Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Peaceful Protestors Arrested

Ladies, do you think your civil rights are the same as gun rights activists?  Let's compare.

On January 18, 2010, gun rights activists marched on Richmond, Virginia, to support laws that would allow concealed guns on school property, in courtrooms, and in houses of worship.
A pro-gun, pro-states rights rally at the state Capitol this morning drew roughly 1,000 people who were encouraged afterward to file into the General Assembly Building to lobby their legislators. (Richmond-Times Dispatch)
Some in the crowd were carrying weapons.  Riot police were not called and no one was arrested.

On March 3, 2012, women's rights activists marched on Richmond, Virginia, to protest laws that would force a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.  Most of the protestors were women.  When women walked around police officers telling them they could not protest in front of the Capitol, riot police were called. 
Disobeying police orders is often a good way to get in trouble, but things spun out of control remarkably quickly, as the video shows. The protestors, remaining peaceful and chanting, "This is what democracy looks like!" march up to the building, plant themselves on the steps, and lock arms. Suddenly, the handful of cops are supplemented by a squad of heavily armored riot police. After them come combat-fatigued, masked officers with what appear to be shotguns and automatic rifles. (the Atlantic)
Riot police "controlled" the crowd by holding plastic shields, and 31 protestors were arrested for trespassing. (Video

Since the Capitol is public property, how were they trespassing?  And if the gun rights advocates were allowed to protest at the Capitol building, and were even invited inside, why were the women's rights advocates not allowed on the Capitol steps?  Both groups appeared to be peaceful, however, as far as we know, none of the women's rights activists were carrying guns.

What is obvious from the 2010 and 2012 events is the extent Gov. Bob McDonnell and his conservative legislators will go to get what they want.  They use their power to silence those who do not agree with them.  Is this democracy?  Is this the kind of leadership we want in government?