Skip to main content

Here we go again...



UPDATED BELOW

Yesterday, I wrote about how Americans for Prosperity representatives helped knock down their own tent on the grounds of the Michigan State Capitol building during an anti-Right to Work for Less rally there. Subsequent to posting that piece, I was alerted to comments made on Reddit. You can read those comments HERE. What is evident from the comments is that there is a lot of editing that has gone on with the videos Fox News is now running in nearly constant rotation making it look like all of the violence and hostility at the rally yesterday came from union members. As it turns out, significant portions of it were faked and creative Breitbart-style editing helped it along much more.

I spoke to the commenter on Reddit who assisted me in putting this piece together and was present for the conversation that happens in the first minutes of the first video below.

Here's the first, highly edited video which ends with Fox News contributor Steven Crowder getting punched by some union protesters:

This video is actually a composite of a things that happened over the course of the day, many of them hours apart. The initial conversation happened early in the morning. At about 0:16, it cuts to Crowder saying, "You've already destroyed one tent, leave this one alone." That happened hours after the interview with the union workers that starts the segment. The guy he's talking to is standing quite a distance from the tent but Crowder insists that he's somehow tearing down the tent.

Selective editing at about 0:39 mark shows what appears to be union guy attacking Crowder for no apparent reason. However, if you look closely, you'll see that the guy is getting up off the ground -- that he was NOT the one that became aggressive first.

At about 1:13, as the tent is coming down, Crowder comes over to the cameraman and waves him off as if to say, "that's enough filming." The reason for this becomes clear if you watch this longer, less edited version of the video:

What they apparently don't want you to see is union members using knives to cut the tent open to let people inside out. Rather, the message that is being sent by the conservative media and blogosphere is that the union members deliberately cut the tent to pieces in an act of malicious vandalism. As was pointed out in the Reddit comments HERE, the union members actually ask, "Is everybody out?" and then proceed to make sure that they are.

At 1:49 in the longer video, one union members notes that an AFP guy has a gun and brags that he's "killed plenty of mother fuckers with a gun" (i.e., he's killed people who were in possession of guns.) This is being played up as if a UNION MEMBER had a gun. Not true.

If you want to see a blatant act of theater on Crowder's part, keep watching that segment. At 2:07, Crowder asks the cameraman "are you recording this?" The cameraman answers, "Yes", then Crowder acts as if he's being roughly shoved back into the crowd unprovoked. If you watch closely, the guy who supposedly pushed him has his hands by his side.

UPDATE: It appears that Crowder was actually pulled from behind in this segment. This isn't evident in the longer video but is evident in the shorter, edited video. I apologize for the error.

For those who have accused me of defending violence by union members, I don't. It pisses me off to no end that these people allowed themselves to be manipulated by Americans for Prosperity and Fox News and incited into doing stupid shit that gives ALL union members a bad name even though the stupid shit was done by only a small handful out of the 15,000+ people that attended the rally and behaved perfectly calm.

That said, there is no question in my mind whatsoever that AFP and Fox employees set out to incite a huge crowd of very angry people. My wife Anne spoke to a number of union members yesterday who spoke about their fear of the future. They are barely making ends meet now and, with the passage of Right to Work for Less laws, they will now have even less of an opportunity to improve their situation. They are afraid and they are angry and Americans for Prosperity sticking their thumb into their eye fans the flames. They had two HUGE tents taking up space in the middle of the Capitol grounds that were largely empty throughout most of the day.

People that were present at the rally told me that Crowder uses a technique of intentionally invading your personal space to make you uncomfortable and then peppers you with questions to make you angry. It is an intentional act to incite an angry response. The Capitol grounds were a tinderbox of angry folks and both AFP and Fox News tossed a lit match into it and then blamed the wood for catching fire.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:14 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I Wanted To Disagree With You As I Read (23+ / 0-)

    the first half of your Diary, and then you said what I was thinking. Almost exactly:

    For those who have accused me of defending violence by union members, I don't. It pisses me off to no end that these people allowed themselves to be manipulated by Americans for Prosperity and Fox News and incited into doing stupid shit that gives ALL union members a bad name even though the stupid shit was done by only a small handful out of the 15,000+ people that attended the rally and behaved perfectly calm.
    That is kind of what I think.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:24:49 AM PST

    •  Myself, I see this as FOX agitprop, pure and (13+ / 0-)

      simple.

      Watch, in that first video, at 0:50, where Crowder is walking away from the altercation with his hands in the air after the guy in the red stocking cap has broken up the fight.  Just as he passes behind a guy with a hardhat on, you can see his left hand go to his mouth and as he emerges on the other side of Hard Hat, you can see him bring his hand down from his teeth.  It looks very much like he's extracted a mouth guard, to me.  A video reporter does not wear a mouth guard, it makes talking to the camera impossible.  But if that's not your main objective....

      It would be good if that segment could be analyzed in slow mo.

      Red Hat, btw, is an accomplice.   If you watch him break up that fight, he's coming from right next to the camera as Crowder opens up for him to step in.  It's planned.  He walks with Crowder back to the tent and he's also there in the second, longer video when Crowder feigns being pushed down.  He's dressed like a blue collar guy with red touque and camo vest but he's a FOX guy for sure.  I can't make out the button he's wearing but I'll bet it's a union button.  

      Agitprop.  It's what the Russians were so good at 100 years ago.  Sure, some of the union guys let their anger at having just won an election and then watched the lame ducks ram through worker-inimical bills get the best of them, but only after having been baited by these FOX thugs.   They worked hard for the economic gains all of us have made over the last 75 years and it's all slipping away.  If I were jumped on by that preening asshole in that situation, I would take a swing at him myself.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:37:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      They f-d up. No defense. Now everyone must deal with it.   Thanks guys.

