The media hasn’t bent over backwards to excuse ugly demonstrations as “mostly peaceful” since the halcyon days of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here’s what the “Justice for Trayvon” movement was up to in Los Angeles on Sunday, after spending Saturday night rioting in Oakland, as reported by the L.A. Times:
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested at least one person after a clash between officers and people protesting the Trayvon Martin verdict in South Los Angeles on Sunday night.
LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said some demonstrator threw rocks and D-cell batteries at police near the corner of Washington Boulevard and 10th Avenue. Police responded by firing less-than-lethal rounds at the demonstrators.It was unclear if anyone was hurt.The LAPD called a citywide tactical alert after demonstrators protesting the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmermancase blocked traffic on the 10 Freeway in the Mid-City area Sunday evening.The California Highway Patrol said “police activity” around the 10 Freeway and Crenshaw Boulevard has jammed traffic. Motorists are urged to avoid the area.
Meanwhile, in New York City, “a day of peaceful protests gave way to arrests and bottle throwing,” according to the New York Daily News:
From a rally at Union Square, thousands of demonstrators marched to Time Square and uptown chanting, ???No Justice, No Peace!???
For the most part, cops stood by. But at E. 79th St. and Second Ave. police in riot gear moved in to arrest two people for disorderly conduct.
???Move back or I will mace you,??? one police officer shouted at protesters.
Cops had arrested at least more five protesters in a clash at Park Ave. and E. 71st St. around 10 p.m.
???It got chaotic,??? said one protester, adding that bottles were thrown.
Some demonstrators said the police grew more forceful as the march got closer to Mayor Bloomberg???s E. 79th St. townhouse.
God knows what might have happened if any of the demonstrators had been carrying Big Gulps as they approached the Mayor’s residence. The protesters were eventually able to shut down traffic around Times Square. As one of them explained to the New York Post, ???It???s interruption – interruption so you wake up. We will continue to interrupt your lives until we get justice.?????? Few media outlets besides the Post seem interested in relaying the opinions of those who were less than thrilled by the traffic shutdown:
???This is bulls–t. We just came down here to visit, and we got stuck right in the middle. And it???s hot! I can???t keep the car running,??? griped Dennis Kozodoy, 23, who was on a road trip with his sister Olga, 16, from South Carolina.
Barbara Ames, 64, in town from Avon, Ind., was stuck in her car with her two granddaughters, ages 6 and 8, on Broadway between 45th and 46th streets.
???First, we thought it was a performance,?????? she said. ???But now . . . we???re being terrified. We just want to go home . . . They keep hitting the car and scaring??? the girls.
But of course, anti-civilization is much better for news headlines, and left-wing ideology, than the boring old concerns of humdrum citizens who expected civil society in New York City to keep functioning after a jury verdict in Florida. Those who took the Trayvon groupies seriously when they said they just wanted a fair trial for George Zimmerman have been in for a series of nasty surprises over the last few days.
By the time all was said and done, Fox News counted “more than a dozen arrests” in New York and L.A. Mainstream media reports have heavily glossed over the extent of the violence. In Oakland, several journalists were assaulted, windows were smashed, and American flags were burned. One protester caught a light for what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette from the ashes of a burned flag. Among the charming slogans spray-painted on cars and buildings by the demonstrators was the evergreen “Kill pigs.”
It might be argued that underplaying the violence helped to keep it from getting worse. Both police and the media seemed to expect much worse behavior, in more locations around the country. Extensive coverage of the more unpleasant demonstrations might have inspired others to take similar actions, in the hope of attracting cameras and reporters.
On the other hand, soft-pedaling what actually happened fuels the irresponsibility of these mobs and their organizers, who are poised to profit handsomely from sustained unrest. These protesters most certainly could have organized and spoken up without throwing rocks or damaging property. They are accountable for their failure to do so, as are the media figures who recklessly urged them on.
It’s quite an advantage to be able to get away with shutting down freeways and smashing windows while also retaining the veneer of respectability in political and media circles. For the umpteenth time, we can only wonder what the reaction would have been if the Tea Party had acted this way, even once. Can we expect a threat assessment of the “Justice for Trayvon” movement from Janet Napolitano before she leaves her post as Homeland Security secretary, the way she prepared an entirely bogus assessment on conservatives and the nascent Tea Party movement long ago?