I know Zach asks us to try to keep our embedded videos short and to the point…and this one runs 12 minutes. But I think it’s worth viewing…at least pay attention to the last few minutes of it.
Here we have a protest at the Capitol in Virginia over their ‘pro-life bill’…the next shot in the Republican War on Women. The original bill with the inter-vaginal wand was reworked with some of the most offensive items removed. Not enough to make real sense. But that is only half the issue here.
A year ago in Madison we had protests in and around the Capitol that drew tens of thousands and on one day reportedly one hundred thousand people. For the most part the protests were peaceful and law enforcement was there but confrontations were virtually non-existent.
Then look at the protest on the video…from various reports the number of protestors were several hundred up to a thousand. The small numbers are in stark contrast to what we experienced in Madison…and like Madison the crowd is peaceful yet resilient. At one point three officers block the march and the protestors are torn between obeying the instructions from the police and their desire to continue their protest on the Capitol steps…and peacefully they simply walk around the police and continue their approach to the Capitol.
At this point the police overreact and bring on a show of force entirely out of proportion to the size and tenor of the protest. Dozens of police in full out riot gear, SWAT teams and officers armed with fully automatic weapons usually only seen in newsreel film from Iraq or Afghanistan quickly assemble at the scene.
We can certainly thank President George W Bush and his Homeland Security funds for providing local law enforcement with military grade weaponry. And we can certainly blame Governor Bob McConnell for deciding to call out his own little pentagon against a thousand of his fellow citizens and constituents.
But as the weather gets warmer, as more protests appear on the front steps across the nation, as Republican governors and state houses continue to overreach, and as tempers begin to flare…which Republican governor will end up being the one to call out his troops who create our next ‘Kent State’?