Trouble In Mind

Analysis always finds it disconcerting to pick up on area news from an outside the area source (see archive Not News, 3-9-16). Again, “Ohio State Turns the Concept of ‘Safe Space’ Against Student Protesters; Activists were cleared from a building by officials who claimed that they were making university employees feel scared.” By Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic (4-14-16) creates this disruption of confidence in local news access. The story itself is troubling. “At Ohio State last week, a sit-in and protest inside a university building was cut short when students were warned that they would be forcibly removed by police, arrested, and possibly expelled if they did not vacate the premises within a few hours, by 5 a.m.” Again, from “outside the bubble” as Harry Shearer would say, we learn that outdoor demonstrations against new labor law reforms in France have been taking place nightly in Paris since March 9, 2016. The movement, entitled “Nuit Debout” (Standing Night) has since spread to 30 cities outside Paris, with the latest confrontation involving the arrest of children in Montpellier (France: Riot police spray Montpellier students with tear gas during protest By Alex Wheeler, International Business Times, 4-14-16). All very much akin to last summer’s unreporting of “Every Saturday for nearly two months, Constitution Square outside Guatemala City’s National Palace has overflowed with thousands of protesters demanding an end to corruption and the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina.” (from the UK’s Telegraph) You may also like the AP’s More UMass student protesters arrested during second sit-in (4-14-16). “Police say the 19 students booked on Wednesday were protesters who did not exit the building peacefully after a dispersal order was issued. They were charged with trespassing and were arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court. Fifteen protesters were similarly arrested at Tuesday night’s sit-in.” Then again, a Yuuuuge demonstration has evolved on line for tonight in front of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan where Donnie Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich are scheduled to speak. But back to the unreported Ohio State Student Union demonstration which is much more troubling in its broader implications. Just a little over a year ago a non-demonstration outside the Ohio Student Union was brutalized by Columbus police using horse mounted officers and pepper spray (Riot Cops Use Tear Gas on Columbus Crowds After Ohio State Win, NBC News, 1-13-15). Bear that violence in mind as Friedersdorf quotes Dr. Drake’s representatives: “Our goal, because I want you to understand why we would do something like this—I didn’t think we were going to—but the consensus of university leaders is that the people who work in this building should be protected also. They come to work around 7 o’clock. Do you remember when you all made the rush down there and chanted to the folks outside the doors a minute ago? That scared people.” Friedersdorf goes on to write: “That elicited disbelief from protesters. Who was scared, they scoffed, the police officers with guns? Said the university messenger, “If you refuse to understand what I’m trying to tell you—I’m not going to answer that question,” meaning he refused to say who it scared. Soon after, his sidekick steps in, saying, “It would scare employees who are wanting to do their work in this building.” Added the first messenger, “The employees who work past five o’clock left early this evening. Do you know why? Because they were scared you were going to do something.” Said messenger two, “That’s the truth you guys. I talked to several of them when they walked out of here.” Their consensus position: “The people in this building have a right to a safe environment, and to an environment where their jobs won’t be interrupted.”” Analysis wonders if this is a new variation on the ongoing Right To Work laws or something else. Analysis finds this to be something else, a new variation on the oft repeated theme for police/paramilitary shootings where the shooter “feared for their life” as justification for the shooting (George Zimmerman’s purported rationale, repeated since ad nauseam by various shooters). This is particularly insidious in light of the Constitutional Rights which are disregarded (trampled on) for the sake of being scared, in fear of one’s life, terrified (which leads into the war on those who terrify, the war on terror). While the second amendment right of bearing arms, whether through concealed or open carry, is not sufficient cause for being scared, in fear for one’s life, or terrified, people assembled or exercising speech is considered scary. This new line of policing is even more pernicious in light of the SCOTUS ruling not allowing for “safe spaces” in front of abortion clinics in order to keep those entering or working there from being scared, fearing for their lives, or being terrified by the folks outside exercising their Constitutional Rights of assembly and speech. Analysis finds all of this occurring within the Patriot Act environment, manufactured specifically to protect citizens from being scared or terrified, to be quite troubling.

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