      •  Yeah, that's exactly what everyone says (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, jayden

        when a right winger bombs an abortion clinic.  The double standard is absurd.  People flip when one guy, who was almost literally asking for it, gets punched, and fucking crickets when a right winger shoots up a church because it's too liberal.

        This is the United States, despite what the idiots at Fox may want to pretend violence does not delegitimize any movement except in the eyes of the left.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:38:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And to be clear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, jayden

        I'm not saying that's your reaction, I just meant the general reaction.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:40:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've been following a few Wingnut-CT hashtags (18+ / 0-)

    on Twitter (especially the Recursive ReTweetabillies of Capslockistan found in the #RedNationRising stream), and this staged incident has the "union thug" crowd whipped into a full-on Breitbartian slobberfest.

    In other words - it's going exactly as Fox News planned.

    The Tea Party isn't a movement - it's an excuse.

    by here4tehbeer on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:37:19 AM PST

  •  this orchestrated pos reminds me of how nazi (27+ / 0-)

    stormtroopers used to bait opponents into doing the same thing -- & then turn around & claim victimhood.

    of course, as far as the rw & fox noise is concerned, it's perfectly all right for people to show up at events where the prez is, armed to the teeth & carrying signs advocating "watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots" . . .

    but don't anyone DARE touch the koch bros' property (tent)! -- that's going too far & is truly dispicable! blah, blah, blah.

    the ministry of propaganda should get a good month's worth of mileage out of this before they move on to their next target.  i predict this will be topic #1 on the sunday gasbag shows with the usual cast of rw characters & media whores like david gregory & george snuffalufagus helping them spread the manure as much as they can.

    •  Yep (9+ / 0-)

      Before they could worry about oppressing anyone the Nazis had to deal with trade unions, social democrats and communists, each of whom had their own organized gangs and support network.  Trade unions were a whole hell of a lot more powerful then than now and a particularly tough nut to crack.  This game of incite violence and play victim served them extremely well.  

      The main difference is than compared to then, trade unions are a paper tiger without much bite left in it.  It is hard for the militant right to claim victimhood when its leftist enemy groups (e.g., ACORN) keep falling over and dying.  

      Tom Frank was a pseudo that I coined before I found out about that guy who writes books.

      by Tom Frank on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:26:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How many of those Union Members (24+ / 0-)

    are Republican?  This isn't a Republican versus Dem. thing, this is about fighting for the middle class.

    Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

    by Pinto Pony on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:54:04 AM PST

  •  Benghazi.... (12+ / 0-)

    Fast and Furious....

    Union Thugs....

    The drumbeat never ends with those crazy batstids.

    Obama in 2012: Because There Might Not Be Much Left by 2016

    by funluvn1 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:04:14 AM PST

  •  union (8+ / 0-)

    The idea that anybody in a union votes Republican makes my head explode.

  •  If you're in a union (6+ / 0-)

    and you voted Republican you got what you deserve.

  •  More satire, writing itself. (7+ / 0-)

    It would be hilarious, if nothing real was at stake.   Sadly, that makes it not funny at all.  Because of the actions of AFP and the Michigan Repubs, how many people will suffer and eventually die?  It is incalculable, but it is more than one.  And one is too much.

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. Plus, I get a small royalty, and Jeff Bezos and his employees get the rest. Not a bad deal, as CEO Bezos is not much of a dick, relatively speaking. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:19:08 AM PST

  •  Crowder is Breitbart (16+ / 0-)

    I saw him bragging about carrying on Breitbart's legacy last night.

    Let all the Bush tax cuts expire

    by Paleo on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:28:44 AM PST

  •  Here's the thing... they'll keep playing it. (17+ / 0-)

    Yep, it's edited.  Yep, it's bullshit.

    Yep, it's a gross distortion of the events.

    But that doesn't matter to fox news, and it doesn't matter to the people who watch it.  It will continue to be played, and used.

    It's a big lie.  And must be repeated.  Again, and again until people believe it.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:40:39 AM PST

  •  I agree with much of what you said (7+ / 0-)

    especially the part about this being used for political purposes by those who support "right to work" laws.  Of course, that comes with the territory these days.  

    That said, I do take issue somewhat with the last part:  

    and Americans for Prosperity sticking their thumb into their eye fans the flames. They had two HUGE tents taking up space in the middle of the Capitol grounds that were largely empty throughout most of the day.
    People who gather on public grounds for a political protest have to EXPECT  that the other side can -- and will -- be there as well.  The other side showing up -- and making a very visible presence -- is not "sticking their thumb in their eye."  It's part of our democratic process.  In other words, the taking down of the tent in the first place, whether it was violent or not, was wrong and should have been stopped by cooler heads.  Nobody,  as part of a protest, gets to use physical means, violent or not, to try to make the other side go away.  
    Shalda told me that Crowder uses a technique of intentionally invading your personal space to make you uncomfortable and then peppers you with questions to make you angry. It is an intentional act to incite an angry response. The Capitol grounds were a tinderbox of angry folks and both AFP and Fox News tossed a lit match into it and then blamed the wood for catching fire.
    That's a bit too forgiving of people who behaved inappropriately.  They are not some inanimate object that simply reacts to stimulus (like some obnoxious words from the other side).  They are  thinking, rational people who have to EXPECT that, in a very high profile political situation, there will be people from the other side who are just as, or even more, vocal as they are. That is how democracy works.  It is a bit disingenuous to say that they were just sitting there like wood and someone threw a match.  You have to expect that a match (through words from the other side that make you angry) will be there.  And if some of the protesters react inappropriately, it's up to the organizers on their side to make sure rational thinking prevails.  

    Again, I completely agree that certain AFP and Fox News will exploit this for political gain, and I completely agree that it's rational to believe that AFP and Crowder wanted to be as "in your face" as possible hoping to provoke exactly the kind of response they got.  

