47292. vonKreedon - 5/31/2020 4:34:43 AM
This is long.
Well, that was both encouraging and deeply disappointing. Blair and I went to the protest and stayed until they took I-5.
The turnout, on a corona and rainy day Westlake park was filled to well overflowing and everyone was wearing masks, though the ability to stay 6 feet apart wasn't possible unless you kept backing-up away from the protest. That was encouraging.
While approaching Westlake from the northeast there were several things that disappointed me.
There were large groups, 6-10 people, of people all in black, wearing black face masks that now fit in rather than marking them out. I noticed that several carried cases of water bottles. I assumed that they expected to get gassed and were planning to wash their eyes with copious water, as opposed to the pros who use milk. I was wrong, more on that later.
Also as I approached Westlake the police presence was obvious and heavy handed. I've been loving the Seattle Police crowd control since the WTO riots. They use teams of bicycle cops who use their bikes as mobile barriers and have been phenomenally effective in keeping people wishing to do violence to others apart and the tensions low. This time it was all about officers in armor with large sticks standing shoulder to shoulder. It got worse.
Blair and I approached Westlake down Stewart, but 5th Avenue seemed to be blocked up, maybe a police line? So we walked up to 4th, and there was a police line there, but there seemed to be some movement. I went up to where people seemed to be being let through. A guy was taunting/insulting the cops who held there ground, a cop with a paintball gun came over. The guy finally drew a bottle from his coat and threatened to throw it and was told repeatedly, "Don't do it!" He did it and was lit up by the paintball gun and ran away. The Police wouldn't let us through, but they did speak with me and suggested that 5th avenue was open.
We went back to 5th, but no one was getting through the police line. I tried to engage some of the police to find out the authorized access point for Westlake. Nothing. I was told to look around and find out. I asked if their superior officer or some officer in charge could tell me. One office told to take it up with Carmen Best, our Police Chief. Finally, I stood about 7 feet from the line of police and shouted for a responsible officer to tell us how to get into the protest. (Did I mention that maybe a couple hundred people and I can see the protest the other side of the police double lines?) Nothing. I decried them for not being better than this and left.
47293. vonKreedon - 5/31/2020 4:34:53 AM
Blair and I walked around the outside of the crowd, found that all the other entrances to Westlake were open. (Why didn't the police just say that?) Eventually we were on Pine, on the opposite, west, side of Westlake with good views of the crowd. After a little bit there seemed to be some energetic, but stationary movement on 5th and Pine. The a couple of pepper bombs (Police anti-crowd flash-bang with rubber pellets and pepper gas) went off. Very loud! Immediately it became clear that the water bottles weren't for drinking of washing. The air was full of plastic water bottles being thrown at the police. So more pepper bombs, more water bottles, pepper spray, tear gas, etc. My third and Blair's first riot.
47294. Ms. No - 6/2/2020 10:56:04 PM
"This time it was all about officers in armor with large sticks standing shoulder to shoulder. It got worse."
I didn't mean to have my head buried in the sand, but I missed that there was going to be a demonstration on Friday. I was coming home from a socially distant gathering in McKinley park and noticed that the freeway exit before my own was blocked off by police cars.
Both exits/entrances on both sides of the 12th Ave overpass are blocked and I can see that there is police presence, but not really what's going on. Traffic had slowed considerably, but we weren't stopped.
I get mile down the freeway to my own exit and it's open but backed up because of more police. As I came around the exit loop, there were 12 officers in helmets and face masks just standing there with about six police cars. Across the street it was the same and then again on either side of the street as I crossed the overpass.
48 police officers looking like they're ready for a riot --- and at that time I still didn't know what was going on. My first thought at the first exit was that there was some kind of car chase or had been some lone shooter in a hostage situation or something. By the time I got to the second off ramp, it didn't look like that --- how could it have been --- but it did still look the like cops were waiting for a riot.
Found out when I got home that there was a demonstration and that marchers had gathered around the police station about a mile from my house. They had been marching in the street, but peacefully.
I mentioned in our neighborhood forum that I'd been to my share of protest marches and never seen the police presence like this before. Somebody got hot and told me that it had nothing to do with racism they were just trying to keep demonstrators from shutting down the freeways like they did when they marched for Stephon Clark.
Uh, yeah, sure. I have come to know that the question is never "is racism involved," but "how MUCH racism is involved."
47295. Ms. No - 6/2/2020 10:56:37 PM
cont. from 47294
So, the SacPD -- which if you pay any attention to CA news is NOT best known for their ability to de-escalate situations and keep from harassing and violating the rights of our black citizens -- shows up dressed for a riot, standing in an adversarial manner and lo and behold we get a riot.
