fact, the demonstrations were so lethargic that the Times felt it safe to report the fact that the usual suspects from the Occupy movement had shown up to demonstrate their solidarity with the other bums and creeps. Still, the streets were pretty full, and those few who actually had a thoughtful disagreement with NATO policy could scarcely get a placard or banner in edgewise.
So, it was indeed a relatively quiet weekend. That is, if you don’t count the ninety arrests and hundreds of detentions for everything from disturbing the peace, destruction of property, unlawful assembly (the breakaway groups), and lewd and lascivious public conduct. Mayor Rahm (“Rahmbo”) Emanuel praised the admirable restraint shown by the Chicago police. That might be simply because the police and federal authorities foiled a terrorist plot and seized incendiary devices (Molotov cocktails) which ostensibly were to be used on the mayor or Obama, or both. I suppose the difference between police restraint and police brutality depends on whose ox is about to be set on fire.