I thought it was implicit, but I guess I've not yet earned the benefit of the doubt here.
Throwing stuff at cops not currently engaged in illegal violent acts is morally wrong, and stupid.
If the cops are presently beating on somebody, the moral (and legal) issues are ambiguous, but it's still generally stupid. Once a decade or so, the circumstances may be such that a LITTLE bit of "fighting back" can be the catalyst for negotiations that would not happen if the Police felt immune.
The absolute STUPIDEST protester violence I can recall was a KKK rally in Beloit. A few of the "We Hate the Klan" guys tried to throw eggs over the cops at the klansmen. Predictably, the eggs fell short, hitting police. The anti-klan group, both those who'd thrown the eggs and the rest, predictably got smacked around.
In my experience (I've been at every Dem and Repub National Convention since '72 but 2) trouble usually comes not from a predetermined plan to comit meyhem, but from frustration, which can affect either cops or protesters, more often both.
Example: the cops who went nuts in LA had been told to stand out on blacktop all day in August, in their black riot gear. Those chasing marchers all day were likewise beat and overheated. I don't blame them for being in surly moods. I do blame the commanding officers who a) put them thru that, and b) failed to halt their taking those frustrations out on anyone who looked like they might have been a protester.
It doesn't help , of course, that in mediaculture, protests aren't News without either arrests, or even better "live action" footage.
A city wishing to avoid gnarly conflict is advised to take an expansive view of speech and assembly. let protesters close enough to be seen and heard, and (human nature here, not blackmail) they'll enjoy themselves, maybe get a little obnoxious, but nobody will get hurt. Try to fence them 2 miles out, like Quebec City, and don't act suprised when they try to pull down your fence.
Anyhow, I'm not trying to "justify" protester violence. I have no problem with someone who pitches a rock getting arrested, a fair trial, and if convicted, a sentence. I do object when the Police feel impunity to mete out sentences of their own. (See Philadelphia.)
Hm. is it time to turn this into a book?
I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State.
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