    But I think you are a bit too quick to excuse those who acted inappropriately.  The other side putting up a large tent, and saying things that make you angry, are the kind of thing you have to expect when you engage in a protest on public grounds concerning a highly-charged, emotional issue.  It's not any kind of excuse for destroying the other side's property (taking down the tent) or physical altercations.  

    •  Well... (6+ / 0-)

      I also said, "It pisses me off to no end." I'll stand by my remarks and I'm not excusing anyone from inappropriate behavior on either side of the issue.

      "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
      -- Dr. Peter Venkman


      Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

      by Eclectablog on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:12:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This difference is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, VClib, Darmok

        that AFP and Crowder had a legal right to do what they did -- i.e., be a very visible, very vocal (and obnoxious) presence on public grounds speaking out on a political issue.  As long as the grounds were open to free speech on that date and time, they had every right to do what they did no matter how obnoxious they were about it.  That's protected under the First Amendment.

        Nobody had a legal right to take down AFP's tent or to punch somebody.  No matter how visible, vocal, and obnoxious AFP and/or Crowder were.  That's NOT exercising a First Amendment right, but engaging in illegal conduct.

        I think that the union supporters had an obligation to EXPECT visible, vocal, and obnoxious (legal) speech from the other side, and NOT to respond with illegal conduct.  

        "He made me angry" is not justification for damaging someone else's property, or for punching someone, especially when the thing that mad you angry was someone legally exercising First Amendment rights -- just as you were doing.

        They were both behaving badly, but the difference is that one was doing it legally and one was not.  

        •  If you act like an asshole (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093, Aquarius40, Dirtandiron

          and attack people who are being injured by your compatriots then you get absolutely no sympathy from me when you get socked by one of those people.  These unions are being demonstrably injured and pretending like they are the aggressor is absurd.

          "He made me angry" is not justification for damaging someone else's property, or for punching someone, especially when the thing that mad you angry was someone legally exercising First Amendment rights -- just as you were doing.
          No, but "He is injuring me" most certainly is.  And "He made me angry" is not justification for damaging someone else's property, or for punching someone, especially when the thing that mad you angry was someone legally exercising First Amendment rights -- just as you were doing.  And despite the fact that people want to pretend that government passed laws are not to be resisted, if we all thought that we'd never have had unions in the first place.

          Union struggles have always been mixed with violence, for the same reason all struggle by oppressed people are, because they are being oppressed by violence.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:59:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That last section should read (0+ / 0-)

            No, but "He is injuring me" most certainly is.  And despite the fact that people want to pretend that government passed laws are not to be resisted, if we all thought that we'd never have had unions in the first place.

            Union struggles have always been mixed with violence, for the same reason all struggle by oppressed people are, because they are being oppressed by violence.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:09:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I draw the line at violence (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, nextstep, Darmok

              Resisting laws is fine, as long as the resistance is through speech, and the democratic process.  Resistance of laws  through violence is not ok.  

              Union struggles have always been mixed with violence, for the same reason all struggle by oppressed people are, because they are being oppressed by violence.
              Really?  So you are condoning using violence -- against people or property -- in response to really obnoxious protected free speech?  
        •  If someone knocks you (4+ / 0-)

          to the ground, you damn well do have the right to get up and punch them.

          •  Two points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            There are two different acts here.  

            First there is no justification -- none - for the attempts to take down the AFP tent.  The prior diary (linked in this one) has a report from someone who as there who explained that the union supporters clearly were trying to take down the AFP tent.  And the video clearly shows that they were, whether AFP ultimately helped it finally collapse or not.  

            Second, if Crowder intentionally pushed the man down, I agree with you.  That would be self-defense.  We don't know whether Crowder did or not.  If Crowder did not intentionally push him to the ground -- if it was someone else or if he was unintentionally knocked to the ground by someone -- that punch is not justified as self-defense.  

            It is unclear from the video.  The man who punched Crowder is on the ground.  That much is clear.  Whether Crowder had anything to do with that -- intentionally or unintentionally -- is not as clear.  

            •  Incorrect (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aquarius40

              The post I linked is from a union member who watched an AFP guy loosening the straps on one of the tents just before it went down.

              There were TWO tents. I wouldn't be surprised if union guys took that one down and I wouldn't condone or cheer it either.

              "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
              -- Dr. Peter Venkman


              Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

              by Eclectablog on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:32:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  From the comments to your own diary yesterday (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nextstep
                I just got home from Lansing -- served as a marshal, trying to keep everybody safe, and keep the piece. Now, I have a lot to say about the AFP loudmouths who were trying to bait some on our side. But they succeeded in their aim, and regrettably, we marshals were unable to stop union members from pulling the tent down. I was right there, trying to stop it and saw it happen.

                About 20 min. later, one of the AFP folks was refused to leave in spite of being surrounded, and had his cell phone knocked out of his hand and stolen. He finally decided to leave, and Fr. Peter Dougherty and the MI Peace Team, along with me and half a dozen other marshals, escorted him away from the Capitol. We succeeded inkeeping him safe.

                Mark E. Miller / Kalamazoo Township Trustee / MI 6th District Democratic Chair

                and further:  
                Having now listened to the video, I want to say that it is possible that both Duckworth's story and mine are true; that is, this guy may very well have helped the tent collapse from the inside, because it served his purpose in making them look like victims, while at the same time union members were pushing on it from the outside.

                He and I saw this from different angles, and saw different things. I had seen the guy he speaks about with the NRA cap previously, but not at that time.

                Still, there is no doubt that our side was trying to collapse the tent, was involved in physical altercations with AFP folks immediately before it came down, and cheered when it came down

                Mark E. Miller / Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

            •  Yes, it's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              Definitely unclear, because it was edited out. Why was it edited out?

        •  You are assuming the AFP version is the truth. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Aquarius40

          What you ought to have said is they "had a legal right to do what they" CLAIM they did.  If the video edited out just before those punches were thrown show Crowder shoving that guy to the ground, then no - he didn't have the legal right to do that but the guy did have justification for his reaction.

