This isn’t generally a self-help kind of blog, but I thought it might be a good idea to pass along some ideas to the “people” of Baltimore who decided destroying cars, breaking windows, setting trash cans on fire, and throwing rocks at the police was a good way to communicate their message to the rest of the world. First off, nothing derails your credibility as a “peaceful protest” faster than going on a violent and destructive rampage. It’s generally considered bad form and all but guarantees that people who might otherwise be sympathetic will end up taking a dim view of whatever it is that you’re about.
Second, everyone from Baltimore’s mayor to the local newscasters took great pains to tell us all that “95%” of the protestors were peaceful. That might be true and if it is, why didn’t that 95% overwhelm the 5% who were violent with sheer weight of numbers? A little self policing within the group would go a long way towards preventing the actual police from stepping in and handling things the Western District Way. Unless, of course, what you really want from all of this is for the police to start banging heads in order to justify more criminal behavior.
Admittedly, I’m not a march or shout kind of protestor. I tend to register my displeasure with people and situations at the ballot box or cash register. It simply has never occurred to me that going to downtown Elkton and smashing the windows out of someone’s car would be a more effective means of getting my point across. Maybe I’ll give that a try next time. All I’d need to do is find 19 other people to stand by and be peaceful and that would make my shitty behavior A-OK on the eyes of the mayor and media, no?