Scenes from a Militarized America

Monday, March 5th, 2012

About a thousand protesters showed up at the Virginia state capital over the weekend to protest pending anti-abortion legislation. Courtesy of Style Weekly, here’s how the Virginia State Police responded:

 

More photos here.

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106 Responses to “Scenes from a Militarized America”

  1. #1 |  Just some guy | 

    Gun owners, veterans and now pro-choice advocates are the new extremists… AKA homegrown terrorists.

  2. #2 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Style Weekly? Shit just got real.

    Seriously, this is terrible that the state responds to peaceful activism this way. Kent State is just around the corner and it’ll be called an “accident”.

  3. #3 |  Tolly | 

    If those pansy motherfuckers are so eager to wage war, pack their sorry highschool graduate asses up and send them to Afghanistan.

    Whoever authorized this insanity should be called out on the carpet and publicly shredded by the news and lawmakers. Insane to think how no one could ever explain the sanity behind the Kent State shootings – i.e. Why there were army personnel at a protest with live ammo – and now the jackoff thugs in charge think that writing a parking ticket requires an armored personnel carrier.

    Enough.

  4. #4 |  adamcrazypants | 

    I’m pretty sure that this is why anarchists throw bombs.

  5. #5 |  Anthony | 

    You can tell who came to riot by the way they’re dressed.

  6. #6 |  Deoxy | 

    3rd pic, sign on the ground next to the para-military-garb guys: “No war on women”. Actually kind of appropriate, considering this result!

    No, to make this fully fair, one side of the debate in this country is known for misbehaving protesters… but even considering that, this is still WAY WAY over the top.

    The whole “cover the face” thing in particular bothers me. Way to make this look like a free country, eh?

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    Why did the police have to respond at all? Like they were gonna storm the capital and take over the government?

  8. #8 |  picachu | 

    Tolly “If those pansy motherfuckers are so eager to wage war, pack their sorry highschool graduate asses up and send them to Afghanistan.”

    No way!

    People in Aghanistan actually fight back!

  9. #9 |  picachu | 

    Mattocracy “Why did the police have to respond at all? Like they were gonna storm the capital and take over the government?”

    Exactly! They respnded like that because they love dressing up and playing Rambo. This is a police culture problem, basically a bunch of boys playing soldier.

  10. #10 |  mdb | 

    The more I see of protests like this and OWS, the more I realize the liberals will never learn until it is too late. Remember they were there to ask the state to force others to do what they want. Liberals are as dumb as Bush dead enders.

  11. #11 |  picachu | 

    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for taking arms against the American people.

  12. #12 |  picachu | 

    mdb ” Remember they were there to ask the state to force others to do what they want. Liberals are as dumb as Bush dead enders.”

    Precisely why liberal or conservative is so meaningless now, it’s simply this-are you a libertarian or an authoritarian?

  13. #13 |  Graham Shevlin | 

    Another drive-by empty sloganeer attempts to crap all over the thread…bye bye mdb, don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

  14. #14 |  Mykeru | 

    On one cop photo posted on Buzzfeed, on his styling vest and Kevlar cod-piece combo, I counted at least three double stack pistol magazines and perhaps six magazines for his MP5, carried in a mish-mash of Condor and Fox triple-mag tactical gear complete with a bungee sling.

    That’s at least 250 or so rounds of ammo alone.

    Seriously, what the fuck?

    As one of the Facebook comments noted, VA cops never showed up locked and loaded like this for rallies of armed Teabaggers.

    Although, that may be due to my theory that most cops are craven, fear-driven pussies who can only bully what they perceive as a soft target.

  15. #15 |  Thom | 

    The police don’t just love dressing up and playing soldier, they also love overtime. These kinds of things are huge for these gangs of welfare queens.

  16. #16 |  albatross | 

    Why are they wearing masks over their faces? Is this to keep warm, or to hide their identities?

  17. #17 |  Don’t Bring a Sign to a Gun Fight « Fez Dispenser | 

    [...] can tell who came to riot by the way they were dressed. This is from a protest against anti-abortion legislation that was, by all accounts, peaceful. To [...]

  18. #18 |  CyniCAl | 

    #4 | adamcrazypants — “I’m pretty sure that this is why anarchists throw bombs.”

    Real anarchists eschew violence to achieve their goals. You are confusing anarchists with statists. Statists are the ones enamored with violence.

  19. #19 |  StrangeOne | 

    c’mon CyniCAL no reason to play “no true scotsman” on this one. Some anarchists eschew violence, and some don’t. There’s plenty of arguments to be made that the violence of the state won’t end until its agents fear a violent response from the people they would oppress. We see it time and time again on this very website how armed citizens are generally given a more cautious and considered approach than the unarmed general populace.

    Of course it rarely ends well for anyone, because most people don’t begin their resistance until already surrounded by the state. In an attempt to be more civil than the state agents have any intention of being, the people tend to give up all of their tactical advantages.

  20. #20 |  Juice | 

    That last pic summarizes the whole thing nicely.

  21. #21 |  Brian | 

    Like #6, the part that bothers me more than anything else is the cops covering their faces up. I can’t think of any reason for that other than to conceal their identity because they expect to need the anonymity. If they’re going to claim some safety reason for hiding their faces, their badge number should be in GIANT numbers on their helmet and gear, at a minimum.