          And there was one party there who had every right to take down AFP's tent - AFP themselves.  You ignore the counter narrative that that's exactly what happened, instead automatically accepting the story they tell with their very choppily edited video.

          Your bias is showing yet again.

          “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

          by jrooth on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:10:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your factual error (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darmok

            I am not assuming anything about Crowder other than what we know -- that he was in people's faces in an obnoxious way.  We don't know if he shoved someone to the ground -- if he did, the person he shoved had a right to act in self-defense, as I said above.  But I've seen no evidence that Crowder shoved anybody to the ground.  I've seen a video that makes clear the guy was on the ground, but not clear how he got there or who had anything to do with it.  

            As for the tent, your version of the "counter-narrative" is not correct.  Clearly the union protesters were trying to take down the tent.  It may well have been that after they made attempts to bring down the tent, then AFP essentially took it down the rest of the way.  to the extent you imply that it was just AFP who did it, and they tried to frame protesters, and the union protesters DIDN'T take down that tent, you are wrong.  

            See the comments to electablog's diary of yesterday  from someone who was actually there:  

            I just got home from Lansing -- served as a marshal, trying to keep everybody safe, and keep the piece. Now, I have a lot to say about the AFP loudmouths who were trying to bait some on our side. But they succeeded in their aim, and regrettably, we marshals were unable to stop union members from pulling the tent down. I was right there, trying to stop it and saw it happen.

            About 20 min. later, one of the AFP folks was refused to leave in spite of being surrounded, and had his cell phone knocked out of his hand and stolen. He finally decided to leave, and Fr. Peter Dougherty and the MI Peace Team, along with me and half a dozen other marshals, escorted him away from the Capitol. We succeeded inkeeping him safe.

            Mark E. Miller / Kalamazoo Township Trustee / MI 6th District Democratic Chair

            and further:  
            Having now listened to the video, I want to say that it is possible that both Duckworth's story and mine are true; that is, this guy may very well have helped the tent collapse from the inside, because it served his purpose in making them look like victims, while at the same time union members were pushing on it from the outside.

            He and I saw this from different angles, and saw different things. I had seen the guy he speaks about with the NRA cap previously, but not at that time.

            Still, there is no doubt that our side was trying to collapse the tent, was involved in physical altercations with AFP folks immediately before it came down, and cheered when it came down

            Mark E. Miller / Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

            •  And edited video (0+ / 0-)

              And note that Crowder says something about punching right before the guy takes a swing at him in the video.  I trust these fuckers about as far as I can throw them.  He went there with an intent to get someone to take a swing at him, and he succeeded.  Boo-hoo.

              The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:51:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  So you admit you don't know what happened ... (0+ / 0-)

              yet you state definitively that " AFP and Crowder had a legal right to do what they did."

              Are you listening to yourself?

              “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

              by jrooth on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:09:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  With the tent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darmok

                yes, I'm absolutely right.  AFP had a legal right to do what they did.  In fact, in other comments, it appears that the tent was permitted.  So, yes, AFP had every legal right to do what it did.

                With respect to Crowder, I don't have any evidence that he did anything illegal.  I don't have any evidence that he intentionally pushed the guy down or even that he had anything to do with the guy being down.  With respect to Crowder, I'm assuming that he did what we know that he did, what we can see on the film -- be really obnoxious in a highly charged situation.  And  he had every legal right to do that.  

                If I learn that he did something ELSE, then my opinion on Crowder (not the AFP) will change to accommodate that new information.  That's what thinking people do.  

                So, based on what we know now, yes, I'm comfortable with what I said.  

                •  You don't seem to be taking into account (0+ / 0-)

                  the fact that the video is obviously edited to remove any context or what Crowder might have done.  There would be no reason to do that if he had done nothing.

                  With respect to Crowder, I don't have any evidence that he did anything illegal.  I don't have any evidence that he intentionally pushed the guy down or even that he had anything to do with the guy being down.
                  And there's no chance you'll ever get that evidence because if it weren't damning to him it would have already been released.  What we do know is the guy that punched him was getting up and Crowder was saying something about punching.  What we know now is that Crowder and the people he's with don't want us to know what happen.  That signals to me that there is more than what we know.

                  The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:34:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that is speculation (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Darmok

                    speculation is interesting, and often gratifying (especially when you are speculating that someone you dislike might have done something wrong.)

                    If Crowder intentionally knocked this guy down and this guy had to punch him in self defense, certainly the guy -- or someone who was around him (what about the person who stops him from hitting Crowder more?  Did he see what happened?) -- can come forward to say that.  That would be meaningful.  

                    •  This isn't a court of law, at all (0+ / 0-)

                      And you're speculating just as much as me.  You don't have evidence, you have an edited video.  You know that this video wouldn't be accepted as evidence in a court of law.

                      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:16:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, I'm relying on what we have in front of us (0+ / 0-)

                        that's different from speculating all the terrible things that someone might have done.

                        Crowder has been all over saying what happened.  Of course, that's exactly what he intended to do -- hope that the union supporters would be provoked into doing something wrong, and then gloating about their wrongdoing on TV and elsewhere.  Nonetheless, his word is also "evidence" of what happened as well.  He might well be lying, of course, but to come to the conclusion that he is lying, we'd have to have something -- like a statement from someone else who was there to see the punch -- to base that on.  

                        •  If they refuse to release the video (0+ / 0-)

                          and refuse to prosecute then I'm going to go with he's a liar.  This is a person who has explicitly cited people like Breitbart, who lies about this shit too.  He's a new O'Keefe.  All he has are lies.  If you want to take him at face value then you are welcome to your foolish decision.

