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The Town Hall Protesters and the Anti-Bush/Anti-War Protesters are NOT the same

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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 09:47 PM
Original message
The Town Hall Protesters and the Anti-Bush/Anti-War Protesters are NOT the same
The only commonality between them are the fact that they are protesting. Then it ends. A white supremacist protest of desegregation is NOT morally equivalent to, say, protesting the Grand Wizard of the KKK.

Let's remember what kinds of protests got you arrested under Bush:

Yet, people are walking around at these town hall meetings waving signs that actually make threats, carrying guns, and doing nothing but shouting down and intimidating the people there asking questions (not even just the representatives and senators, the citizens too!)

And yet, none of these people get even a "disorderly conduct" charge? Or a "protesting without a permit" charge? Trespassing?

It's not that every single person protesting now ought to be arrested, but let's face facts: For some mysterious reason, all of the ridiculous arrests and charges at protests are nowhere to be seen, now that it's right-wingers protesting. Why is that? Especially when a lot of what these people are doing and saying actually ARE threats!
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. There's one other dissimilarity you forgot to mention
the Town Hall protesters are on the verge of getting their way. The antiwar protesters haven't been able to get us out of Iraq or Afghanistan.

After seeing the Arlen Specter thing today, I've concluded that health care reform (of the type that any of us would consider even a smidgen of true reform) is dead.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. I was gonna say, what anti-war protesters? Where is this going on?
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Anti-war protesters, for the most part, were using civil disobedience tactics not mob intimidation.
Not the same thing.

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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yep, and they didn't shout down individual citizens
They protested the elected officials, if they did disrupt.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Were? What are they doing now, supporting the wars?
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. No we are not supporting the wars.
You jumped on another thread of mine about our protest outside of John Kline's office a few days ago, why do you feel the need to attack the anti-war movement? I am upset that many people left the movement after Obama took office but there are many more that stayed, but you seem to want to pretend that there is no anti-war movement any more. I am part of the anti-war movement so I know there is still a movement, my question is are you doing anything to help end the wars or do you simply feel the need to criticize us?
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I was referring to the Bush years, which is the example right-wingers are bringing up
online and as pundits on T.V. recently. I probably could have just as easily typed "have been."

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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. And my point is that the anti-war protesters
were ineffective at stopping the war, even after we had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Today, even with the Presidency in our hands (theoretically) the war marches on.

The Town Howlers are are going to derail health care reform, and we failed to derail war spending. I wish we had used their tactics instead of ours. Back in the 1960's and early 1970's, there were sit-ins and other forms of disruptive protest that were effective, the teabaggers learned from that era, and we didn't.
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. There is a big difference aside from tactics...
The anti-war protesters were fighting the status quo the right-wing protesters are enforcing the status quo. It is much easier to win a battle when you are supported by the powerful interests and your victory equals more of the same.

While the anti-war movement may not have ended the war yet the war is far more unpopular now than it was when the movement began, we do need to get more people in the streets to disrupt things but we should never disrupt democracy. Town halls are a venue in which people are supposed to be able to go speak their mind, we should not protest when we are given a voice we should protest when we are not given a voice. Protesting a town hall is no different than protesting at a voting booth, it is undemocratic to shut down the rights of others to participate in democracy.
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Kievan Rus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Most cops are avid right-wingers
Not all of them are Republicans, but a lot of them are. That's probably part of it.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks! I really needed that list of links!
n/t

pnorman
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. You are right that they are not the same...
Edited on Tue Aug-11-09 10:18 PM by Bjorn Against
If you have time to edit though you may want to remove that mention of a "protesting without a permit" charge because no such charge exists. Contrary to popular belief you don't need a permit for most protests, I attend protests every single week and we usually don't have a permit and don't need one. There are certain situations that require a permit but the only permit you need for most forms of protest is the first amendment.

That being said by intentionally disrupting an event like this would almost certainly lead to arrests for disorderly conduct (not trespassing though as most town halls are on public property.) if there were not powerful people supporting the protests. The charges would most likely be dropped before they went to trial, but a person would still usually be dragged out by police.

We do need to protest and we need to defend the right to protest, but our tactics are very different than those of the right. We don't shut down townhall meetings, which are really events that are essential to democracy. It is important that ordinary citizens are given a chance to question their elected officials, and disrupting a democratic event such as a town hall is no different than protesting at a voting booth and preventing people from casting a vote. I mean that in all seriousness too, a well stated question at a town hall can be far more effective than voting can as it can bring a lot of attention to a cause. I would never protest at a town hall for the same reason that I would never protest at a voting precinct, to do so is undemocratic. The right-wing needs to learn that they can go to town halls, ask tough questions and be as blunt as they want to be but they can't prevent others from participating.
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Well that's part of what makes it bullshit though
That was the rationale given for the arrest, afterwards, by the police when you read the article for that one.

But you're right, the difference is not in the fact that they're protesting, it's their tactics. They shout down people trying to ask questions. That isn't "protesting" -- that's preventing other people from engaging in a dialog. Shouting down those people, or even the representatives they're talking to, is not the same as disrupting Bush when he's speaking because Bush speaking is a one-sided affair. With these town halls, there is a dialog and if they really cared, they could voice their concerns -- no one is stopping them.

The reason why people disrupted Bush's events is because they weren't allowed to voice their opinions! They couldn't even get into them without trying to sneak past the loyalty oaths and other such bullshit.

The reason why Cindy Sheehan protested is because she wasn't able to voice her opinion to Bush any other way.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. The anti-Bush/anti-War protestors were also not backed by lobbyists.
Another key point which trolls around here try really hard to ignore.
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Life Long Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
15. Once you take away the media's hype what are you left with?
A civil town hall meeting with President Obama as was broadcast yesterday on CSPAN from NH.

Also the Obama town hall meetings were not loud enough so now they started staging their own protest.
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