  22. #22 |  derfel cadarn | 

    I am overwhelmed by America”‘ Freedom,Liberty And Tolerance. Our RIGHT to speak freely even in opposition is fully demonstrated by these photos. What I find truly amazing is that no one was shot by our benevolent overseers. This my good friends is the standing army that our founders warned us about.

  23. #23 |  croaker | 

    Just wait until Obama(lamadingdong) signs HR347. At that point the mere presence of SS will give them permission to open fire.

  24. #24 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #22

    The term “homegrown terrorist” depends on who you are talking to and who is the subject. Plenty of theocons would welcome this at a pro-choice rally and hope the government thugs do stomp them and hurt a few in the process. Likewise many liberals would love to see the same government thugs at Tea Party rallies and hope for the same thing.

    #14

    Eh I disagree, remember Cons are the voting base for government thugs so they (the thugs) can be open about abusing cons at their rallies as opposed to stomping liberal or libertarian rallies.

  25. #25 |  Mykeru | 

    @croaker

    HR347: “The bill makes it a federal offense “to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”

    Oh stop being paranoid. There’s just no way that can be abused to stifle dissent.

    Although, now that I think about it, can’t making it a crime “to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct” lead to the immediate arrest of the Republicans in Congress?

    I must be missing something.

  26. #26 |  winston smith | 

    manly men……………

  27. #27 |  Brandon | 

    #24, have you ever tried being anything other than a partisan hack? Maybe thinking? Or is that too hard?

  28. #28 |  Maria | 

    @#24 “Oh stop being paranoid. There’s just no way that can be abused to stifle dissent. ”
    You’re being sarcastic right? Please tell me you’re being sarcastic. I haven’t had my coffee today so my sarcas-o-meter is a bit off.

  29. #29 |  pim FEE | 

    Militarization of America = bad. Abortion = worse.

  30. #30 |  CyniCAl | 

    You’re missing the point Strange One. Violence and the State are an equation.

    Violence = The State

    The State = Violence

    The only way to not be a Statist is to refrain from violence. Engaging in violence automatically makes one a Statist, regardless of what one calls oneself, regardless of what one’s political beliefs are.

    If the term “anarchist” is too corrupted by common usage to be relevant anymore, then I submit “anti-statist” for your consumption.

    The point is the same. Perpetuating violence does nothing to end violence.

  31. #31 |  Mykeru | 

    @Maria

    Sarcasm? Me?

  32. #32 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Caption contest…
    “I love playing soldier, but prefer shooting enemies who aren’t allowed to shoot back.”

    Makes me ill.

  33. #33 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I should like to point out that both Pro-Choice and Pro-Life protester have long histories of violent behaviour including, but not limited to, throwing things, and setting fires.

    That is, BTW, excluding the bombers and abortion-doctor assassins.

    I think that the cops are going overboard, but neither side of that debate can be trusted to behave in a civil manner.

  34. #34 |  Mykeru | 

    @CyniCal

    “The only way to not be a Statist is to refrain from violence. Engaging in violence automatically makes one a Statist, regardless of what one calls oneself, regardless of what one’s political beliefs are.”

    See, normally I would point out that some dumb-assed assertion of an Ayn Rand-style argument by definition is a sure sign of the coming moron apocalypse, but I have to go get Maria some coffee, so I’ll just give you a 2/10 troll rating and be done with it.

  35. #35 |  GaryM | 

    Subtle (?) intimidation.

  36. #36 |  pim FEE | 

    I did a little looking around and saw many cops in normal uniforms. I also read that nobody was hurt. Are we suppose to let these radicals stop the democratic process?

  37. #37 |  CyniCAl | 

    Yes, Mykeru, your ad hominems are an improvement to the discussion. You don’t even merit a troll rating.

    But I am curious as to your point. Pro-violence, are you?

  38. #38 |  StrangeOne | 

    #30

    I can’t decide if that actually is CyniCAL typing the dumbest thing hes ever typed or a very poor troll using his name. I’m leaning towards the latter.

  39. #39 |  Danny | 

    In the current political climate, there is actually a non-negligible risk of a shooting rampage directed AGAINST pro-choice demonstrators.

    I am under no illusion, however, that thwarting such a possibility was the purpose or intent of the paramilitary presence. It was an unsubtle attempt at political intimidation.

  40. #40 |  Ross | 

    mY DAUGHTER

  41. #41 |  Aaron C. de Bruyn | 

    They are *so* military it looks like they’ve even managed to get their flag patch tinted green in that first picture…

  42. #42 |  Ross | 

    What a crock. 1000 women against an equal number of State Troopers. Although in the troopers favor, they were doing what they were told to do. Seems to me to be part of the Southern charm.

  43. #43 |  Mykeru | 

    @ Mike Leatherwood

    ““I love playing soldier, but prefer shooting enemies who aren’t allowed to shoot back.”

    Too true.

    Here’s a short-version of a cool story bro:

    Some years back I attended a protest in front of the White House where some Free Republic douche-bags were counter protesting. I was wearing a Camelbak and lycra biking clothes. The Freepers wrote online that I was there in some strange BDSM outfit (yeah, they are brilliant). And because I tapped on a sign one of the freeper kids was trained to hold up in front of people’s cameras (with a hearty guffaw from dad) they made the additional comment that I was “touching people’s children”.

