nobody's innocent here
There's an awful lot being said about the Oakland protests today, where some of the protesters were shot with wooden bullets.
A lot of what's being said runs along the lines of:
They were just minding their own business!
Isn't dissent allowed in America?
This is a police state!
Thing is, these weren't simple peace activists holding up benign signs begging Bush to stop the war. They weren't even the ANSWER folks trying to equate Bush with Hitler.
Demonstrators were seeking to block access to American President Lines, a shipping company they claimed was profiting from the war in Iraq when said they used the pellets and bullets to disperse about 750 protesters.
I'm not saying that the police tactics used were the best way - or the right way -to go. I'm just saying what Glenn Reynolds said:
I won't weigh in on the crowd-control strategy -- I'll just note that people who set out to block shipments of war materiel to soldiers in wartime could easily be prosecuted for treason. This wasn't simple civil disobedience.
UPDATE: Thanks to Mary, who pointed that not only did some of the protesters throw rocks and iron bolts at the police, but "[n]inety-five percent of what’s shipped out of Oakland (to Iraq) is food which is going to help Iraqi citizens."
For some reason, MSNBC took that article down. But I do have a screenshot so no one on the side of the rock-throwing protesters can deny that it ever existed, in true Iraqi Information Minister fasion.