Sunday, April 11, 2010
“What Are You Going to Do Now?”
The conduct of Patriots from here on out is critical to the success of the movement. Peaceful protests are imperative or everything we’re doing will be for naught. So far Tea Party demonstrations have been peaceful and for the most part without massive police supervision. Let’s keep it that way.
I remember back in the ‘60s when we would organize our antiwar demonstrations in D.C. we always knew there would be cops and FBI. The cops were a piece of cake but the FBI agents were plain clothes and you never knew what they would do. Yes, they were very capable of creating disturbances that would sabotage our protest. Remember J. Edgar Hoover was in charge and we were on his home turf. He was credited for everything from the Kennedy assassination to the destruction of the Black Panther movement. With the cooperation of Georgetown University and the University of Maryland Law schools we always had lawyer volunteers on every corner to witness and record any incidents. It was reassuring to have them there because it never ended well. With SDS members we didn’t want peace we wanted war, which looking back was blatantly hypocritical.
Thus, this is the difference with our Tea Party demonstrators, we want peace, even though we’re pissed off, right. The average age is somewhere in the middle so we’re dealing with mature adults instead of radical dimwitted adolescents with nothing to lose.
I imagine the worst of demonstrations in modern American history came in August of 1968 in Chicago at the Democrat presidential convention where some of our guys along with the so called Yippies so provoked Chicago’s finest into a police riot of proportions never before seen on national TV. Oh yes, the three networks covered the Billy clubbing of reporters and uninvolved citizens. It was ugly to say the least and the Democrat party was exposed for the far left radical party it was and still is.
As a member of SDS my sympathies were for the demonstrators. My father of course being the strict Republican conservative had a problem with my opinion, a real big problem. He felt that most Democrats were assholes and they deserved the beating they got. So just days after the police riot in Chicago, the two of us went at it verbally when I came home to get my revolutionary clothes cleaned by my loving mother. Hey, revolutionaries don’t wash, everybody knows that.
Anyway, my father had a knack of cutting to the chase in any argument. His life and times during the depression and spending 4 years in China with the Flying Tigers in World War II left him with a no nonsense attitude which I seem to have picked up myself over the years. The argument was why the police had to beat the hell out of everybody and I felt they were out of line. The yelling reached a crescendo like no other we had had in the past when all of a sudden he stopped, there was silence, that’s when my mother dropped the laundry basket with a face of terror.
He then stepped forward and put his face so uncomfortably close to mine I thought I was about to die. He uttered these words I’ll never forget “what are you going to do now” as he spit in my face. I lurched back with my fists clinched ready to attack him, mom screamed and I stopped. He would have killed me for sure but I was going for it anyway.
You see in that one split second anyone can turn violent, a trained police officer or amateur revolutionary. In his crude but effective manner he simply illustrated to me that violence is just a second away.
This is why we should always remember, you are playing with fire when you take to the streets. It’s always important to be civil and lawful when doing something like this, you just never know when somebody might come up to you and say " what are you going to do now" and spit's in your face or worse.