    This was but one of a series of running poo-flinging contests I had with the freepers and similar right-wing authoritarian nut cases, which often ended with them intimating that they knew where I lived, talk about the “bullet with my name on it”, etc.

    Usual Internet Tough Guy crap.

    So, around that time I posted a YouTube video of me taking my vintage M1-Carbine out for a spin, essentially banging a couple of thirty round magazines through it as fast as I could. To the tune of “Fine and Dandy”.

    A few weeks later I’m walking by the White House again and there I see Kristen Taylor of the Free Republic. He sees me and begins walking away. Quickly. I follow him thinking he’s just trying to avoid my being pissed off by their idiots comments.

    In fact, when I catch up to him he’s sputtering about my having a gun and the video I posted. As if I had the rifle on me. In front of the White House. And after all the gun-toting crap they spewed I didn’t quite get the intensity of the reaction until I realized that all their gun bravado is based on the assumption that they will be bearing arms against a bunch of unarmed pacifist tree huggers and not a well-armed and gun proficient leftist such as myself. I belong to some survival and primitive skill groups and my preferred melee weapons are long knife and tomahawk, probably as a result of channeling Wes Studi.

    The incident sticks in my mind an I recall it every time I come across what David Niewert of Orcinus calls “eliminationist” rhetoric from the right.

    Right-wing gun puffery immediately deflates when they face the prospect of shooting at someone who might shoot back.

    The cops at the protest are in the same league. They aren’t playing soldier. They aren’t being over-cautious. Against a bunch of mostly left-wing women protesting for reproductive rights, what they are doing can only be interpreted as bullying and state-sanctioned intimidation. That the people they are doing it to pose no real threat defuses nothing. Rather, in typical bully fashion, the perceived weakness of the opposition makes this form of intimidation that much more compelling.

    And that they are doing it under color of authority makes them completely dickless cowards. And ridiculous.

  44. #44 |  Marty | 

    they were just there to impress the ladies…

  45. #45 |  Goober | 

    Why are they wearing masks? What are they hiding from? It seems to me that they are required to identify themselves when asked – badge number and so forth. So why the masks?

  46. #46 |  all day every day | 

    #6
    #16
    covering the face makes me uncomfortable too – masking is a complicated psychological signal, there is shame, intimidation and dehumanization etc.. all contained within the hiding of human facial features.

  47. #47 |  Dante | 

    Here’s an important note about Virginia SWAT teams:

    When the nut job was shooting and killing 30 students at Virginia Tech, the SWAT team hid outside until all the shooting stopped. There is video of some of them ducking behind a parked car.

    Heroes, one and all. So brave and humble and most of all, honest!

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  48. #48 |  Mykeru | 

    @CyniCAl

    “Yes, Mykeru, your ad hominems are an improvement to the discussion. You don’t even merit a troll rating.”

    You would think that’s ad hominem. But that’s because you’re an idiot.

    “But I am curious as to your point. Pro-violence, are you?”

    Define “pro-violence”.

    If you are supposedly “anti-violence”, does that mean you reject the use of violence in all situations including personal and third-party self defense? Does my lesser-of-evils acceptance of violence for self-defense of myself or others make me “pro-violence” in your eyes?

    I doubt you are as “anti-violence” as you make yourself out to be. I would love to hear the exemptions to the standards you impose on others that you gift yourself with.

    You may be that “anti-violence”. However, your failing to protect yourself or intercede to protect others may just me that you either like it rough, or you just like to watch.

  49. #49 |  divadab | 

    I challenge anyone to find a better example of the feminization of the police force. What a bunch of fags!

  50. #50 |  Goober | 

    I’ve never figured ou the leftist way of thinking – they protest constantly about the government this and the government that and how the government is enslaving women and so forth…

    yet, their solution to these problems is always, without fail, to give the government more power over everything. The cognitive dissonance is just deafening.

  51. #51 |  Mykeru | 

    @divadab

    They can’t be feminized or fags. If you look, you can see that some of their tactical accessories don’t color coordinate.

  52. #52 |  Mykeru | 

    @Goober

    “I’ve never figured ou the leftist way of thinking – they protest constantly about the government this and the government that and how the government is enslaving women and so forth…”

    You’re not even trying.

  53. #53 |  EH | 

    Mykeru:
    See, normally I would point out that some dumb-assed assertion of an Ayn Rand-style argument by definition is a sure sign of the coming moron apocalypse, but I have to go get Maria some coffee, so I’ll just give you a 2/10 troll rating and be done with it.

    “Maria,” huh? You have papers for her?

  54. #54 |  celticdragonchick | 

    As one of the Facebook comments noted, VA cops never showed up locked and loaded like this for rallies of armed Teabaggers.

    Yep.

    You can tell which group has Virginia political approval.

  55. #55 |  CB | 

    @#12 | picachu |

    Yes! Both sides are using or threatening force (which is still force). One side is using the violent proxy of the state (political action to obtain desired laws and rule) and the other side is simply more obvious in its display of violence. BOTH sides ARE the state!

