Monday, February 6, 2017

Giving gifts where they aren't needed.

Last summer, some older, social media spectators of current events, whom I know, gave a spirited defense of protesters who shut down a Trump rally. 

While, my most personal objection to these defenses of this sort of censorship was the disingenuous way they pretended to understand free expression.

What really lead me to despair (OK, I was there already) was the tactical stupidity.

I am glad to see that some of the people actually participating in protests against Trumpists, in this case Milo Yuiannopoulos, understand what is appropriate, and are worried about the consequences of self serving action.

From  The Milo protests did not go well:
One of the core arguments that Milo makes in his tour is that the left is intolerant of free speech and refuses to hear opposing arguments...What I do know is that Milo is happy as a clam right now. He thrives on the negative publicity that events like this generate.
and Berkeley's Milo Yiannopoulos Protest Was A Gift To The Alt-Right
The violent demonstrators played right into his hands, not to mention those of right-wing leaders across the country....
It is imperative that people of Milo’s variety are allowed to visit American universities and speak freely. Sure, arrange a peaceful protest of your entire student body. Go ahead – boycott the event so is forced to preach to a sea of empty seats. Be my guest and smear him on social media, write articles tearing him apart, or scream your frustrations into a megaphone.
Just don’t. Resort. To violence.
As soon as the fists or the fires or the smoke bombs surface, the other side has won
It almost gives me faith in younger people.


Matthew Saroff said...

Of course, there is a question of who exactly the violent minority of protestors were.

The real question his how the people who want to protest will organize to prevent this crap.

Here's a hint: The folks in the black balaclavas? Kick their asses off of campus.

Here is an interesting take on such things (

How do we know that black bloc is run by police informers? Because they break windows and burn cars but leave surveillance cameras unmolested.

Stephen Montsaroff said...

Silly me. I forgot to include a conspiracy theory.

Organized protests, 1) have marshalls, 2) have emergency plans (we had a hard time getting EMTs to someone who platzed at a protest 3) have a sound system.

Matthew Saroff said...

I'm not suggesting a conspiracy, that was just my habit of bizarre asides.

Yes, emergency plans are essential, and number one on the list will always be the cops acting like thugs, and number two on the list will always be people who show up to break stuff.

Whether they are just assholes, or whether they are working for the other side does not matter: The tactics against them are the same.

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