80,000 US troops “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control” say Army Times. Of course, their deployment might be quite innocent too. But doesn’t the Constitution say something about no US troops used against US citizens? or have we forgotten about that?
A conservative columnist at Examiner, Anthony G. Martin, says a talk show quoted an unnamed military source saying armed forces have been warned of a serious possibility of civil unrest this summer. Ok, that could be paranoia or someone with an agenda. Rumors like this spread in the 60’s too. Some were baseless – but others were not.
However, the summer of 2010 could well be much worse [than the summer of 1968 riots] due to the players involved. In 1968 the major players were war protesters. This time, the outrage simmering beneath the surface of American society involves a broad cross-section of the heartland, and most of them are heavily armed.
I agree. Martin then says that while Tea Partiers would never be violent, they are concerned about Leftists or government agents sneaking into their protests and deliberately causing violence to make them look bad.
As one who helped organize multiple sometimes quite large anti-Iraq war protests, I have some insight here. Keep your protests organized. Have monitors. They need training first. Isolate counter-protesters, if you need to. Try not to let your people engage with them. Route the crowd around disturbances by forming a non-violent human chain around the problem.
Don’t be afraid to eject troublemakers but respect their rights if they are standing on the sidewalk with signs. That’s constitutionally protected. As for those wanting to incite violence, in my view, you’ll probably never know if they are extremists from your side, the other side, undercover cops, or some weirdo with an agenda. There’s just no way to know this, especially at a fast-moving protest with lots of counter-demonstrators. The best way to avoid problems is to stay in control of your own protest.
And maybe we as a nation need to take a chill pill lest things get seriously crazy? I came of age in the 60’s and was in L.A. during the ’92 riots and watched blocks I’d driven down many times filled with burning buildings. Don’t want to see stuff like that happen again.