Rally doesn’t turn violent, protestor does
Left-wing blogger and activist Renee Crawford took a moment to stop by the Tea Party Protest at the lakefront on Saturday, and her report has caused a bit of a blog stir. She reports that she saw a man in an altercation with several people, that “Joe the Plumber” was in the crowd of people, and the man who was being pursued by the crowd was eventually arrested and taken away. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the man suffered some minor injuries in the fracas.
The headline at Renee’s blog: “Anti-Govt Rally Masked as Anti-Healthcare Rally in Milwaukee Turns Violent.” She asked, “At what point do the speakers at this rally have some responsibility for inciting violence?” From her blog post:
We were on the north entrance and as I was typing her words, I hear a commotion. I looked up and saw an angry mob of angry white men chasing an older white man with a backpack. He was yelling “I have a right to free speech too.” The crowd was yelling, “You should die. You’re not an American., etc…” They started grabbing at him as he kept trying to leave the event. The crowd was growing (eventually to about 30 people) and the man clearly scared and angry and being grabbed, pushed and surrounded to impede his attempts to escape, I believed was in imminent danger. He was shouting back at them and attempting to defend himself from the crowd and the sheriffs about 300 yards away couldn’t see what was going on because of the vendor booths in their way. I made a decision and ran to get the sheriffs.
The man traveled about 300 yards attempting to escape the growing crowd. The crowd was riled up and screaming en masse, continuing to chase the man down, stop his movement, push and pull on his and in general attack the guy.
Then Joe the Plumber joined the tussle. I kid you not. I have no idea his role in it, just that he was IN THE MIDDLE of the crowd. The sheriffs get there, I turn to look at Joe the Plumber and the next thing I know the guy being assaulted by the crowd is bloody on the ground under the knee of two sheriffs and being cuffed. His face was bloody, there was something about a broken camera and I became scared of the crowd who were cheering and congratulating the sheriffs for “doing a great job”. There was a girl who said something about someone in that crowd punching her.
By Renee’s own account, she was rather late to the incident, and only can describe the part that she saw. Several of the comments at her blog told a different story, including this one (Warning, rough language):
This crazy loon (the so called beaten by the cops guy) started near the front of the stage. He was an antagonizing asshole. I saw him slap a drink out of a 17 y/o girl’s hand. He broke another’s camera by slamming it to the ground and also pushed and bullied many others cameras.
He kept yammering on about I HAVE FREE SPEECH, while the same argument was pointed back at him. THIS GUY WAS A BULLY and most likely did this for this purpose, for Dems to hate on an otherwise festive time.
Joe the Plumber joined in and he WAS BREAKING UP THE SQUABBLE! He had a booth set up and when he saw what was happening he got between the squabbling. So don’t slur him. He said to me, “we don’t need this.” I agree. But he didn’t even know what happened but I did.
The sheriff’s told the guy to leave. He called the cops Pigs and Fuckers and then started to go back. The cops tackled him and his face got fucked up from the ground because of his delusional flailing.
As you can see, the context of the story changes completely. Instead of a helpless victim, it appears that the person in question provoked the confrontation, acted in a violent manner, attempted to disrupt a peaceful event, and, given the circumstances, the crowd showed some restraint. The girl complaining of being struck was allegedly struck by the arrested man, and he was also allegedly responsible for the broken camera.
My question to Renee Crawford would be, at what point do those counter demonstrating at the Tea Parties bear some responsibility for the two acts of violence of which I am aware? The last one was a barbaric act of cannibalism, and now this person.
The truth is that the police and innocent bystanders have more to fear from the counter-demonstrators than they do from the Tea Party attendees. I have been to more than a few political events, and I have personally witnessed more than a few leftists arrested because they did not know how to behave. The classic example was years ago when Oliver North came on a campaign visit for a US Senate candidate, and the leftists just could not help themselves. A bunch of us were also there demonstrating on the other side. Our side sat and joked with the Waukesha sheriffs. Their side got carted away in handcuffs one at a time for not behaving. And it’s funny how they don’t like to cooperate when they get arrested.
But hey, Renee’s comments are par for the course of criticism of these events. Michael Horne, writing at MilwaukeeWorld.com, offered this observation:
GATHERING GROUNDS NEAR HEART OF MUSLIM RESTAURANT DISTRICT
Should be a Convenience for Hungry Faithful as Fast Ends
It could not be immediately determined why the Tea Ceremony was scheduled for the lakefront, when the crescent moon will first be observed in the west, but the site has been a ritualistic gathering spot for centuries. Fortunately, Milwaukee’s veteran’s park is steps away from numerous Muslim establishments. Participants and their guests will certainly be awed by the abundance of Halal treats available on the Cream City’s “Fig Coast.” Whether it’s Schwarma at Casablanca, Felafel from Abu’s, Lamb Chops from Mona’s Turkish Restaurant, or a refreshing Mango Lassi from Aladdin, the thousands at the lakefront will have every opportunity to have a joyous and memorable Laylatul Qadr.
Prophet Mohammad, when asked what one should invoke of Allah during this night, said: “Ask for your safety here and in the hereafter.”
I think Horne was trying to be funny, but clearly the last line would imply that the Muslim restaurants should have reason to fear a large gathering of people protesting against government spending.
Given the history of violence from leftwing demonstrators, I would point out to Horne that the Muslim establishments had far less to fear from the Tea Party than the nearby McDonalds, Starbucks and military recruiting offices had to fear from the counter-demonstrators leaving the lakefront. Those establishments are surely grateful Horne did not post their addresses, lest his regular readership give in to their more violent tendencies.
Protestors are already gathering in Pittsburgh for the G20 summit. Given the past violence of these demonstrations, the Renee Crawfords, Michael Hornes and Nancy Pelosis of the world would do far more good to worry about the violent protests on the left than the peaceful protests on the right.