    Perhaps a few of the protesters realize this and have embraced the non-aggression principle, don’t vote (it’s proxy violence), attempt to get laws passed, and leverage the proxy guns of the state to force their wishes on others, but I doubt it.

    @CyniCAl, Mykeru

    The term anarchist does set off alarms in many people’s minds. That’s why I try to talk in terms of the non-aggression principle. Once people embrace the non-aggression principle, there can be no state. Embracing the NAP and a stateless society will not eliminate violence from society, however, which most followers of the non-aggression principle probably know, but it would certainly greatly reduce it!

    #34 | Mykeru: It is only necessary to stop initiating aggression against others to end the state. The natural and moral right to defend oneself exists in a stateless or state society. Given that the proxy aggression and violence of the state is ubiquitous and initiated on everyone, its is often, difficult to determine whether an act of violence against the state is an initiation of aggression or a defensive response.

  56. #56 |  celticdragonchick | 

    @Mykeru

    Exactly.

    I have read (nearly) countless threats of violence from right wing bully boys just as you describe. Presumably, they jerk off while fantasizing about shooting all the unarmed “libtards” at an Occupy camp…since they really seem to equate sexual prowness with assault rifles and threats to use them.

    I mention, from time to time, that I am:

    A. Not a pacifist
    B. Most definitely not unarmed
    C. I am perfectly competent in shooting my Chinese PLA mod detach mag SKS rifle. my .45 Thompson carbine (semi auto tommygun), my .30-06 and my King’s 2nd land pattern Brown Bess musket (with bayonet)

    Funny how the boasting and the threats cease.

  57. #57 |  picachu | 

    I generally believe the non-aggression principle is the best way to handle things but I would not be above using a thunderbolt attack outside the confines of a pokemon battle under the right conditions.

  58. #58 |  mdb | 

    @56

    The only people that brought guns to an OWS camp was the government (and maybe a few of the protestors from the reports). The force “libtards” hope to use to extract taxes and force compliance was the ONLY force used against OWS.

  59. #59 |  Mykeru | 

    @celticdragonchick

    First, just to get this out of the way: Mossberg 500 with a Knoxx recoil-reduction folding wire stock and UTG tactical light/laser sight combo, Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911a, Gerber Mark II knife I’ve had since I was like 15 and United Cutlery m48 tactical tomahawk. That’s what I take for a tramp in the woods.

    One of the most frustrating things from the left is when you get the moral one-upper. No matter what the threat, you’re always going to find some douche who thinks he’s Ghandi-lite and has absolutely no moral qualms about other people suffering for his pacifist principles.

    Frustrating, because time and time again it’s proved that bullies back down. In fact, not confronting bullies is pretty much enabling the bastards. And yes, I too draw the connection between online/IRL bullying and wank fantasies…

    I once had the dubious pleasure, lack of common sense and too much time on my hands of having it out with one of the most infamous, gutless net bullies, now archived as Lord Spatula: The Complete Tool.

    Make yourself a cup of coffee, some popcorn and enjoy:

    http://goo.gl/muv3R

  60. #60 |  Mykeru | 

    @mdb

    “The only people that brought guns to an OWS camp was the government (and maybe a few of the protestors from the reports).”

    What “reports”? Does your ass have its own newsletter? Or does it just excrete the New York Post?

  61. #61 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#4

    I’m pretty sure that this is why anarchists throw bombs.

    I’m pretty sure that this is why anarchists.

  62. #62 |  Cyto | 

    #30 | CyniCAl | March 5th, 2012 at 12:53 pm
    ….
    The point is the same. Perpetuating violence does nothing to end violence.

    Well, unless you apply enough violence. That’ll reduce the violence by at least half.

    /oblig. – You know who else tried to apply enough violence….

  63. #63 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    There’s a whole lot of incorrect views of anarchists. If you enjoy screaming about stuff you don’t know–as a way of learning, I highly recommend reddit group /r/anarchism (great screaming). Or, /r/Anarcho_Capitalism/ for learning via thoughtful discussion. Right-hand margins have great start-up guides.

    I don’t believe Radley’s blog is a great way to learn/teach/rage-on topics like anarchy, An-Cap, voluntarism, etc. This is obviously my humble opinion and it doesn’t include omitting all “anti-state” perspective.

  64. #64 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    /oblig. – You know who else tried to apply enough violence….

    I liked thinking you meant Chuck Norris, but I know you meant Hitler.

  65. #65 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Lots of bad asses here today. Heading over to bodybuilding.com for some less testosteronific posts.

    But seriously, read what these pics brought out on Radley Blog! Now think of how the rocket scientists wearing the armor are feeling when charging into a dirty hippie.

  66. #66 |  Mykeru | 

    @Boyd

    “Lots of bad asses here today. Heading over to bodybuilding.com for some less testosteronific posts.”

    Don’t let me catch you in an enclosed space. I will flex, and you will be destroyed.

  67. #67 |  Cyto | 

    #64 | Boyd Durkin | March 5th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    /oblig. – You know who else tried to apply enough violence….

    I liked thinking you meant Chuck Norris, but I know you meant Hitler.

    Couldn’t have been Chuck Norris. Because “trying” implies the possibility of failure.

