Is There A Riot Goin' On?
I'm sure everyone's asking why I wasn't down at the anti- war rally by the old Federal Courthouse in Eureka the other day. Actually, I forgot all about it, besides having to work.
Would have liked to go, though, to get my own impression of what happened. Some are saying the police over- reacted. Some even suggest the relatively heavy show of force was an attempt to intimidate the protestors. As usual, I take the middle of the road view, at least from what I've read in the papers.
I suspect there were a few protestors in the "I'm doing God's work, so I can do no wrong..." crowd. The same kind of folks that act all shocked and imposed upon when they're forceably removed from their tree sitting perches in the local forests. These are likely some of the ones who were arrested for refusing to follow police directions to stay in the bicycle lane of U.S. 101 and various infractions on the streets of Eureka. I can understand the police dealing with them as they did, assuming my view of what happened is correct.
Was it a overly large police presence? I suppose so as I don't recall hearing of that large a presence at the real big peace rally in Eureka years ago with a lot more people. No problems that I know of developed at that rally, so what would give police the idea that such a strong presence was warranted at this, much smaller, demonstration?
Well, seems to me they had problems with bicyclists on the freeway at a previous demonstration, so they were right to anticipate that. Nothing would explain the presence of U.S. Marshalls, and the rest in Eureka at this latest one, though. But I'll go out on a limb and suggest what might have happened. One of two things:
(1)Either someone new in charge, locally, decided on a higher profile approach for whatever reason.
(2)More likely, someone at the state or even federal level- perhaps one of the Homeland Security type agencies, sent out memos warning of possible violence related to the demonstrations and urged local agencies to prepare accordingly. I'm talking about the same agencies we owe all these wonderful color coded terror alerts to that never seem to amount to anything.
I think that's probably more along the line of reasoning for the large police presence. It wasn't so much to intimidate the protestors, it was just another overreaction to some Homeland Security alert system broadcast, as we've all seen in one form or another before. No way I can prove it, though.