NEVADA CITY July 31, 2016 – Somebody finally came out with the word that many have been thinking in the wake of all the shooting by and of the police: revolution. Gavin Long, accused shooter of six Baton Rouge police officers, said in a social media post made before his sniper assault, “One hundred percent of revolutions” are more successful than protests. “100 percent have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful over simply protesting.” Not entirely true but not entirely wrong, either.
After the string of killings of young black men by police officers many have been wondering, how long before there’s a reaction that doesn’t involve crowds waving signs. Then it came; to Dallas and to Baton Rouge. Two men trained to make war overseas brought it home with them.
Too many cell phone videos of police shooting fleeing men in the back, subdued men on the ground. Too many acquittals of officers who spoke those magic seven words. “I felt my life was in danger.” Too little balance.
Locally a Nevada City Counsel member posted Facebook comments saying police are being sent out to kill. Wrong. The truth is too many officers feel immune from the law out there, because they are it.
Back when a bystander happened to have a video camera handy and recorded the police beating of Rodney King, a friend of mine – referring to George Orwell’s masterpiece of government spying on citizenry, “1984″ – said “Now Little Brother also has a camera.”
Now Little Brother is everywhere and everyone has a camera.
The nature of public protests is changing dramatically. Some are becoming bait to draw the police out where they are easier targets for the snipers’ rifles. It’s hard to tell what today’s constant barrage of back and forth shootings will look like from the near future. If a conclusion can be drawn this early it is that we should stop taking these incidents as isolated occurrences. They are interconnected, and, they are not over.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” -John F. Kennedy
Editor’s note: The Mountain Messenger, California’s oldest weekly newspaper since 1853, is published on Thursdays from Downieville, California.
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