  68. #68 |  CB | 

    @mdb

    >“The only people that brought guns to an OWS camp was the government
    >(and maybe a few of the protestors from the reports).”

    Yes, but the Occupiers want new laws to serve their interests and agenda and laws are enforced by the guns of the state. So the occupiers have their guns too; they are simply proxy guns!

    Occupiers == Laws
    Laws == Force
    Force == Violence
    Occupiers == Violence

    I’m not defending either “side.” I don’t see two sides, fundamentally. I just see the problems of the state.

  69. #69 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Goober,

    I don’t know why the cops are wearing masks, but I know why I would be in their position. Protesters from both ends of the political spectrum have shown a tendency to throw noxious liquids, ostensibly as ‘symbolic’ of something or other. Paint, urine, urine and feces mixed, and blood have all been used with abandon. Protesters in this country do not, typically, think through their ‘symbolic’ actions at a protest and consider the likely real-world consequences. Given the fondness for fire as a symbol, I am amazed that so few protesters have managed to toast themselves. Anyway; if I was a LEO posted to a protest where I thought ‘symbolic gestures’ were likely, I would cover up as much as possible.

  70. #70 |  Mykeru | 

    @C. S. P. Schofield

    “I don’t know why the cops are wearing masks, but I know why I would be in their position. Protesters from both ends of the political spectrum have shown a tendency to throw noxious liquids, ostensibly as ‘symbolic’ of something or other.”

    1. Damn, that’s ad hoc.

    2. Most of the “noxious liquids” at protests have come from authorities

    3. In NYC OWS protesters who protected themselves against “noxious liquids” dispensed by the police could be arrested on the basis of a vague and over-broad ordinance against wearing masks.

    I do admire your brave stand, when viewing a completely asymmetrical power relationship, of standing firm against the ones without any power.

    I look forward to your explanation of why police routinely put tape over their name and/or badge number at protests.

  71. #71 |  discarted | 

    There doesn’t appear to be a single visible name and badge number on those soliders’ uniforms.

  72. #72 |  Mattocracy | 

    Mykeru has really managed to bring down the discussion on this thread. Cause being an abrasive asshole about everything you disagree with always makes for constructive conversation.

  73. #73 |  omar | 

    Mattocracy, don’t worry, the Internet Tough Guy is here and he’s from the Internet and his weapons are custom.

    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/sm/custom/d1883bec7d.jpg

  74. #74 |  JSL | 

    Actually, we’re safe Omar, ITG has been 403′d. :)

  75. #75 |  JSL | 

    Oh, and I’m glad to see that from that first picture VA cops have figured out the correct way to mount an Eotech sight, unlike the NYC cops.

  76. #76 |  Michael S | 

    @CB,
    There are pre-existing “laws are enforced by the guns of the state.”
    If you want to say
    Occupiers == Laws
    then you have to admit
    Passive, non-occupiers == Laws

    The state has guns, either way. The bottom line is that you’re trying to say the occupiers were threatened with their own guns. When a gun is pointed at you and it isn’t your finger on the trigger, it is not your gun.

  77. #77 |  Maria | 

    “Protesters from both ends of the political spectrum have shown a tendency to throw noxious liquids, ostensibly as ‘symbolic’ of something or other.”

    Yes, because woolen/nylon ski masks sure do protect the wearer from acid or gas. Or was it supposed to be protection against glitter? Or cream pies?

    Hell, you know what, I’ve had some pretty noxious pies in my day. I sympathize with the GI Joes. It was real school-girl-walking-through-Taliban-territory-hell that they faced on those steps. I get it.

    Ps. I’m still waiting for my coffee.

  78. #78 |  Debi | 

    “I should like to point out that both Pro-Choice and Pro-Life protester have long histories of violent behaviour including, but not limited to, throwing things, and setting fires.

    That is, BTW, excluding the bombers and abortion-doctor assassins.”

    C. S. P. Schofield – I have been to a number of pro-choice and women’s rights marches and rallies in the DC area over the last 20 years. Aside from the yelling across sides (sometimes in each other’s faces), I haven’t seen violence from protesters during those activities. Where are these violent protesters you’re talking about? What long history of violent behavior? Citations, please.

    It looks to me like this particular march and rally was very peaceful, except for the threat of the police. I’m thrilled that so many people showed up to have their voices heard, and sickened that Virginia is so frightened of dissent that they chose to try to silence those voices. Looks like it’s biting them in the butt with all the coverage this is getting!

  79. #79 |  BamBam | 

    @76 CB was illustrating Occupiers and their desire for violence via proxy due to laws and thus government = violence. You are correct in stating that non-occupiers can also call for violence via proxy. However, CB clearly stated his belief in the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), and thus it doesn’t matter how one defines X as a group of people when X = NAP, because NAP is the opposite of laws=government=violence.

  80. #80 |  el coronado | 

    @#43 –

    that was a lovely story there, pard. Oh, I don’t believe a word of it, but really: lovely. Action! Witty repartee! Breathless Adventure in your fight against the “right-wing authoritarians”.

    Quick question: from Jan 2009-Jan 2011, the freedom-lovin’ left-wing unauthoritarians held both legislative chambers, and the Executive office. Can you help a brother out, & name some of the things they did do to roll back the police state that were established under the sinister right-wingers? Did they stop all DOD/Federal grants to local PD’s? Did they disband the TSA, or at least severely curtail their growing assholishness? Pass laws curtailing the ever-growing police militarization like we see in those pics? Anything like that? Anything at all?