                          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                          by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:40:47 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  So now you admit you are assuming (0+ / 0-)

                  the AFP represented version of facts is true:

                  With respect to Crowder, I'm assuming that he did what we know that he did, what we can see on the film -- be really obnoxious in a highly charged situation.
                  Which is exactly what I said you were doing and which you then vehemently denied.

                  I'd be more inclined to believe your protestations if this were not a longstanding pattern of behavior on your part.

                  “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                  by jrooth on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:39:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, the film PLUS the (0+ / 0-)

                    statements of Mark E. Miller, Kalamazoo Township Trustee, MI 6th District Democratic Chair, posted yesterday and quoted in my other comments.  That's what I'm relying on for my comments about the tent.  See my comment "your factual error."  I quote and link to where he posted.  

        •  Let's talk ethics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          Let's talk intent.

          Ethics: that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

          The agitprop from the AFP/Fox folks was a well planned, deliberate attempt to inflame and provoke the protestors.

          Yes some of the protestors responded in the way the right wingers wanted them to respond.  But the right wingers who went to the rally with a deliberate plan to disrupt protestors and incite violence are engaging in unethical behavior.  

          There's a big difference between engaging in bad behavior because you intend to do so and engaging in it as a result of provocation.

          So yeah, from the viewpoint of ethics - the AFP/Fox crowd are to blame.  They intentionally engaged in dishonest, violent behavior with the clear intent of stirring things up.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:39:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  AFP and Crowder's bad ethics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darmok

            do not justify violence to people (Crowder) (unless Crowder intentionally pushed the man down, in which case the man had a right to act in self defense).  

            AFP and Crowder's bad ethics do not justify violence to property, or as one of the marshalls there yesterday said (see my other comments for the link):

            just got home from Lansing -- served as a marshal, trying to keep everybody safe, and keep the piece. Now, I have a lot to say about the AFP loudmouths who were trying to bait some on our side. But they succeeded in their aim, and regrettably, we marshals were unable to stop union members from pulling the tent down. I was right there, trying to stop it and saw it happen.
            and
            Still, there is no doubt that our side was trying to collapse the tent, was involved in physical altercations with AFP folks immediately before it came down, and cheered when it came down
            There is no question that AFP and Crowder engaged in obnoxious, First-Amendment-protected behavior.  Protesters in a highly charged political protest on public grounds must expect obnoxious, First-Amendment-protected behavior from their opposition and are not allowed to respond to that obnoxious, First-Amendment protected behavior with violence against people or property.

            There is very little that I find more hateful or odious than the "protests" of the Westboro Baptist Church.  But even if the funeral that they "protested" was of some one in my family, if I responded to those by tearing down their signs, or by hitting one of them (unless I was acting in self-defense) I would be wrong, wrong, wrong.    It may be understandable from an emotional perspective that I did something like that, but I would not expect others to try to justify my behavior.

            That's how I feel about this situation.  In addition, the wrong behavior here gives fodder to those who want to portray the union in a negative light.  Rather than trying to justify that behavior, people here ought to simply say, "it was wrong, those people acted poorly.  I understand that they let their emotions get the better of them in the face of obnoxious behavior, but they should not have done that."  

            •  Sorry, but, ethically speaking (0+ / 0-)

              AFP/Fox are the bad guys here.  They acted deliberately and with malice.  

              The response by a small number of union guys (and some suspected outside agitators) was a natural reaction to being provoked.  Until we have all the facts and know all the players, I won't judge them.

              Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

              by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:17:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Eclectablog - didn't AFP have a permit (0+ / 0-)

        to set up their tents and have a rally in that space? If that is true, and the pro-labor rally invaded the space they had previously reserved using the permit process, it's a fact that should be in the discussion.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:21:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know if AFP did (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          The State Capitol website says that "Involve America" had reserved it. I wrote about this at Eclectablog:

          As more groups sign on to Tuesday’s Lansing rally, conservative groups reserve Capitol steps to thwart them

          However, conservative groups are determined to throw a monkey wrench into their plans. The Michigan Laborers District Council has reserved the Capitol East Steps and the North and South Lawns. That won’t be of much use, however, because the legislature is adjourned until Tuesday. Who has the steps and lawns reserved that day? The conservative front group Involve America.

          Who is Involve America? According to their website they are:

          [A]n organization that engages young adults (ages 18 to 25) in discussing how they are impacted by the ailing economy. We are a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) that works to involve young people in the political process by highlighting and seeking solutions to their immediate economic challenges, so that the next generation is not saddled with the consequences of decisions made by those before them.
          The fact that they are a 501(c)(4) organization is not a coincidence. This allows them to receive funding without having to disclose who the donors are. This group, which is clearly engaged in promoting tea party values in the same way as Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, doesn’t reveal even a tiny glimpse of where they get their funding. But they clearly DO have funding. At a rally in at the University of New Hampshire, for example, they gave away “T-shirts, hats and raffle prizes”. They did the same thing at Iowa State University and, based on [a] photo from their Facebook page, they had a lot of swag to hand out. The photo can be seen at my site.]

          Interestingly they haven’t had any events or updated their Facebook page since a bit over a year ago. Now, suddenly, they’re having a rally at the state Capitol Building the very same day as a major labor protest rally and they have reserved the entire front of the Capitol for it.

          I'm sure they are just an AFP front group.

          "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
          -- Dr. Peter Venkman


          Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

          by Eclectablog on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:41:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So basically their goal was to limit the ability (0+ / 0-)

            of unions to protest by grabbing the permits first.  You don't need the steps and the lawn for 15 people, or however many it was.  It's a set up all around.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:08:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  If someone gave a permit to AfP (0+ / 0-)

          to set up where they knew there was going to be union presence then that person is an idiot. Setting everything else aside, there's a reason that people who issue permits make sure that counter protests are reasonably separated, and the person in charge of that failed miserably in this case.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:45:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not certain all of your refutations are (0+ / 0-)

    founded in anything more solid than this guy's claims, BUT you sure got it right when noting that they were there to incite already very angry people. Not happy that they tore down the tents that I suppose were allowed to be there...as we saw at Occupy, all it takes is a few bad apples to spoil the smell of the whole barrel.

