The Conversation

Return of the 'mostly peaceful' protesters

Not since the fading days of the Occupy Wall Street movement have we seen the media take such pains to portray a protest movement as "mostly peaceful."  The first few paragraphs of this Fox News report on the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict make for some mighty weird reading:

Communities nationwide braced for a day of demonstration, and possibly even dissent, as the public awoke Sunday to learn a six-person Florida jury had acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder, overnight, in the February 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Protesters on the West Coast massed, and in some cases marched, in four California cities, beneath the lingering sunshine that had already yielded to twilight and nightfall by the time the decision had been rendered shortly before 10 p.m. on the mostly quiescent East Coast.

Mostly, the California demonstrations proved peaceful, although matters were marred by sporadic reports of stray violence and vandalism, including the halt of a passenger train, the burning of American and California flags, the lighting of small fires in city roadways, shattered storefront windows and the spray painting of a courthouse, as well as the damaging of a police squad car.

Communities do not brace for "demonstrations, and possibly even dissent."  Dissent is not what police forces coast to coast have gone on high alert for.  You don't have to hijack a train or smash windows to express "dissent."

The West Coast demonstrators marched beneath lingering sunshine that had already yielded to twilight and nightfall?  In other words, they marched in the dark.  Did someone at Fox let their middle-school drama student write this article for extra credit?

Here's what actually went on in Oakland overnight.  The mostly peaceful protesters did a considerable amount of property damage, and their "dissent" included spray-painting "Kill Pigs" on cop cars.


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