Apparently, standing up for what you believe in isn’t enough for today’s protestors: they wish to have a “face” attached to their movement.
They got their wish this past week, when photographs of a bloody Occupy Wall Street protestor made their way to the front page of newspapers. Police tackled the 20-year-old Philadelphia man, knocking him to the ground and causing a gash to his forehead.
They were dramatic images, photos that fueled charges of “police brutality.”
His arrest occurred immediately after he grabbed the hat of a police officer. While I’m confident that the police officers didn’t mean to cause a gash, I’m also bright enough to realize that grabbing a cop’s hat isn’t the kind of thing you do when you want to be his pal. Before grabbing that hat, this same guy allegedly threw a AAA battery at officers who set up a barricade. This kind of behavior, likewise, strikes me as the kind of thing one does when he wants to get arrested, not when he’s engaging in a peaceful protest.
The New York Daily News reported that it was the man’s fourth arrest since the protests began in September. It makes me wonder what he did those other three times.
But it certainly doesn’t make me sympathetic to his plight; when you disobey police orders, you are putting yourself at risk of arrest. When you assault a police officer or throw things at one, you are guaranteeing your own arrest.
Sure, it was only a battery. And a small, AAA battery at that. But when you throw something at police, particularly in a heated situation, they aren’t going to wait around to see what lands before they act. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. It certainly shouldn’t take more than three arrests to figure that out.
It’s a shame that he was injured. But when you’re complicit in your own injury, that limits the sympathy you’re due.
If that’s the best the movement can do in terms of creating a “face” for itself, something is very wrong with the way they’re crafting their message.