    •  If we start abandoning every movement (6+ / 0-)

      that has any hint of violence related to it then we aren't going to get far.  That would have meant abandoning the Labor movement pretty much right off the bat.  Not to mention the civil rights movement.  MLK was non-violent, but most certainly not everyone who was working toward civil rights was.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:26:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have no doubt (9+ / 0-)

    that much of what happened was staged.  Unfortunately, this is a tactic that is being employed with increasing regularity by the Right.  Our folks need to be smarter than this--turn your backs to the "counter-protesters" and pretend that they don't even exist.  As long as we continue to engage, they will continue to pull shit like this to portray us as aggressive, violent thugs.

    •  What we need to do is focus on Solidarity (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suesue, myboo, 6412093, Aquarius40, nyr2k2, jayden

      with workers and less on criticizing one or two things that we don't agree with in regards to their actions.  This sort of thing is nothing new, attacks on unions for being violent has a tradition as long as the labor movement here in the US.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:02:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Economic Violence, on a large scale, appears to be (4+ / 0-)

    OK with some.

    An isolated incident of Physical Violence?

    OMFG!!! Thugs!

    I'm not condoning violence of any sort, and this was clearly a partially manufactured confrontation, but the fact is that when you declare war on the ability of hard-working people to put food on the table, you shouldn't act so shocked if one of your guys gets punched in the face.

    draw a window on the wall to remind you of the silkrain that makes things grow - Yoko Ono

    by quinn on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:15:54 AM PST

    •  And physical violence in the form (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      of evictions and various other police actions.  As long as it's legal it's fine by most.  Or at least fine enough to not do anything substantial about.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:27:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2:07 event (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster
    At 2:07, Crowder asks the cameraman "are you recording this?" The cameraman answers, "Yes", then Crowder acts as if he's being roughly shoved back into the crowd unprovoked. If you watch closely, the guy who supposedly pushed him has his hands by his side.
    If you compare videos, Crowder falls back because someone grabs him by the collar from behind and pulls him back at 1:19 in the first video.

    I'm not defending Crowder, but your take is inaccurate.

    We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Joe Bageant

    by Zwoof on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:18:19 AM PST

  •  there wouldn't be a union movement to talk about (5+ / 0-)

    if they had been afraid of knocking over a couple of tents.

  •  FOX - "unfairly unbalanced" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akze29, Tonedevil, suesue, SilentBrook

    These people are in the oil business - the snake oil business.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:26:48 AM PST

  •  Punch that turd one more time for me. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, suesue, 6412093, Aquarius40

    "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan." --Joel McCrea as "Sully," in "Sullivan's Travels."

    by Wildthumb on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:38:37 AM PST

  •  Ya don't say. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, surelyujest, AoT, Lily O Lady, cap76

    Most appropriate surname ever:

    Crowder uses a technique of intentionally invading your personal space...
  •  Fox News wouldn't do that (5+ / 0-)

    I've been told they are fair and balanced [/snark]

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:46:32 AM PST

  •  Sorry I don't believe most of it.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suesue, SilentBrook, AoT, Stude Dude

    ... I don't believe most of the idiots, especially Mr "He's got a gun", "I killed people with guns"... were Union members at all. They were "actors" brought in for a show by AFP.

    It all screams orchestrated bullshit, and even if some actual union members or bystanders got harassed into reacting to abuse, they just played into the hands of the show promoter.

    In the future it is critical that the Union's have a critical response crew that can detect and react to shit like this. People skilled in handling a situation, form a human ring of non-violence around the goofballs, turn out and completely ignore them. Coordinate in advance with the local police.... who are UNION MEMBERS TOO, even embedding undercover off duty cops in the crisis response squad.

    In the old days, the 30's and 40's the unions were much better organized in dealing with bullshit like this. where the "genius's" working for the Pinkerton's would try and pull fake riots, or incite real ones with the friendly press on hand to "witness" it first hand and tell the world how bad bad men are the union fellows.

    The funny thing is, fucks like this peice of shit Crowder think they are genius's, that they are the brilliant ones who thought up this kind of scam and propaganda, what a fucking fool.

    It makes we want to laugh my ass off, between sessions of beating he fucking face in, of course. ;P

    •  Unions have good training programs (0+ / 0-)

      to teach their members how to behave, avoid conflict and recognize outside agitators.  I suspect some of these people are not union members, but outside agitators.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:53:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The people involved in this altercation are (0+ / 0-)

        being stolen from.  Training doesn't make you calm about that.  People are angry and telling them to vote harder isn't going to change that.  Organizing effective action will stop violence, nothing else.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:56:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Can somebody, anybody (6+ / 0-)

    explain to me why the right wingers needede a tent in the first place? Apparently, they got what they wanted when their beloved governor signd the bill. Did he need lots of moral support after the fact and they were there to occupy the park in the name of the plutocracy?

    •  If they didn't have a tent the fux thugs couldn't (6+ / 0-)

      get it knocked down for the rolling cameras.

    •  Does it matter? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, VClib

      They had a right to be there.

      •  But they didn't have the right (0+ / 0-)

        to set up operations with the intent of fomenting violence and disrupting the demonstrations.  It appears that was their intent.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:55:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

          The point that JW conviniently misses is that those people were provocateurs. I have the right to be in many places but I choose not to.I am surprised the jerlk from NJ was not there in his pimp costum to add some color to this theater.

          •  NJe - how were they provocative? (0+ / 0-)

            The conservative groups had obtained a permit to place tents and to use the space for a rally before the pro-union groups even organized their rally. How was AFP the group that provoked the conflict, when they had a permit to occupy the space?