Not unlike the stories coming from some of the other cities across the U.S., in many cases the vandalism and looting is being perpetrated by people totally unrelated to the demonstrators.
But in the cities where the cops took off their riot gear and laid down their batons and marched WITH the citizens, there hasn't been any violence.
It's great to see some police standing for whats right. I'm pleased, but I still want to know what took them so damn long. They've been sitting around with their thumbs up their asses like the Republicans who won't denounce Trump for far too long.
I don't think anyone deserves to be beaten or assaulted, but I cannot in all fairness say the police should be surprised or even all that pissed about it. They have had years and years to fix this problem within their ranks and they have done damn little.
47296. Ms. No - 6/2/2020 11:14:51 PM
You may have all seen this already, but if not, I think Trevor Noah explains things very clearly.
Trevor Noah: George Floyd and the Domino Effect
47297. winstonsmith - 8/23/2020 10:37:39 PM
71 days - Can't wait for this to be over. Fingers crossed.
Aside from the worry, it is interesting to watch the strategic progression of the race.
The strategy appears to be, grind it out: Each day, win the day in the news cycle. Each week, win the week.... Like reeling in a powerful fish, keep tension on the line and fight them every inch until you pull them into the boat. Don't give them a chance to rest or regroup.
It is ugly and exhausting but what are you going to do?
Trump has to go.
47298. arkymalarky - 8/24/2020 5:00:04 PM
Great analogy. I'm in Colorado right now trying to ignore things and not succeeding, but the Democratic Convention was great last week the Republican convention is already sucking before it even starts. No platform no inspirational guests no inspirational messages
47299. vonKreedon - 8/24/2020 5:43:44 PM
No platform? Really, have the Repubs given up on having what they believe in a concrete form for fear Trump will change it on a whim?
47300. winstonsmith - 8/26/2020 11:07:26 PM
Trump just announced that he wants Biden to take a drug test before the first debate because he is seeming to sharp.
If reporters ask Biden about this, I suggest he reply, Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV.
47301. arkymalarky - 8/27/2020 2:14:39 PM
47302. vonKreedon - 8/27/2020 6:01:24 PM
Yep, that should do it. [;-}
47303. Ms. No - 8/28/2020 4:37:52 AM
And I don't think Trump ought to be advocating for drug tests as long as Don Jr. is going to be showing up to events.
Unkind of me, I know, but as I watched the clips of Kimberly Guilfoyle's speech, I kept wondering if Gavin Newsome was watching and thinking "I can't believe I used to sleep with that."
47304. vonKreedon - 8/28/2020 5:56:54 PM
Unfortunately, I thought that Trump's speech was very much on point for what he wanted and was well delivered for that purpose. All fear all the time.
47305. winstonsmith - 8/29/2020 12:53:41 AM
I am hoping that his speech, and the RNC convention generally will:
A. Mostly appeal to voters he already has in the bag
B. Fail to move the opinions of voters who are exhausted by the endless BS and just want it to end. ( I think there may be a lot of these) Surely there are many.... I hope... But surely it must be true. DOH!
47306. winstonsmith - 9/8/2020 8:04:51 PM
It seems to me like Biden won the first week of September.
I imagine at some point between now and the election a sitting conservative SC judge will float retirement?
I think that would boost Trump with conservative voter who personally dislike Trump.
47307. Ms. No - 9/10/2020 11:09:25 PM
I heard rumblings a bit ago that it might be Clarence Thomas.
47308. winstonsmith - 9/11/2020 1:45:20 AM
Yeah, MS No, that would make sense, or Alito. Alito is 70 ad Thomas is 72.
47309. winstonsmith - 9/11/2020 1:53:42 AM
Conservatives have watched the risk that Ginsburt took and must be applying significant pressure to Thomas and possibly Alito. Conservatives can plainly see that Trump is at risk of losing. I imagine they have a contingency plan where at least one of them will try to retire between the election and inaguration if Biden wins. They may have a plan blow through the process at high speed? It would look really bad if it was after the election. Seems like it would make more sense to announce a retirement now, before the election so it could be used to help Trump win.
47310. winstonsmith - 9/11/2020 2:21:59 AM
No matter what, if they add SC retirements this crazy election season, thing may boil over.
47311. Ms. No - 9/13/2020 9:23:15 PM
Yeah, I imagine if Trump gets to place another justice -- or two -- and then loses the election, the Dems may expand the court. I don't think they want to, but they may see it as having no other choice.
Because of course McConnell will rubber stamp any Trump nominee and it doesn't seem like there's anyone in the GOP who will buck that.
Or maybe there are a couple of vulnerable senators who would just to see if they can solidify their seats.