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Is it ever okay for the cops to shoot violent protesters?

John Aravosis (DC) · 12/07/2008 04:07:00 PM ET

Or to put it another way: Are violent protests ever justified?

I remember talking to my mom, a few years back, when the anti-globalization crowd was trashing Seattle, and, well, let's just say that mom and I had a different view on the use of force to stop people from turning over cars, looting stores, and more generally setting the city on fire. You might be surprised to know that mom was against the police using more force, I was for it.

I'm reading the news from Greece, and I just can't help but feel that when mobs are turning over private cars, and setting commercial buildings on fire (when hundreds of innocent families live above those buildings), that maybe the cops ought to use more than tear gas. If someone is setting fire to a building that houses hundreds of families, including children, you don't get into an argument about Marxist theory, you shoot them. My gut tells me that the people who were trashing Seattle, and who are setting fire to buildings in Greece, are not "angry students" - they're violent thugs. I've done a lot of pretty hard-hitting political activism in my years, and never resorted to violence.

Read on...

Interesting question. Obama supports the workers' occupation of a factory in Chicago right now. Management probably thinks the occupation is "violent". I'm a bit suprised by John Aravois' opinion here. There is already too much "use of force" by the police. I"d hate to see an open season against protesters along the lines of Richard Daly's infamous "shoot to kill" order in Chicago. What do you think? Tom


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