    Thought not.

  81. #81 |  Personanongrata | 

    Most certainly looks like the politicans infesting the Virginia state capital are more than a little afraid.

    All I see are Sturmabteilung.

    Statist thugs one and all.

  82. #82 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Mykeru,

    The cops have no excuse for taping over their name tags … or, rather, they probably have an EXCUSE, they ALWAYS have and excuse, but not a good one.

    I’ll grant that there are probably more peaceful (no throwing stuff) protests than non-peaceful ones, but if I was a cop (which the gods forbid!) I would be wearing something to keep paint, fake blood, real blood, etc off of my skin. The Choice/Life argument has gotten nasty entirely too often. Yes, the cops in this country are entirely too goddamned fond of pepper-spray (and worse). That doesn’t change the fact that the protesters in this country are entirely too goddamned fond of throwing liquids at people.

  83. #83 |  Whim | 

    I notice several things about the poseurs posing as Virginia State Police:

    1. Their name tapes (if any) are obscured by their armored vests and ammo pouches.

    2. I was introduced to the Virginia State Police hiding their faces with balaclavas during the Bradley Manning Rally at outside of the Quantico VA Marine Brig back in early 2011. Anonymous police (and Kent State Ohio National Guardmen all wearing gas masks) allows the armed individuals anonymity if they choose to violate the constitutional rights (or machine-gun to death) peaceful protestors.

    3. The individual jack-booted Virginia State Trooper (again, anonymous as his name tape is missing or hidden), and he is wearing a brown balaclava to hide his face and is fingering what appears to be the ubiquitous Flash-Bang grenades. You can tell he’s just dying to pull the pin, and throw one at the peaceful protestors.

    Down boy…..easy.

    You’ll get a chance to beat the peaceful prisoners later, while chanting the patented police mantra:

    STOP RESISTING, STOP RESISTING, STOP RESISTING.

  84. #84 |  JOR | 

    “Lots of bad asses here today.”

    Yeah. I wonder why the implicit glorification of the state’s hired killers/arsonists in the military (imperial police) always comes up in discussions about the militarization of the contract kidnappers/killers in its (domestic) police. “The cops are just pussies who wish they were real soldiers! They should go out and fight people who shoot back. Etc. etc.

    It’s probably the same instinct/cultural attitude/whatever it is that causes people to say that the problem with bullies is that they’re cowards. Because they don’t pick fights with people who are stronger than them, or whatever. As if morally sane people go around picking fights with stronger folks all the time. No, the problem with bullies is that they harass, assault and batter people. Some of them generally pick weaker people to victimize. Some of them are more equal opportunity assholes, but of course they generally only successfully bully the weaker. But the decision to prey on weaker game is a rational one for a predator. If it’s ‘cowardice’ then so is resisting or intervening against a bully effectively (doing it effectively implies you do so with some kind of advantage, which means you do so unfairly, which means it’s “cowardly”, or something).

    Any soldier who is still breathing is still breathing because he either neutralized his enemies while they were unarmed, or unprepared, or in instants of a conflict where they were not in fact threats to him (they were distracted or out of ammo or outmaneuvered or fucked up tactically or were otherwise not shooting him in the face), or because he never saw combat at all. Almost all successful violence is “cowardly”, that’s why it is successful. There’s no such thing as a fair fight, and there’s no kill like overkill.

    And besides, a lot of these cops aren’t wannabe soldiers. They’re veterans who want to keep kicking the shit out of “bad guys” and terrorizing families with rifles and grenades, but with better pay and benefits.

    CyniCal may be conflating anarchism with pacifism, but he’s on the right track in seeing the glorification of violence as the heart of statism. Even legitimate violence (assuming there is such a thing) will be “unfair” and “cowardly”, insofar as it doesn’t get you killed.

  85. #85 |  Bergman | 

    The People have the right to assemble and peacefully petition the government. And the government, in turn, sends guys in battle armor with explosives and automatic weapons to deal with the assembled People.

    Fair enough. But something I’ve always wondered. What if a protestor showed up dressed like a SWAT team member, armed to the same extent, and stood there peacefully exercising his rights? How would the police press release characterize his action?

    Odds are, the words aggressive, belligerent, provocation and domestic terrorist would figure prominently. Even if he never fired a shot and never made a threatening gesture. So how should we characterize police dressed the same way, armed the same way, in their response to a peaceful, lawful action they are forbidden by the highest law to interfere with?

  86. #86 |  Michael S | 

    #84: You’ve described the difference between a predator and someone we implicitly glorify.

    The difference between someone who kills in “instants of a conflict where they were not in fact threats to him” and kills unarmed protesters is that an unarmed protester is not about to shoot you back. With most protestors, there is no imminent danger and there are alternative courses of action. That is why cowardice is not uniform between them.

  87. #87 |  Free Speech shut down at peaceful rally in Virginia - INGunOwners | 

    [...] I've been reading up on this. I haven't seen a report of things getting out of hand until those that brought grenade launchers and covered their faces. Where was the problem before the Eo-techs and thigh holsters with covered faces showed up? Scenes from a Militarized America | The Agitator [...]

