PJ Media reports that five “protestors” are suing Seattle. They claim the city effectively levied a “protest tax” by allowing police to use “military-grade munitions” to break up unruly crowds. The suit argues only people who are rich enough to buy armor have a First Amendment right to protest.
It looks to me like the real basis of the suit can be summed up as “No fair! You hit us back!” The cops dealing with the rioters in places such as Seattle have had rocks, bricks, and other projectiles lobbed at them. They’ve had large fireworks explode around them. They’ve been sprayed with bear spray which is much stronger than the pepper spray designed for use on humans. Most of the time, the police have held their fire, but when they have responded, they’ve used crowd control tools and techniques that are generally less dangerous than what they have faced.
While the military has access to the same sort of crowd control tools that the civilian police use, that doesn’t make them “military-grade munitions.”
BTW, just because a munition is “military-grade,” it isn’t necessarily too powerful to be in general circulation in society. The 9mm pistol cartridge used by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force is less powerful than the .40 S&W cartridge used in pistols carried by many officers of the Seattle Police. The 5.56 mm NATO rifle cartridge used in the M16 rifle and M4 carbine is less powerful than the .30/30 Winchester round that has been in hands of the public for over a century.
If the police cannot use a range of tools that are less dangerous than firearms when confronted with rioters and arsonists, their range of responses will be reduced as well. When faced with potentially lethal violence (one can be killed by a thrown brick, people die in fires), they will have to choose between retiring from the scene and leaving it to the rioters—or opening fire with live ammunition. When the Seattle Council voted to prevent the police using less lethal tools, the police chief let the community know that she would not risk her officers’ lives to protect property. A federal court has put the council’s order on hold for awhile, so the police haven’t faced a flee or fire choice. Yet.
I’m told it’s uncomfortable to be hit with a pepper ball. I’ll bet a 165-grain jacked hollow point bullet hurts worse.
As if it were a shooting star or, more to be hoped, a flash in the pan, Antifastan (aka CHAZ or CHOP) is no more. The promised “summer of love” has degenerated into a winter of discontent.
And if you think that protests at Mayor Jenny’s house located well away from Antifastan had anything to do with its demise, you’re probably the sort of unwoke, raaaaacist, capitalist, all-lives-matter Neanderthal who ties nooses while watching Fox News.
Apparently, there are no means of production to be seized in Antifastan.
UPDATE—I’m informed (h/t, @PolitiBunny) that the sign in this picture may not be at CHAZ, but might be at a site in Pennsylvania. However, as reported yesterday, Antifastan is not able to feed itself and has appealed for food aid.
… I can remember when our betters in the Progressive elite told us that we should believe all women. It seems that The Rules have changed in Seattle. Christopher F. Rufo has a post over at City Journal about what happened when a rape didn’t fit The Narrative.
A woman was raped by a resident of a Seattle city-sponsored homeless camp. When city officials dismissed calls for measures such as warrant screening at the camp, she worked with Rufo, a documentary film maker, to create a video telling her story in her own words. When the video was posted on FaceBook, the public’s reaction was supportive.
We edited the film together and posted it to Facebook on April 22. That evening, it was the lead story on all four local Seattle news networks and had reached more than 35,000 people on social media. The public renewed its call for warrant checks at city-sanctioned encampments. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan condemned the assault and commended “the courage of a survivor of sexual violence to speak out.”
Then the Progressive backlash hit.
Seattle’s activist class seems, then, to have more compassion for transient criminals than for the victims of their crimes. Lindsey’s story should be a clarion call for everyone who cares about violence against women. But in the tortured logic of intersectionality, the story of a homeless rapist demands “context,” while the white, blonde, middle-class target of his assault is an unsympathetic victim.
Lindsey’s story reveals a fault line opening between elite opinion and public opinion. Most private citizens praised Lindsey as a heroic survivor and echoed her call for greater safety at homeless encampments. They should reflect on the likelihood that their leaders’ contempt for her extends to them, too.