Oct 19, 2017

blocking traffic is a violent protest

The only thing in the news nowadays seems to be the protests of the Peleg Yerushalmi - the Jerusalem Faction - over the arrest of two young men who, following the groups opinion, refused to go to the draft board to register for their army exemption/deferral.

It isn't all that interesting, as this has been going on for a while now, though it is currently on an upswing, and they have nothing new to add to the discussion.

The only comment I have is that blocking traffic is, in my opinion, a violent crime. Protest all you want. The right to protest is a basic right in a democracy. Normally it works by making it a legal protest with police permits, but that isn't my issue. Blocking traffic is unacceptable. People have places to be, urgent matters to attend to, scheduled events and meetings and just wanting to get home or to the store or to work or wherever, and blocking traffic disrupts tens of thousands of people's lives when they did nothing to deserve that. Go hold your protest outside a government building, outside the draft board or in some other relevant location to make your point - don't hold innocent civilians hostage to your protests.

And being a violent protest, the police should have extra leeway in putting such a protest down..

As tens of people have been arrested, I do wonder how this works with their beliefs. They refuse to go to the army because it is not a place for a Torah jew to be and going to the army will supposedly hurt them spiritually. Is jail really a place for a Torah Jew to be? Does jail present no challenges to a Torah lifestyle? Why is that a good reason to avoid the army but not to avoid doing things that will get them arrested?

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  1. Of course you would say the same thing about the handicapped people who are doing exactly the same thing to close down the country.

    The police should deal with them with a heavy hand and zero tolerance, right?

    1. I would have no problem with that, though I know heavy hand against handicapped people wont look good on tv so they wont do it

  2. There is a basic flaw in what you are saying. Police are not a court. They do not punish. What they can do is get a problem under control, and arrest someone for violating the law.

    There is no difference between a violent crime and a non-violent crime. Police should use as much force as they need to to deal with the situation, no more, no less. If someone is jay-walking, and then in reaction to the policeman telling him to stop he pulls out a gun, the policeman is justified in using deadly force to stop him. OTOH, if a mass murderer peacefully surrenders, the police are not justified to hurt him -- even if they feel he is a murderous scum who deserves a little violence. What the man "deserves" is not up to the police to decide, it is up to the court.

    Same applies here. The police are justified in using as much force as they need to clear the street. No more, no less. That the protestors have disagreeable political views, or taunt the police with names, or block the intersection from important traffic is neither here nor there.

  3. well said, BL. the difference between violent and non-violent crime would be in expectation. police going into a situation of a violent crime will be quicker to resort to a violent response of their own to put an end to it. They should not be interested in the reason for the protest, but the fact that a violent crime is taking place is how they should approach the situation


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