Protests and Violence: My Story…

Written by Scott

Topics: Blog, Politics, Social Media

Seattle protests 2003

The year was 2003, and the left’s protest du jour was anti-war and pro-peace.

But there was a significant undercurrent to the protests that was anything but peaceful, and just like the current sets of protests…focused on disruption, intimidation, even violence, and were thoroughly funded.

How do I know, you ask?

Well, aside from watching things unfold in Seattle and other areas, my perspective was up-close and personal. In 2003, I was a part of a nationwide counter-protest group called Protest Warriors (“Fighting the left…doing it right”). And despite the Wikipedia article I just linked, the group wasn’t nearly so much “in favor of the Iraq war” as it was counter-protesting some of the arguments the left was making. But I digress from my story.

We did a counter-protest at Greenlake in Seattle in 2003. It was  small group–less than a dozen of us, maybe even half that–and we simply brought our signs and stood well off to the side, without any yelling, movement, etc. I wasn’t long before we were greeted by their “security”, at first insisting this was their event, and when challenged with discussing our First Amendment rights of free speech, then not-so-gradually escalated to indignant screaming and cursing, as the numbers around us grew. We were literally moments from it turning violent had it not been for a few level-headed, less reactionary protesters from their side who stepped between us and them to protect us.

(Remember, this was a peace rally of the Left.)

I wanted to relay that story because there are many parallels to today’s protests.

  • Just like then, today’s protests are anything but grass-roots. They are organized and funded by other forces.
  • Just like then, today’s protests are anything peaceful, particularly if you don’t agree with them.
  • Just like then, today’s protests aren’t about free speech. Except theirs. If you disagree with them or with their ways or words, they will turn on you in a heartbeat, attempt to shame you (especially on social media), or even turn violent. It’s only their free speech that’s allowed to be exercised.

Let me be clear about one thing in my story and in the parallels to today’s protests: I am NOT saying all the protesters are like this. Heck, it’s clear that in the case of my story, there were some actually peaceful-minded protesters in their ranks, and one in particular from back then I kept a dialog with for quite some time, because he was well-meaning and authentic.