Below is a release from the Police Department regarding Tuesday’s (9/7/21) arrests. My understanding is that a disorderly conduct charge is a violation and rarely involves jail time. I am also told that the charges against Molly Dunn and Gabriel Eliot, which are misdemeanors, can involve serious jail time.
A Grim Business
I find this entire business very sad. As a veteran of social justice movements for decades I have seen this kind of thing before. The BLM people feel a profound self righteousness. Imbued with their passion for social justice they feed off each others’ anger. They believe that because they are fighting the evil of racism and because their actions are peaceful, in that they do not involve physically assaulting others, that any resistance to their efforts has its roots in racism and authoritarianism. This only inflames their anger further.
They simply filter out the fact that they are breaking the law by obstructing traffic and ignoring directives from the police. It should come as no surprise then that they are enraged when they are subject to arrest for these actions. The arrests serve only to further reenforce their rage and frustration against what they see as a government bent on silencing them.
They also experience a sense of community in this kind of struggle. Given how alienated many of these folks feel these collective actions generate a much enjoyed sense of brother/sisterhood.
Still, the sense of empowerment they experience is fragile. The image of a woman screaming epithets at the glass doors of city hall at the police officers inside who are unresponsive is an image that stays with me.
The undisciplined nature of the BLM actions invites disaster. So far, no one has been seriously hurt. I expect that even the more serious misdemeanors will probably be reduced as they work their way through the courts.
I know that there will be those who celebrate these arrests. I knew that sooner or later there would be arrests and while I think the arrests were justified, I am not celebrating.
The City Council has appropriated $22,340.00 to engage Dynamic Communications Training, whose offices are on Caroline Street, to act as mediators between the City Council and Black Lives Matter.