The consensus media line on Sunday’s anti-police protest in Anaheim is that it was “peaceful.” As someone who spent the entire afternoon at the protest, I contend that is a misleading description because it gives those who weren’t there (especially those dependent on the OC Register‘s pasteurized account) the impression it was placid. In reality, it was angry and belligerent – peaceful only in the sense there was only one arrest and violence was (for the most part) absent.
A reader e-mailed a link to this video from an “Anaheim Exposed” Flickr photostream. It shows youthful anarchists taunting the police at the Anaheim Police Department with obscene chants and gestures — protected by the wall and restraint of the officers they are jeering:
Here’s another picture from the photostream, of a young boy writing “F–k the police” in front of the police station.
He was following the example of the “grown up” protesters who were doing the same thing. Fine role models.
Many protesters gleefully joined in blanketing the police station with graffiti, offering the universal rationalization of “it was only chalk.” I only saw one marcher try to intervene: a matronly lady who yelled at the kids to stop – but she didn’t tell them what they were doing was wrong, but that they might get caught by the police. Other than one Brown Beret who half-heartedly tried to erase some graffiti with his shoe and a bottle of water, I didn’t see a single marcher make any attempt to clean up their mess.
After witnessing what I did all afternoon, it boggles my mind to hear or read anyone thanking the protesters for being “peaceful.” Apparently, respectful, mature and self-controlled is too much to ask of adults.