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:49:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you not watch the video? (0+ / 0-)

              They were out there getting in the faces of union members who were protesting.

              I want to know where the cops were.  I've never been to a protest that size that didn't have some police presence around the counter-protesters, and yet there was none there.  It's all super sketchy.

              The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:12:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  AoT - if the group with the tents had a permit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coffeetalk

                to use the space should the pro-labor rally have respected that and maintained some distance? I too was very surprised there was not a much larger police presence, but I would have expected the police to protect the group holding the permit.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:22:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I would definitely expect the police (0+ / 0-)

                  to protect counter protesters, or the smaller protest, at what was expected to be a huge protest.  It's happened at literally every protest I've ever been to.

                  The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:13:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, they did have the right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Darmok

          They had the right to put up the tent right  where they did -- it appears from the comments of Electablog and others that they had a permit.  

          Their "intent" doesn't matter.  They had an absolute right to put up that tent exactly where they did. whether you or I like their message or we don't, whether the union protesters liked their message or not.  

          And frankly, that's not all that unusual.  In fact, many people correctly ENCOURAGE counter-protests right "in the face" of an ongoing protest.  The odious Westboro Baptist church protests are often met with counter-protests by others who get in between them and the funeral they are protesting.  In that case, the WBC has a right to be where they are, and the counter-protesters have a right to be where they are.

          The First Amendment does not distinguish based on which speech is good speech and which speech is bad speech.  The First Amendment does not say,"you can't engage in free speech in a public area open to protests if your free speech is likely to anger and disrupt the protesters."  

          People who engage in vocal and visible protests on a political issue are not entitled to a space free of obnoxious speech from the other side.  

          •  First Amendment rights have limitations (0+ / 0-)

            It goes back to the old adage about the guy who has a right to buy a ticket to attend the theater, but he doesn't have the right to yell fire and cause a panic.

            The John Bircher crackpots had a right to put up their tent, I don't argue that. They don't have a right to incite a riot and dishonestly provoke violence in their opponents at the demonstration.

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Legal definition (0+ / 0-)

              Under federal code:

              Incite A Riot Law & Legal Definition

              Under federal law, a riot is a public disturbance involving an act of violence by one or more persons assembled in a group of at least three people. Inciting a riot applies to a person who organizes, encourages, or participates in a riot. It can apply to one who urges or instigates others to riot. According to 18 USCS § 2102 "to incite a riot", or "to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot", includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.”
              Link

              Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

              by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:42:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is *not* inciting a riot (0+ / 0-)
                It can apply to one who urges or instigates others to riot.
                This requires that they explicitly do so, and do so in an immediate manner.  I agree with you about ethical considerations, but legally this is not inciting a riot.  Even if I were to say that I think the union people should riot it would not be inciting unless I was there and telling them "Hey, you need to be rioting right now."  First amendment rights are pretty broad in this respect.

                The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:46:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Not what happened here. (0+ / 0-)

                See Brandenburg v. Ohio.  That"incite a riot" thing means someone who says, Here, take this rock and go throw it through that window.  He is encouraging someone to do something lawless.  "Here, take this gun and go shoot that person."  That kind of thing.  I have to specifically be promoting for you to do an imminent lawless act, and my words have to be likely to result in your doing what I am encouraging you to do.

                What is closest to what you are talking about is my saying something so odious to you, against, you, that you are incited to fight back.  That's not promoting a riot.  I'm not telling you, "hey, let's go riot."  What you are describing is a "fighting words" doctrine -- my words to you are so insulting, so personally threatening, that it forces you to fight back -- like if I said to an African American person, "Hey, (nword), I'm going to beat you up" and it appears to a reasonable person that I mean it as an imminent threat.  

                But that has to be personal to you -- it can't be words about a public issue.  As I said elsewhere, if the odious, horrendous speech of the Westboro Baptist Church are not considered "fighting words" outside of the scope of the First Amendment (see Justice Alito's dissent in Snyder v. Phelps), there's no way the AFP putting up a tent in the middle of a union protest can be considered "fighting words."  

            •  You have the "shout fire" thing and the law wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, Darmok

              The quote is "falsely shouting fire" in a crowded theater.  And it's long outdated law.  See Brandenberg v. Ohio.

              If you are talking about "fighting words," (which is something different from the "falsely shouting fire" thing) that has to be something really personal to you, a PERSONAL insult to you and is very very narrowly construed.  Speech on a public issue pretty much cannot be considered "fighting words" outside of the scope of First Amendment protection, no matter how odious.   If protests by the Westboro Baptist Church are not "fighting words" outside of First Amendment protection, you  cannot say that AFP putting up a tent that they are permitted to put up are "fighting words" outside of the scope of the First Amendment.  

              •  I'm willing to bet that the dude said something (0+ / 0-)

                that could reasonably considered fighting words right before he got hit.  If you listen you can hear him say something about punching, although it isn't clear what because it's too quick.

                I know you're a lawyer, but this isn't a court, we don't have the power to get the full video.  I bet the guy won't actually take this to court like he's threatening to because then he'd have to reveal the full video.

                The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:51:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Again, speculation might be (0+ / 0-)

                  gratifying, but it is exactly that -- speculation.  

                  If the situations were reversed, and it was Crowder who threw a punch, I would not speculate that the union supporter "said something that could be considered fighting words."  

                  If the union supporter or someone around him comes forward and says that Crowder made the first physical assault, or made a verbal threat that could be considered "fighting words," I would be very interested to learn that.  I would certainly revise my position as to the incident with Crowder.  

                  The video is not the only evidence of what happened.  There were a lot of union supporters in the area who saw what happened.  

                  •  Given that there is no evidence either way (0+ / 0-)

                    and all we have is an edited video there isn't any evidence either way, so you're speculating on what did or didn't happen as well.

