One of the time honored traditions is to shut down Rte. 1 which passes right in front of the university. Now if you ask me, this is just a bunch of college kids out having fun. And most of it is harmless. It's a big spontaneous drunken street party. Yes, there is some relatively minor destruction of property, but so what!
Why not have the police shutdown the street so the kids can party harmlessly? Instead the police come in with full riot gear, beating their batons against their shields in a display of macho force.
And as can be seen on the video [5:20, 8:15], the result is the police getting out of control and needlessly beating up some college kids.
So instead of a few random acts of violence by students having a good time, we have organized violence by police getting their kicks they way they like it. You can't tell me these goons could not have arrested these kids that are shown on video without beating them with their batons. You can actually hear the cracks of the batons at 8:15. And there are a few extra gratuitous blows after the kid is already down on the ground and has already been beaten up by a gang of cops. If anyone else did this, it would be called a mugging. But when the police commit a senseless act of violence like this, it is always justifiable. And good luck ID'ing the cops that actually took part in this beating. They're all dressed like Darth Vader.
And what exactly was the point of bringing out the police helicopter? [7:20] They're college kids, not a bunch of terrorists. Oh right, it's the cops that are the terrorists. Now I get it. Use the helicopter to create a climate of fear of the authorities. Very 1984-ish. Nice one. And how much are we paying in taxes for that military-style helicopter? It's nice to know that all that Homeland Security money is being put to good use keeping a bunch of college kids in line. The sweeping spotlight was a nice touch. Too bad they couldn't have fired off a few rounds over the heads of the running kids. That would have made some nice video for the late night news.
And of course what would a police riot be without the traditional tear gas? [7:55] If the cops can't shoot live ammunition, then they have to find other things to shoot at their victims - "non-lethal" of course. It's not as much fun as actually beating them, but it's the next best thing as far as sadistic pleasure.
What would have happened if the police hadn't shown up to "keep the peace" and "maintain law and order"? Instead of a few broken windows, we have broken bones. Instead of a few college kids acting out violently, we have a gang of cops engaging in organized violence.
The main difference is that the cops are engaging in legal state sanctioned violence. Well actually it's not legal, but the chance of any of them getting punished for it by the legal system is near zero so it is de facto legal.
Personally, I am actually encouraged when I see a group of American young people out defying authority. It shows there is still a rebellious spirit in this country, and that they are not all a bunch of sheep whose souls have been crushed by the machine. There is plenty of time for that later when they get a job and become part of the corporate establishment.
You have to be a rebel to become a revolutionary. And we need revolutionaries in America more than ever. We need young people that will celebrate their victories out in public, physically, passionately. And not hide in their dorm rooms and celebrate by typing a few lines into a blog. That's not how you change the world!
One last note. Just as most of the kids were just out having fun and not causing any destruction of property, most of the cops acted professionally and were not out their cracking heads. On the other hand, I have to say that what the police did was provocative. And I think it could have been handled in a better way. In the words of frozenphoenixprod...
"If you bring out the riot gear before people riot, you're telling people they should be rioting..."