[SPOILER: This post isn't going to go the way you think it is. ]
CNN is now reporting the police are shooting pepper spray and mace at the Occupy Denver protest, precipitated when protestors wanted to "get inside the capitol." This is on top of the Oakland incident when police fired tear gas canisters at protestors. One of the people injured was an Iraq war vet.
Here, you can watch a video of the vet's roomate describing what he understands of the situation.
Here is the most amazing part. The roommate says, "They were on a peaceful march and the police officers started randomly pulling protesters out of the march and arresting them when the protesters started throwing water and paint at the police officers."
"Randomly." Sir, I do not not think that word means what you think it means. You sound as if you are unfamiliar with cause and effect.
Let me see if I've got this right. Protesters throw things at police. Police arrest protesters. I would instead have said, "Police start started deliberately pulling protesters out of the march." Not "Randomly."
Civil disobedience is usually met by the police by civil arrest. Then you sing spirituals in the pokey wagon, or, if you are a celebrity, call your publicist. This is the course of events. Civil violence, on the other hand, is met by violence.
Here's what I don't get. I was in a riot once. Not for any good reason like Occupy Indiana University, but because IU won the college basketball championship. There were too many people, and they were very drunk, and my boyfriend used me as body armor as he ran through the crowd so he could stand in front of every camera he saw.
After an hour, the police arrived. Fine. It made me feel safer, really. They got out of their patrol cars. Great! Then people began rocking the patrol cars in an attempt to flip them over.
"Bye!" I said to my boyfriend.
"Cool! Look at those idiots trying to flip that police car! - Wait, what?"
He stayed and was excited to report later that the police in the riot gear arrived soon after. And I'm a little sad the police didn't try to mace him. Because when fellow rioters attack the police, you leave. Nothing to do with rights of assembly and civil disobedience. Stand up. Leave. Bye. Iraq war vet, maybe go up to the people throwing stuff and tell them to cut it out. Then, don't let a tear gas canister hit you on the way out.
Now we have Denver, and the protesters went from assembly (our right) to civil disobedience (trespassing on the official building, for which a person should be nobly and passively arrested) to whatever fill-in-the-blank violence provoked the mace bombs.
See, I told you it wasn't going to take my usual liberal turn. Fight the Power! Fight the Man! Lay off the police, though!