Resistance at Brown to government organized class war

The mainstream media has universally condemned the protest at Brown this week, but they are grossly wrong in their understanding of what happened.


First:  Free speech is for the people, not the government.  The job of the government is to protect the right of the people to free speech.  The government already has too many ways to get its message out, overt  and covert.  The government seems to lie freely, cover up its crimes daily≤ and try to squeeze all of the space away from whistle blowers and truth tellers.  The government owns the microphones, the media seems to acquiesce, but the people must rise up strongly and fiercely and nonviolently to prevent the government from overstepping its bounds.


In this context think again about what happened at Brown.  a behind the scenes donor wants to hear from a conservative proponent of violence against the people, the students hear about this, though not necessarily about the back door game being played in choosing him. The students petition the administration saying this is a really bad choice, the administration blows them off,.  Then at the event the administration just sort of bumbles about.  The speaker leaves with his tail between his legs and all across the world people opposed to the police state cheer.


Lets also put what was done in context in terms of the type of protest it was.  If the students had marched on  police department headquarters in NYC protesting the policy of stop and frisk, the NYPD would have beaten them with sticks, handcuffed them, denied them medical care.  They have done this to protesters regularly for YEARS.  The NYPD and its leadership have acted unconstitutionally for years.


Kelly then decides it is okay to come to Providence and spread the message that the ruling class thinks it is just fine to harass the poor and the people who do not look white enough. In other words he is a messenger of class war for the ruling class.


He comes to town, the protesters occupy the space.  Is occupying that space any different from sitting in at a congressional office?  Would the commentators have written so harshly of sitting in at a congressional office over something so egregious as blatant violations of the constitution?  How about occupying the administration building at Brown when it does something egregious?  Especially under the conditions that real progress on issues of justice at Brown usually happen only after the students do something bold and outrageous.


Thinking of what happened to Kelly as a protest is the wrong framing.  It is an act of resistance.  It is the same as the protesters going to Tahir square in Cairo to protest Mubarak and Morsi.  You think if Mubarak had come to Tahir square the people would not have screamed at him and tried to shout him down?  Under this context Kelly received mild treatment and the only thing that made this one different was the ruling class was caught by surprise, fumbled about, and have now started moaning about the evil protesters.


The shutting off of Commissioner Kelly’s microphone was an act of resistance that should be viewed for the resistance to government policy that it is  and should be cheered.


4 thoughts on “Resistance at Brown to government organized class war

  1. You hit the nail right on the head. The NYPD have always been thugs and stooges for the “power”, the students were right to protest the chief and his message. Protesting is not about the law, it’s about the right. Government has a long history of passing bad law that justifies bad behavior. It’s up to the people to rise up and say NO, just like the Brown students did!

  2. Sorry Greg, I strongly disagree with this for a lot of reasons.

    First, it is a losing political strategy because of the overwhelming dislike of this shouting down of someone at a University and it raised public sympathy for Kelly. It associates the left wing with speech suppression and lack of civil discourse, not a good thing. It undermies effrots of addressing situations where a left-wing speaker is not allowed to speak.

    Second, though I think the NY policy likley violates the (important!) 4th amendment, the case law there is not clear and it is reasonable to hear the alleged justification. As a New Yorker, I remember with alarm the city once had 2600 homicides a year, it was regarded as ungovernable, its economy was tanking and many Rhode Islanders were afraid to visit. Ths could not and should not continue, and it didn’t. The homicide rate is now about 500/year, more than an 80% reduction.

    There are a number of reasons for that, but maybe one is “stop and frisk” that not only occasionally catches illegal guns, it deters taking those guns onto the street.

    Third, I don’t like the glib charges of racism. Kelly is in charge of trying to protect all the citizens of the city, and statistically a good many of the 2100 fewer homicide victims saved are minorities, disproportionatey victims of violent crime. NPR had comments from older African-American women in poor neighborhoods who had to live thru the more violent period that are grateful for measures that enhance not just their safety, that of their kids/grandchildren too. One could just as well argue that OPPOSITION to stop-and-frisk is racist as it disproprtinately benefits minorities.

    Fourthly, though it is obvious the vast majority of Muslims are no threat to anyone’s security, nevertheless there are enough jihadists to legitimately concern us, we had the 9/11 attacks, the Ft Hood shooting, and near misses in Times Square, Queens synagogues etc. Just today, a mass of Iranians are in the streets chanting Death to America. Just think of the public reaction and the state of civil lberties if there was another successful attack like 9/11 or some disaster on the subways. New York is most at risk, and we have a right to try to guard aginst this.

    I know that how to reduce the crime rate and guard against terrorism is not simple, and mistakes will be made that should be called out. But reasonable people can disagree about tactics, its better to hear each other out than shout each other down.

    • Kelly has always mistreated demonstrators,locking demonstrators in cages, denying them food , water and medical care. he constantly violates the right of assembly and the right to petition the government. here is no other way to get through to him than to disrupt when he comes to our neighborhood to spread his BS. And your comments on profiling muslims is just plain offensive.

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