                    There were a lot of union supporters in the area who saw what happened.
                    Have you seen anything they've said?  I mean, look at the video, the union guy certainly looks like he was pushed or fell, Crowder says something about a punch, the union guy swings at him.  Otherwise you're basing your position on nothing but and edited video.  That's very presumptuous.

                    The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:28:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, that and (0+ / 0-)

                      the only "eyewitness" whose statement I can find -- Crowder.  Granted, he may be lying, but we can't determine that unless and until we have evidence (like a statement of another witness) that contradicts him. (I won't link you to his statements, because that would send traffic to sites like Fox News, but they are easily found.)

                      Right now, I have seen an edited video, and a witness whose account generally corresponds to what we can see on the edited video.  

                      •  So, you believe the statements from the (0+ / 0-)

                        guy who obviously showed up to be an asshole and rile people up and an edited video from people who had the same goal.  That seems hopelessly naive.

                        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                        by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:45:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't disbelive someone (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          nextstep

                          based on whether I like them, or think they are a nice person, or agree with their politics.  

                          He has a motive to exaggerate what happened to him, and to omit details so as to make himself look more favorable.  Certainly, that makes me suspicious.  But I believe PART of his statement -- the part about being punched -- because that part is on video.  As to the OTHER parts of his statement (whether he did something to cause the punch), before I conclude someone is lying, I have to have something beyond just who, or that they might have a motive to lie, to do that.  If some information comes out hat contradicts what they are saying --- like another witness -- then I would definitely consider which one has a motivation to  lie.

                          I have to tell you, though, that the fact that there were clearly a number of pro-union people around who saw the punch, the fact that the punch has gotten a lot of attention, and the fact that we haven't (as far as I'm aware) had anybody step up to say, "I saw it, Crowder was the aggressor and the union supporter was just hitting him in self-defense" weighs against concluding that Crowder is blatantly lying.  If the truth is far from what is being reported, I would certainly hope that one of the many people who were in the area would step up to set the record straight.  

                          •  I'm not disagreeing with them for those reasons (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm disagreeing with them because they've admitted that they are working in the tradition of a liar.  Breitbart was a liar.  O'Keefe is a liar.  There have been plenty of other instances where their organizations have lied about "union thugs" attacking them when it was not true.  I'm basing it on this guys statements and the people he claims to imitate.  That's not about politics or whether I like the guy, it's about being reasonable.

                            I'd add that you're never going to find out what happened here.  Someone will figure out that it was a lie and then everyone will have moved on and the right will ignore that a majority of the cases like this have been bullshit, and folks like you will never see the corrections.

                            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                            by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:04:38 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  We don't have all the evidence (0+ / 0-)

                          So we really don't know what happened at this point to get everyone riled up.

                          IANAL, but I'm trying to make the point that the Birchers engaged in behavior that was intended to disrupt and inflame the demonstrators.  Whether that fits the legal definition of inciting a riot is unknown, but their intent was clear.

                          They were not innocent bystanders there to exercise their First Amendment rights. They had a plan, likely one involving a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities and paint the demonstrators in a bad light.

                          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                          by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:24:17 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Betty - I think the conservative groups (0+ / 0-)

          obtained a permit to set up the tents and use the space before the pro-labor groups organized their rally. If that is true, it is difficult to make the case that the AFP had the intent of disrupting the labor protest before the labor event was even scheduled.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:52:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How did they know when this would happen? (0+ / 0-)

            This is completely beside the issue of the violence, but how did AfP know when this vote take place and how did they get a permit before the union groups, who would obviously be out in huge numbers.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:01:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Two tents, from what various articles have said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      Which were mostly empty it seems.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:29:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  After (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    being on picket lines at the Greyhound strike, teamster strikes, ILWU strikes, Posco, the Blue Cross strike, and watching footage of police and natl guard attack picket lines at Hormel,  Massey, and Phelps Dodge, nothing I saw  in these videos looked like violence to me.

    Folks are just high spirited.

  •  I diaried this Foxiganda trick yesterday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eclectablog, AoT
    Fox News' Steven Crowder becomes a provocateur in mist of high tension Lansing protest - punches fly

    Note that the prelude to the punches being thrown were edited out of the video we are being shown. Why was the union guy on the ground when he jumps up and punches Chowder the first time??

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:28:12 AM PST

  •  Mich protestors will be outshouted both in volume (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    and time by the RW radio blowhards, using crap like this.

    how many protestors is one lying loudmouth with a big microphone worth?

    the way to end their advantage is to do some protesting at the stations themselves. or to really hurt them, get UM and MState to announce they will finally begin to honor their mission statements and look for alternative non-partisan radio stations to replace the 10 limbaugh stations they currently endorse by putting wolverine and spartans logos on.

    most of those stations are probably critically dependent on that association for  community cred and advertisers.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:03:51 PM PST

    •  If you look around the site here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      certainot

      you'll find a lot of diaries about the ongoing downfall of right wing radio.  And every major movement in the history of this country has managed to win against media hostility, not with the support of the media.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:08:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm cheering it. finally. but radio is unique and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        the action against limbaugh is targeted to the hate speech, which is just part of its work. most of its harm comes from coordinated think tank PR operations continuously on all major issues.

        there is a growing awareness of RW radio but in  most other references radio is lumped in with the rest of the RW media -when in fact it is the main component.

        the rush action is the closest thing to an organized response to 20 years of talk radio messaging dominance and hopefully it will continue to increasingly effect all of RW radio.

        IMO though, the left could ramp it up and make all their other efforts much easier. it is the samson's hair of the right, but the left is just doing a little trim. as long as RW radio continues to have a monopoly and limbaugh's spots are replaced by others we're not going to get the major reforms progressives want.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's hitting a lot more than just Limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

          Talk radio in general, right and the tiny left, are both getting hit hard.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:17:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  once the monopoly is destroyed media reform (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            is possible and left radio can bounce back. but this action may not destroy the monopoly.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:48:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site