I would like to start by applauding the folks (whoever they are) that organized last week’s successful abortion protest. They did it without a permit and thru private messaging. And while a handful of people got arrested, it is quite an accomplishment to pull off a protest of 1,100 people with NO injuries and NO damage to public or private property.
That is a what you call a successful protest.
We have already determined that the group did not need a permit. They were well within their constitutional rights. But what about the street incident?
I have spoken with several protesters about what really took place and why those folks were in the street to begin with. A couple of them have had experience in public safety for over 20 years and several others have been protesting since the early 70’s. They know how civil disobedience can be achieved successfully without anyone or anything getting hurt.
For the most part they said police officers were doing a good job controlling the crowd even without advance notice. The police decided they needed to move the large crowd to Lyon’s Park which required them to close 14th street. THE POLICE CLOSED THE STREET NOT THE PROTESTERS. Up until that point the crowd was moving.
Where things went awry is when the police in riot gear showed up and started forcing people to the park. One protester told me that there really was no reason to have riot gear and smoke bombs, it was just an attempt to intimidate and incite a riot.
So the next time a group of peaceful protesters show up unannounced, leave the tactical gear at the station and politely ask them to move to the other side of the street.