01 February 2017

THINK 3 VIDEO NEWS: Troy students vs. the travel ban

My newspaper office is just a few feet away from Monument Square in the heart of downtown Troy NY. News often comes to us in such a convenient location, and it arrived around 1 p.m. this afternoon in the form of a few hundred college students and sympathizers who converged there, even though Monument Square isn't really the most pedestrian-friendly space, to protest the President's temporary ban on people from seven reputed terror-fostering countries entering the United States. Here are a few snippets of the event, which went on for nearly an hour.

First, some typical chanting:

Now here's a revival of the human-amplifier tactics of the old Occupy movement. Forgive the wasted footage of the last few moments; I thought I had already stopped recording.

Finally, here's some familiar sounding rhetoric from one of the protest leaders:

It reminds me a lot of the body metaphors used by the anonymous author of the New York Vigilance broadside from November. I doubt whether this speaker is the author of the Vigilance; it's more likely that the hate-as-cancer metaphor is common among this cohort of people.

I'm afraid that these protesters don't realize (or don't care) how much they're alienating other people who aren't Trump fans but don't view the travel ban with the same hysteria as demonstrators. That the ban is limited in scope and time matters little if you see it as the first step on a slippery slope. I get that it violates many people's ideals of individual liberty and innocence until guilt is proven. I just wonder whether massive resistance now will actually make it more likely that we slide further down the slope later. It will be easy for the President to claim the moral high ground here by asking whom
protesters really care about, or whom they should care about. Unfortunately for the protesters, "humanity" isn't the answer many people want to hear right now.

Here are a few more still images from today. They show that the protest seems to have caught local traffic, not to mention the local police, somewhat unawares, even though it was organized and announced in advance via Facebook. For non-Trojans, Monument Square is named for the city's Soldiers and Sailors Monument, where the protesters have converged.


Anonymous said...

What tRump needs to start doing is to form a non-muslim committee, one of which reads arabic, to read the koran, pull out ever quote regarding islam as a political, rather than religious institution; all of the quotes regarding the view of women as being worth half the value of a man; every quote regarding jihad, jizya, taqiyya, the accepted murder of homosexuals, polytheists, atheists - every hateful surah in that book and push that aspect on every American until they are forced to understand that islam is NOT a religion of peace. And, even though there may be individual muslims who do not follow the hatred, bigotry, sexism and anti-semitism that is rampant in the koran, the fact is, the RELIGION does support such things and, because of that, there will ALWAYS be some subsect of islam which will attempt to enforce its "divine mandate" to conquer the world. That the ONLY sensible way to ensure the violence ends in this country is to ban islam. Period. Yes, it will take a Constitutional amendment to do so, but the future of this country is worth the effort.

Anonymous said...

Given the actions at Berklee last night, the left has pretty much lost any respect I still harbored. That democratic politicians are refusing to do their job simply because they know they'll be outvoted, so by simply not showing up to work, no vote can happen, is abhorrent and every one of them should be held accountable for breaching their oath of office. Every political official in every "sanctuary city" who refuses to uphold the law should be treated likewise. These people took an oath of office to obey the law, not just whichever laws they agree with. And given the "anti-facists" that attacked Berklee, by acting like facists, they have completely discredited themselves and proven themselves to nothing more than thugs and criminals. I have half a mind to go join a right-wing militia and stand, armed, against such future thuggery. More than willing to end the lives of these freaks who refuse to accept their political loss and hope for a better showing next time. Any politician who calls for the overthrow, assassination or military coup against the President should be arrested for treason and executed as such.

People may not like tRump or his views, or his political party, but that does NOT give them any right to overthrow a legitimately elected President of this country. THAT is exactly the opposite of democracy.

Samuel Wilson said...

For the historical record, what happened at Berkeley was that protesters forced the cancellation of a talk by Milo Yiannopoulos, an outspoken editor of the Breitbart News website that is widely thought to be Alt-Right Central. The protests included broken windows, smoke bombs and rocks. The BBC quotes one protester who said, "This shutting down Milo Yiannopoulos, and doing whatever's necessary to do that, is our right to self-defence." Some reporters have rightly noted the sad irony of this happening at the home of the "Free Speech Movement" of the 1960s. We've reached the point now when many Americans treat purely political speech as the sort of personal slander politicians used to fight duels over. Much of this is driven by the feeling that the "alt-right" and Trump voters don't respect anyone but their own kind, while the alt-right types apparently make it a point of principle not to respect their political opponents in the manner or on the terms that the latter expect. What the aristocrats of 200 years ago and the "anarchists" of today fail(ed) to understand is that in a democratic republic you can't demand or force people to respect you, howevermuch you may think that some form of mutual "respect" is the foundation of civil or social order. "Respect" can never be reduced to an abdication of judgment, and those who mistake judgment for disrespect, when the difference between judgment and outright bigotry are fairly clear, have pretty poor judgment.

Anonymous said...

The minute anyone or group takes it upon themselves to deprive an American citizen, within the United States of their right to free speech or their right to free assembly they have stepped over the line. The perpetrators and organizers of what went down at Berkeley should be hunted down and executed, straight out. I don't care how much you hate the President, he is still the Constitutional executor of the law. You have a right to address your representatives, you have a right to try to have the courts put an injunction against whatever you feel is oppressive. You do NOT have a right to riot, burn, assault and destroy. That kind of bullshit undermines order and weakens the government - not just this particular guy's presidency, but the entire governmental structure of the US. That cannot be tolerated. Those people need to be made a very strict example of.

Samuel Wilson said...

And the very next day there was violence at NYU, where self-styled anti-fascists forced an "alt-right" comedian off the stage, after pepper-spraying him outside the venue. You can read a report sympathetic to the protesters (!) at http://www.vocativ.com/399390/anti-fascist-protesters-alt-right-speaker-nyu/. It seems to me that many on the (shall we say) "alt-left" have become the very thing they claim to oppose, presuming that the enemy is defined above all by his intolerance. Worse, they're probably going to call into existence one of the things they claim to fear: a paramilitary or street-fighting pro-Trump force of the sort Anon had in mind a few comments ago.

Anonymous said...

Fascism in this country should not be tolerated. If the anti-tRump people continue with this abhorrent behavior, there WILL be a backlash. It is inevitable. And the alt-right are well-armed and hateful enough to be willing to use those arms. The left needs to be FORCED to understand that they lost the fucking election. There are no shenanigans they can pull that will cause the coronation of queen Hillary to come to fruition. If they cannot act like adults, then they will have to be slapped like little children. If the government does NOT do it, they will show themselves as being weak. tRump, I'm pretty sure, isn't willing to show weakness at this point. The left had better wise up and disentangle themselves from the toxic left assholes or they may find themselves bleeding out, face down in a gutter. It will be a sad thing to have to endure a second civil war.

Samuel Wilson said...

I don't think many of the people doing the violence at Berkeley and NYU were Hillary voters, for what that's worth. Probably didn't vote because they saw her as a warmonger or Wall Street stooge, and being in New York and California their votes wouldn't have made a difference in the Electoral College. Also probably incapable of the discipline and cooperation necessary to create a viable alternative party to the Democrats' left.