Protest is Not Book Club

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A Note On Today’s Demonstration:

This morning from 9am to noon there was a demonstration in front of the post office.

I participated.

I had not intended to be demonstrating. I went to the anti-Trump protests early to take a few pictures and ask what the goals were. I had not been there more than a few moments when a Selinsgrove High School Social Studies teacher encouraged the others gathered not to answer any questions saying “he is crazy.”

Now, to be clear, in our nation everyone is entitled to free speech. Everyone is entitled to assemble and protest. However, no one has a right to do so unchallenged.

While I had intended to simply document the event, the intellectual abortion of a public school educator resorting to insults rather than answer the simple question of “why did you come today” encouraged me to change directions; hold a counter demonstration. Head count: me.

For the rest of the morning I walked back and forth on the sidewalk asking as loudly as I could “DOES ANYONE HAVE A VALID REASON FOR BEING HERE TODAY? OR ARE YOU JUST BUTTHURT YOUR CANDIDATE LOST?”

A few people did have reasons for being there. They are worried about the President’s tone of international aggression, a few mentioned support for planned parenthood or other concrete reasons. These people were very pleasant and I enjoyed speaking with them very much. A very nice couple might have even softened one or two of my own personal policy positions through our conversation at the close of the day.

However, it was not long before several of the anti-Trump protesters lived up the reputation of national extreme left demonstrations. Throughout the morning several of the anti-Trump protesters attempted to resort to child exploitation and outright violence.

One young child was placed in front of me saying “Donald Trump is going to take away women’s right to vote.” When asked who told her that, she replied her father. Since he was standing right there so proudly I asked him directly “why did you lie to your child, you know Trump isn’t going to do that?” As her father explained to her that he had lied, she began to cry.

While several women sought to distract by mocking me for not dressing in their preferred brands of clothing, a Susquehanna University Professor attempted to shove me off the side walk into oncoming traffic. When I didn’t budge, he resorted to putting his shoulder and all his weight into my back, again I didn’t budge. However, after an abrupt armlength removal from my personal space he was magically and suddenly a feeble-ivory-tower-victim.

A man who claimed to be an attorney with offices in the SnyCo courthouse chased me around the corner, him and his wife slanderously screaming hoping to catch the ear of a newspaper reporter. When I asked him or his wife to back up their slander or admit their lies,  he threatened to take me “behind the post office” and beat me up. Squishy office dudes aren’t that intimidating to me, he asked others to surround me so he could issue a few physical threats. Still not intimidating but I invited him to speak to the police officer sitting across the street.

There is a large distance between holding a legitimate protest and noise making. I very much enjoyed seeing the activism of those who had a concrete reason to assemble today. It was quite clear, however, that several others were motivated solely by butthurtism and a desire to be trendy.

They were not there to be peaceful, that requires a commitment to peacefulness. They were there to be agreed with and collect pats-on-the-back for being trendy protesters… through violence if necessary.

Protest is intended to disrupt not to look trendy and hip. It isn’t a suburbanite book club, or spin class, or rubber wrist band. Protests are direct political action by the people. The behavior of some alt-left protesters today defamed the memory of the civil rights era struggle. They half-assed it and couldn’t handle when their bluff was called.

There are legitimate criticism of the new President. There are legitimate reasons to be supportive, too. If your criticisms of the new President are too vague or indefensible that you must resort to shoving people into traffic or the like, it is time to ask yourself if you have a valid criticism.

~v

P.S. Might this also serve as a heads up to both the extreme left and the extreme right. If you bring your tomfoolery to Selinsgrove’s public square, at least one person will be there challenging you.

Names have been omitted because this is not about embarrassing individuals.