Friday, July 24, 2020

This Happened Before. This Happened Before.

Does history repeat every ten years?

In my posting about The Crazy Years, I neglected to address the brief insanity that accompanied the financial meltdown of 2008.  I chastise people for "forgetting" about the real estate bubbles of 1989 and even 2008, but I myself forgot all about the "Occupy Wall Street" or "OWS" or just "Occupy" movement of that era.  There was also a counter-movement of right-wing nutjobs calling themselves the "tea party."    Same shit, different day.

To recap, young people, pissed off about the financial bailout, the mortgage meltdown, and of mainly, their student loan debt, camped out in a park near Wall Street and declared it an autonomous zone.

Sound Familiar? Different "causes" involved, same shit.

Anyway, after a few months of anarchy, in which the "protesters" showed themselves to be utter dicks, the police came in and took down all the tents, arrested everyone, and shooed away others.  That is to say, those who hadn't already left because they were tired of the protest.

This "autonomous zone" was a dangerous place, because while it was started by protesters, quickly a lot of homeless people latched on to it, as well as opportunists and crazy folks who thought it might be a good time, smoking pot, getting high, and doing whatever you wanted to, including rape.

Yes, rape. Turns out, several women were sexually assaulted, and some "leaders" of this ill-conceived movement decided that it would be better for the image of the movement if these crimes were not reported.  They felt that the Police were the enemy and that they could police their own "community" and dole out justice.   And of course, it didn't work at all.

This got me to thinking about what was and is going on in Portland and Seattle and how it will play out.   Already one guy has gotten shot - and died.  His family is suing the city, oddly enough, not the leaders of this "autonomous zone" - any good lawyer goes after the deep pocket.  Young boys have been shot - as young as 14.  One has died.  This is the alternative to policing?   I think if anything, the protesters have proven the opposite of their intent - and have blood on their hands, the blood of children.

I suspect the same thing has played out in Seattle as it did Wall Street - and will play out in Portland.  The homeless and crazies and hangers-on and opportunists quickly attached themselves to this "protest" - diluting the message of the original protesters (which was what, again?).   Efforts at "alternative policing" by the protesters are not working and there will be more crimes against the protesters by fellow "protesters" as we saw in OWS.  Organizers quickly realized that the optics were damaging their cause.

While the mayors of Portland and Seattle are liberal and weak and less likely to use police power to put a stop to violence and destruction and reclaim "occupied" areas, eventually even they realized that the problem wasn't going to go away on its own, and that this rioting and vandalism stopped being about "Black Lives Matter" and had devolved into anarchy.

It stopped being about "Black Lives Matter" when the people protesting were all white.