December 23, 2007
As the venerable Chicago radio newsman and commentator Paul Harvey would say, “Here is a strange . . . “
According to the time stamp in the e-mail headers, I received a “Press Advisory” last night, at 11:50 P.M. CST. The headline of the advisory reads: “Student’s Civil Disobedience and Arrest at Rockefeller Center: Demonstration against the war in Iraq.”
Yet another crackdown on peaceful protest, I thought. As I’ve written elsewhere, the war in Iraq is not only immoral because of its effects over there, but because of the role it has played in restricting civil liberties at home. That’s nothing new, of course; Justin Raimondo and Bill Kauffman have both eloquently recalled the works of members of the Old Right, who saw this as a near-universal effect of waging unjust and unnecessary wars.
Time for a post over at Taki’s Top Drawer. So, I opened the Press Advisory to get the details, and that’s when the Twilight Zone music started playing. See if you hear it, too:
”WHO: Ashley Casale, who first came to media attention when she organized a march from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. to protest the war and demand impeachment, and a coalition of student organizations from Washington D.C to New York.
WHAT: students have organized a display of civil disobedience to demand an end to the occupation of iraq.
WHERE: Rockefeller Center, NYC in front of famous Christmas Tree display.
WHEN: 4 PM, Sunday December 23, 2007”
So, I’ve received a Press Advisory to inform me of an arrest that hasn’t taken place yet? What, exactly, does that imply? That the erosion of our civil liberties is so complete that we can say, with certainty, that an arrest will take place at a peaceful protest where “Students will sit in front of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and play the John Lennon song, ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’ while reading the names of every U.S. soldier killed since the invasion of Iraq in 2003”?
Or does it mean that those students intend to make sure that they are arrested, no matter what it takes? Or, if we assume that the possessive in the headline is correct and not a mistake, not students, but a student, presumably Ashley Casale?
I want this war to end, as quickly as possible, but I’m not sure that stage-managed media events, designed to draw more attention to their organizers than to the men and women killed for no reason in Iraq, is the way to do it.