“Police Use Forceful Tactics and Mace” reads the headline, which admittedly, is rigorously accurate.
The problem is that this is a game, this is pretend. There’s no consequences, no risk, and no expectation of change. It exists exclusively for the protestors to be part of something. It’s Woodstock 2011 with better music.
Which is fine, it’s their lives and their time, but it makes a mockery out of the idea of protest. If it doesn’t effect change, what’s the point? “Awareness” isn’t an answer, because everyone is already aware. The only thing I wasn’t aware of was how annoying entitled white people can be. No, that’s a lie.
But when the oppressive entity is so poorly defined (e.g. Wall Street, “the banks”, corruption) these protests always and without fail turn into protests against the police. Idiotically, in the minds of the protestors, the police are standing in for the banks. So all their antagonism and vitriol is turned against police officers who would probably rather be doing anything than babysitting the hipsters attending their social media drum circle. This is how it goes at G8 protests, IMF meetings, Republican conventions, NBA championships, etc. The evil white men are safely ensconced in their ivory tower behind impenetrable turnstiles accessible only with magnetic ID cards, so the protestors turn against the only other authority figure available.
The media loves, it, of course, whatever side they happen to appeal to can spin it any way they want, which is why it gets so much publicity; which in turn is why these kids did it in the first place, iphones at the ready, praying someone maces them so they can get a video out of it. Self-righteous indignation isn’t even accurate, because I get the very distinct feeling that no one really believes it.
Here’s a clue that this is a pathologic narcissism, the nihilistic kind that 17 yo boys have when they threaten to kill themselves if their girlfriend leaves them: I actually agree with the protestors about Bank of America in principle, but because they are putting their identity ahead of the cause and are making it about themselves, I find myself hating them more than Bank of America. Their arrogance and entitlement drives me away from them, into the arms of their enemies. I’m hardly alone in this. Either they are not aware of this effect, in which case they are merely idiots, or the are aware of this effect and do not care.