  88. #88 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #80

    His story may or may not be true but his description of Freepers sounds pretty spot on. However if you take out Freeper and replace it with Kos its just the same scum, different pond.

  89. #89 |  Charles | 

    Bergman, I saw where citizens showed up at a protest in Arizona to protect the protesters. It was an interesting interaction, but the police recognized the right to be carrying AR15s.
    Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkE3GnsLF0w

  90. #90 |  el coronado | 

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Cynic-NY. It just pisses me off when lefty douchebags act like the “rightwingers” are the point of the spear when it comes to police/nanny state mission creep. Seems to me they both have about the same sorry track record on it, and the lefties are maybe even a tad MORE authoritative. We never hear of lefties complaining about the sinister environmentalist po-po driving farmers out of business in Oregon and central CA in order to save a useless fucking *fish*. Why? “Cause that’s *good* police-state tactics!

    When the brave Warriors burned the kids alive at Waco, who was Prez? And even though his bulldyke AG “took the blame”, she went on ahead and kept the job for another 8 years or so, no doubt feeling guilty about all that “blame” she “accepted”, but she bravely soldiered on, didn’t she. When they sent the crack Immigration Commando Team, armed with full-auto MP-5′s, to snatch the cuban kid, who was Prez? And with this latest ‘show of force’ farce in VA, who’s Prez? Democrats all, right? And not one fucking peep of protest from any of ‘em, right?

    So tell us again about the “right-wing authoritarians”, ok?

  91. #91 |  John C. Randolph | 

    So, is it a good thing or a bad thing that the cops are so ashamed that they’re hiding their faces?

    -jcr

  92. #92 |  John C. Randolph | 

    the lefties are maybe even a tad MORE authoritative

    It was FDR who decided he was entitled to lock up innocent people for their race, It was Harry Truman who decided he had the authority to go to war without a declaration, and it was Obama who decided that he’s entitled to order people killed without any declaration of war, letter of marque, conviction, or even so much as an indictment.

    So yeah, the Ruling Party’s left wing of the probably edges out the right wing when it comes to power-grabbing, although Tricky Dick certainly gave them a run for their money.

    -jcr

  93. #93 |  Pi Guy | 

    Fezzik: You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.

    For a big dumb guy, it sure seems as tho Fezzik was onto something…

    Fezzik: Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?
    Man in Black: Oh no, it’s just that they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

    Maria @77: “Yes, because woolen/nylon ski masks sure do protect the wearer from acid or gas. Or was it supposed to be protection against glitter? Or cream pies?”

    See? See? Function and Beautiful. :)

  94. #94 |  Pugnacious | 

    At a speech by Madeleine Albright at a Southern university three years ago, I saw the same sort of Delta Force protection types along the streets leading to the theater where the event was held. And, too, inside the auditorium, all exits and entrances were guarded by these robocops carrying 9mm Glocks.

    Standing on the stage behind the curtains during the speech was the College Dean of Journalism. After Albright’s speech supporting the Coming Cyber Warfare Wars, puff and fluff questions from the audience were read by the dean to Albright. Not one question was asked about her years as Secretary of State and the horrible starvation deaths of over 600,000 Iraqi infants and toddlers brought on by UN Sanctions Starvation Blockade.

    I always wondered why she was in her late 50s before she discovered that she was Jewish. Wasn’t it always evident?

  95. #95 |  Mykeru | 

    @Cynical in New York

    “His story may or may not be true but his description of Freepers sounds pretty spot on. However if you take out Freeper and replace it with Kos its just the same scum, different pond.”

    The story is true. And if push comes to shove and internet archiving allowing, I could prove everything peripheral to the events, including Freeper posts, videos, and such. Obviously I can’t prove unrecorded personal conversations on the street.

    I disagree with the “everything has its equivalent argument” which tends to be deployed by people whose aim is to express a snotty, holier-than-everyone agnosticism. You know the type, they despise religion, but then claim atheism is a form of religion so they can be above that too. In that way of thinking Fox News and MSNBC are the same thing on polar ends of the political spectrum (assuming a rat’s ass tight spectrum), Creationists are nutters, but then, Evolution fails due to a lack of absolute certainty science never aspires to anyway, the cops are at fault for gearing up like the army surplus version of Voltron, but those pesky protesters are just as bad because someone once threw an egg.

    Everyone is in the wrong, except for the snotty false-equivalence spouter, who is just smarter, more moral, dresses better and has a better g-spot locating prehensile penis than the masses of knuckle-dragging, feces flinging troglodytes.

    The only thing they are wrong about, and therefore not superior, is in the dumb false equivalence, of course.

    The eliminationist right has bee responsible for not only death threats, but often acting on those threats from intimidation to action. My personal experience with the right can be discounted, but bloggers such as David Neiwart has extensively documented the threats of the eliminationist right.

    Yet, in typical snotty false equalizer fashion, you claim posters to The Daisy Kos do the same thing.

    Well, your assertion is good enough for me.

    No, wait, sorry, I just remembered that something asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Like the way you claim my story may or may not be true. Your claim, similarly, may or may not be true, but assuming it is not true is the default position.

