Hacktivist group Anonymous has made some pretty shaky alliances over the years, even though it’s done some good work. However, perhaps its most questionable work has been with Black Lives Matter.
Now, in a graphic video, the group said that it will engage in a “day of rage” (a totally nonviolent day of rage, they say, for what are certainly purposes of legal expediency) on July 15 in order to express their anger.
“Once again we are calling upon the citizens of the United States, in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement as well as other civil rights activists, to participate in a day of action against the injustices of corrupt officers,” the video said.
“On Friday, July 15, we will all flood the streets at strategic locations in order to maximize our voice … Tell your family, tell your friends. We will change the world together. Our freedom depends on it.”
The video opened with graphic images of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It then went into a call to action using the familiar robotic voice associated with Anonymous.
“The time has come to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. We are infuriated as we watch day after day, another human, murdered, because an irresponsible, corrupt system allows free reign to cops that continuously abuse their power,” the video intoned.
“Thus, we are calling upon the citizens of the United States to rise up and stand in solidarity with the people of Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, as well as Baltimore and Ferguson. We are grieving for the lost lives that were taken by the hands of a corrupted authority.
“We must stress the importance of staying nonviolent. Your local 7-Eleven or Dollar Tree did not cause the deaths of these young men. We condemn every form of rioting,” it added.
That sounds somewhat reasonable, until the next sentence.
“We are calling on a collective day of rage,” the video says. “A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest.”
Ah, a collective day of rage — but nonviolent rage. Or at least nonviolent to the fine 7-Eleven and Dollar Tree owners across the fruited plain. You may perhaps notice that law enforcement officers were conspicuously absent from that call for nonviolence.
Especially in the wake of Dallas, whoever wrote copy for this soliloquy probably ought to have stopped to think that cops were slightly more at risk than the Slurpee machine.
As for Dallas, Anonymous addressed that in the video as well. Much like the “collective day of rage” soundbite, what they said sounded OK if you weren’t thinking about it. Looking at it critically, it sounded a lot worse.
“On July 7, we collectively witnessed the deaths of five officers. They had nothing to do with the deaths of either Philando or Alton,” Anonymous said. “While we cannot agree with the official accounts of the Dallas Police Department and the theory that there was only one shooter involved, we can agree that this was a heinous incident that has no place in our fight for justice and equality. Yet, while we do honor these fallen officers, we will not be discouraged.”
“We will not stop until the officers responsible for the deaths of both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We WILL NOT submit to another failure of judgment by those who failed to indict Darren Wilson and prosecute the officers who were involved in the death of Freddie Gray.”
It’s worth pointing out that Darren Wilson wasn’t charged after a decision by a grand jury and the Baltimore officers — in spite of a very aggressive prosecution from State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, inter alia — were found not guilty by a jury of the people of Baltimore.
What Anonymous is saying is that the jury system — the bedrock of jurisprudence in every free society — cannot and should not be trusted to deliver verdicts to its liking, so it should be scuttled when police officers are involved.
For an organization that has an impressive record of defending freedom from tyranny on a global scale, this was a fatal lapse in judgment. The insistence that juries reach verdicts that Anonymous approves of, under the threat of uncivil disobedience, is nothing short of demanding show trials with mob violence as a bargaining chip.
That’s not just undemocratic, it’s anti-democratic.
You can watch the “call to action” here (WARNING: graphic images):
Courtesy of The Organic Prepper, here is where the Anonymous events will take place:
Phoenix: 5:00PM (EASTLAKE PARK, 1549 E Jefferson St , Phoenix, AZ 85034)
Tuscon: 5:00PM (CATALINA PARK, 900 N 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85705)
Little Rock: 6:00PM (OUTSIDE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Little Rock, AR 72201)
San Francisco: 4:00PM (CIVIC CENTER PLAZA, 355 Mcallister St, San Francisco, California 94102)
Oakland: 4:00PM (FRANK OGAWA PLAZA, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612)
Los Angeles: 4:00PM (LEIMERT PLAZA PARK, 4395 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008)
Denver: 5:00PM (CIVIC CENTER PARK, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, Colorado 80204)
Washington, D.C.: 7:00PM (OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500)
Atlanta: 7:00PM (OLD DECATUR COURTHOUSE, 101 E Court Sq, Decatur, GA 30030)
Tampa: 7:00PM (OUTSIDE HILLSBOROUGH COURTHOUSE, 800 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL)
Orlando: 7:00PM (LAKE EOLA PARK, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801)
Miami: 7:00PM (GWEN CHERRY PARK, NW 71 St., Miami, Florida, 33147)
Chicago: 6:00PM (RICHARD J DALEY CENTER, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, Illinois 60602)
Des Moines: 6:00PM (IOWA STATE CAPITOL, 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319)
New Orleans: 6:00PM (LAFAYETTE SQUARE, New Orleans, LA 70130)
Baltimore: 7:00PM (201 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202)
Boston: 7:00PM (MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 01233)
Detroit: 7:00PM (Campus Martius Park, Detroit, Michigan 48226)
Lansing: 7:00PM (STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933)
Ann Arbor: 7:00PM (THE DIAG, Burns Park, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)
Minneapolis: 6:00PM (MINNEAPOLIS URBAN LEAGUE, 2100 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411
St. Louis: 6:00PM (GATEWAY ARCH, St. Louis 63102)
Carson City: 4:00PM (NEVADA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, 101 N Carson St, Carson City, Nevada 89701)
Manhattan, NY: 7:00PM (TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan, NY, 10036)
Newark: 7:00PM (NEWARK CITY HALL, 920 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102)
Durham: 7:00PM (200 E. Main St. Durham, North Carolina)
Columbus: 7:00PM (GOODALE PARK, Columbus, Ohio 43215)
Cleveland: 7:00PM (CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, 325 Superior Ave E, Cleveland, Ohio 44114)
Portland: 4:00PM (PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE, 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97204)
Philadelphia: 7:00PM (LOVE PARK, 1599 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102)
Pittsburgh: 7:00PM (PITTSBURGH CITY-COUNTY BUILDING, 414 Grant St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219)
Nashville: 6:00PM (801 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203 Estes Kefauver Federal Building)
Memphis: 6:00PM (Health Sciences Park Memphis, TN)
Austin: 6:00PM (TEXAS STATE CAPITOL, Outside South Gate-11th and Congress Ave.)
Salt Lake City: 5:00PM (SALT LAKE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 4600 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123)
Seattle: 4:00PM (QUEEN ANNE BAPTIST CHURCH, 2011 1st Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109)
Milwaukee: 5:00PM (DINEEN PARK, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
“To police departments across the United States,” Anonymous said toward the close of the video. “We are not your enemy. However, it is in your hands if you want us to stay that way or not. We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated.”
Sorry, Anonymous, but when you call for an end to due process and a demand that officers be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, no matter what the findings of local, state and federal investigations may be, you have already become the enemy of law enforcement — and of freedom-loving people everywhere.
What you mean to say, I think, is that you plan to become substantially more criminal in your pursuit of your aims, whether that criminal disruption in conjunction with Black Lives Matter is violent or merely destructive in an electronic sense.
That may be disobedience, but it is hardly civil, and one cannot really think you actually believe there is no likelihood of violence.
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