    So why don’t you humor me by presenting some equivalent Daily Kos intimidation, death threats, even a couple or congressional district maps marked by cross-hairs and a photo or two of a Daily Kos member at a public rally with a sign reading “I didn’t bring my gun THIS TIME”, and calls to put various democrats and progressives in Gitmo, all of which is pretty standard Freeper fare, and then we can talk.

  96. #96 |  Mykeru | 

    @el coronado

    “When the brave Warriors burned the kids alive at Waco,”

    Yup, Someone got their advanced degree in wingnuttery from “Waco: Rules of Engagement”.

    Fleer footage: Cutting edge pareidolia for people bored with finding Jesus in a taco.

  97. #97 |  CyniCAl | 

    #48 | Mykeru — “You would think that’s ad hominem. But that’s because you’re an idiot.”

    Wow! You win! You are a masturbator, er … master debater Mykeru. Go fuck yourself hard.

  98. #98 |  el coronado | 

    The outstanding feature of the modern liberal is not his/her ability to deny what his/her lyin’ eyes are seeing – rather it is, I think, their easy acceptance of differing political views and even some criticisms. “Let a thousand flowers bloom”, as Mao said – right about the time he orchestrated the deaths of tens of millions who didn’t think in the manner he demanded.

    Still, in Mao’s defense, he burned through less bandwidth than Mykeru in rationalizing his laughable, grotesque hypocrisy.

  99. #99 |  Heron | 

    Mykeru @ #43: I pretty much agree with all of that. The only thing I would add is the timeline behind the pictures posted here. Virginia lege schedules to vote for trans-vaginal ultrasound bill; women show up in droves to silently protest, shaming the lege; lege backs down on bill but continues with other anti-abortion legislation; state cops start showing up fully armed in numbers equivalent to the women protesting. It seems pretty clear to me that the lege found themselves confronted with the consequences of their own actions, didn’t like being reminded that they aren’t unbounded demi-gods living far above it all, and decided to respond with some “intimidation” of their own. What I see in those pics, as much as a bunch of cops being their usual charming selves, is the Virginia legislature saying to those women “you might have beat us this time, but we’re still bigger than you.”

  100. #100 |  Heron | 

    el coronado @ # 98: What exactly is hypocritical about Mykeru? The fact that he owns guns? Not all liberals are anti-gun; in fact, the Democratic party was pretty much run by the very pro-gun Texas branch of it from about the time of Sam Rayburn until the 1970s. I myself certainly believe that regulation of gun ownership, and shall we say “accoutrement”, is Constitutional, if for no other reason than the long history of gun regulation in the US going back to the Founding, but I still acknowledge the right to own weapons. You’d do well to remember that the men who wrote the 2nd Amendment in the first place were, to a man, champions of “liberal” values which those of us still more loyal to the ideals of the Enlightenment more than modern political factions hold dear.

  101. #101 |  Rog | 

    @Heron,

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Regulation is infringement regardless of the “long history of gun regulation in the US going back to the Founding.” Gun regulation is an expression of fear of those owning guns. If government has no intention of turning on its’ own citizens they have nothing to fear from gun owners, on the other hand… And don’t bother with the “criminal” argument, a criminal will use whatever is at hand to facilitate his crime, including guns acquired in spite of gun regulation.

    Back to topic, this extreme display of little boy, my gun is bigger than your gun, we’re the good guys thin blue line nonsense, is to acclimate you to their presence for the coming takeover. Luckily, from reading the responses here, it isn’t working so well. Jack boot thugs take notice.

  102. #102 |  ice9 | 

    Late to this one, but is that a silencer/suppressor on that HK?

    Got to have the firepower…also got to be able to take out a few of them NARAL terrorist bitches before they even realize we’ve dropped the hammer on ‘em.

    ice

  103. #103 |  el coronado | 

    Hell of an “argument” there, Heron. Follows the playbook almost to the letter: “When your nonsensical arguments can’t win the day, try and obscure/derail the debate by attempting to change the definition of the words being used; all in the name of clarity, of course. “That’s not what ‘Liberal’ means! You’re using it wrong!”

    Then there’s the ol’ logic double-reverse. Using your argument that since “you believe firearms registration is Constitutional, (…) going back to the founding”, (which is horseshit, BTW), I should also therefore accept it because….well, because you say so.

    Uh-huh. OK.

    Saaay, does that work both ways? Can I proclaim that I think abortion, say, is unconstitutional, ‘going back to the founding’, and the founders were, ‘to a man, champions of unborn children’…..does that count? Do we get to shut down all fetus-butchery mills forthwith because “The Founders would have been appalled by such a thing”? ? No? Thought not.

  104. #104 |  Militant Libertarian » Scenes from a Militarized America | 

    [...] Posted: March 11th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian The Agitator [...]

  105. #105 |  Howlers (Part One) « Boston College Subpoena News | 

    [...] Of course, the government is quite boldly going for it in arguments against the First Amendment all the time, these days, so I take that boldness as part and parcel of a larger assault on civil society. In 2012, the pattern is well established: Yes, government is going to boldly go for it and argue against our First Amendment “privileges.” (See also.) [...]

  106. #106 |  FreeWestRadio.com » Blog Archive » Scenes from a Militarized America | 

    [...] The Agitator [...]

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