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What do you think of antiwar protesters?


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  • What do you think of antiwar protesters?

    Greetings all,

    First of all, I’m not a cop, but I come in peace. I have a question for any of the LEO’s on this board that might be interested in answering. What do you think of anti-war protesters?
    Please understand that I’m not attempting to start any wars here or attack any officers. I ask this because I am an anti-war protester, and I would like to reach out to any officers here that might be interested in talking to me.
    I feel like there’s a lot of tension, mistrust, and sometimes even hate between the police and the antiwar movement. I’ve seen it from both sides of the line, and I’m really not here to start pointing fingers and assign blame to anyone for this. Rather, I’d like to extend an olive branch to all officers on this forum in the hopes that maybe we can come to some kind of understanding together.
    I know that the police have a difficult job and I know that you are often spit on for your efforts. I know you are a wide variety of people with many different opinions and backgrounds. Some of you may hate the antiwar movement on principle, some of you may simply think we are a nuisance, and then some of you might secretly be cheering us on.
    Whatever you feel is okay with me, I’m not trying to change your minds on anything. If you hate us, please tell me why. Perhaps you hate us because you feel we are unpatriotic. Maybe you have friends or loved ones in the military, and you feel that we spit on their service. I hope this isn’t the case, but if it is, feel free to tell me. If you support our message, but don’t like the way we go about it or treat you, please let me know that. If you love us, please let me know that, LOL!
    All my dealings with cops have either been when they’ve given me a ticket, broken up a party I was at, or stared me down in riot gear, heh, heh. Only one time did one of you haul me off in plastic handcuffs for failure to disperse, and I’m not at all bitter. I knew what I was doing and was prepared to accept the consequences, which essentially consisted of having the charges dropped two weeks later. And I was treated very well, so thank you for that.
    One of the saddest things I read on this forum was the thread about how so many of you feel so hated by so many people. Personally, I think that’s a very unfortunate thing and my heart goes out to all of you. Maybe you’ve felt hatred from us protesters before. Maybe you’ve felt something else. I’m hoping to move past the hate and the mistrust if there is any and help you understand that I do respect you. I hope that you might be interested in doing the same.
    So, what are your thoughts on the antiwar movement?

  • #2
    First off, the question the question itself is more than a little generalized and prejudiced. There's as many different opinions from cops as there are cops themselves. We aren't formed by cookie cutters any more than were plopped out of a machine. You talk about the "anti-war" movement. Do you think for a minute that all "protesters" are against this or any war for the same reason, to the same degree or feel the same way about this country? If so, that's more than a little naive. Some people say they "support the troops", then deride our volunteers as "fools", "pawns" or worse. Some people say they love democracy and the freedom we have in this country, then proclaim that others living in another country should live under a dictatorship because they're not intelligent enough or sophisticated enough to deserve freedom. There are many people within your movement that hate this country and are only working within "the movement" because it gives them the opportunity to take a shot at it. Others, just don't believe we as a country should be using force in one specific location or nation at this time, when it might be justified somewhere else under different circumstances.

    Where do you stand on the "issue" of the police? Do you agree with everything said by everyone in your circle of friends and associates? How much of an individual are you and how willing are you to accept the fact that others are individuals, even when they wear the same uniform?

    I'll tell you how I feel, but limit it to my feelings about "anti-war" protesters. So long as you limit your protests to lawful expressions afforded under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, it doesn't concern me in the least what your position is for or against the war. If you don't break the law to "make a point" or prohibit others from exercising their rights, I'm not for you or against you. If protests turn to "civil disobedience" and other intentional law breaking, than I believe you should face the full body of legal sanctions available. If you or others you support expect the police or anyone else to recognize a "right" to destroy property or injure persons (including the police), you are in for a rude awakening.

    My father was beaten by the police during the Chicago Democratic National Convention in 1968 for no other reason than the fact he was employed by CBS television to video the event. He didn't break the law. He obeyed the commands of the officers and wasn't part of any protests. What happened to him was wrong and he never forgave the city he was born and raised in for what it did to him and those who were lawfully protesting. That said, there were organizers of the protests who were glad the police acted the way that they did. They hated this country and wanted to do anything they could to cause pain and inflame tensions.

    When I became a police officer my father was proud, because he knew I respected the rights of others and learned not only from my personal experience, but his. I appreciate those who protest lawfully in the earnest belief that their efforts will make this country better. Those who intend to violate the law to "make their point" are (IMO) every bit as destructive, self-centered and opposed to the fundamentals of this country as those officers who beat my father. I have no sympathy for them and no interest in hearing about their cause. The people who block entrances to recruiting offices and challenge the police, are no less ignorant zealots than those who bomb abortion clinics.

    You really don't need to dialog with the police if you keep your protests within the law and respect the rights of others, as you would have them respect your rights. I'm retired now, but I never really felt "hated" in the job. Those who really hate the cops aren't any different from those who hate people of another race, religion or differ from them in any way. It's just ignorance and there's a lot of ignorant people out there.
    Last edited by pulicords; 08-05-2008, 01:47 AM.
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."


    • #3
      For the most part I agree with "Puli" on this ,but let me add --- I fail to see WHY protesters "hate" (if that's the right word) police as much as they hate (in this case) the war. You as a citizen have a Right to protest peacefully just as I have a Right to my job. In a way we're both doing the same thing -- exercising our Rights--- you to protest , me to do my job. I was around during the 60's protests (early teens) and can remember the methods advocated by groups like SDS & the Weatherman to fight the police. Fast forward some 40 years & nothings really changed --- police are still out there & protesters still seem to feel they have to defend themselves against the police when in fact, most police work is REACTIVE to behavior, not PROACTIVE. So while a LEO may be there to disperse a group of protesters, it's only because the activity has gotten too far out of hand & not because the action itself is wrong. Now I wasn't in Chicago back then, so I can't comment on CPD's behavior accurately. I can only tell you my views (which Puli so eloquently described) and hope that in your protesting you realize not all cops respond to these things with bloodshot eyes & drooling at the mouth in hopes of "getting some". You must realize too, that now there are some Iraq war veterans that are police officers now & have a VERY different view of your actions & will be far less tolerant of you (just as you may be of "them") that'll respond quicker, more severely than say, I would --- but that's another issue.
      I guess I can sum it up in what my Academy Sgt. once said: " You can do most anything you want to -- just be man enough & prepared to admit it & face the consequences. -------- Happy Protesting!


      • #4
        For me at least, it's not a question of hating the protestors. After all, as a Vet myself (though not a combat vet) I wore the uniform to protect your right to do exactly as you are. I believe in that, and seeing citizens exercise the rights that men and women die for makes the sacrifice mean something.

        I've done protests before, and while I might personally disagree with the viewpoints of the protestors, that doesn't affect what my job is. The perception seems to be that we're there to harrass or disrupt the protest - this isn't the case as long as everything happening doesn't break the law. Our job is public safety, and the protestors are certainly part of the public. We're watching closely at even peaceful protests to see if there's someone in the crowd who is breaking the law, so they can be dealt with. We're also making sure the protest area is safe - any counter-protestors are contained and controlled, traffic diverted, that sort of thing.

        Now if I was to be given a choice of working a protest and doing darn near anything else, I'd do something else. I don't enjoy working them, but if assigned I'm going to do the best possible job I can as with everything else.

        I have worked protests before and what goes on at them seems - and I do not mean to be offensive to you - just lame, for lack of a better word. I remember working one while I was in the Air Force at our base's main gate. The folks protesting would sit in a circle and talk about the issue they were protesting and they were VERY misinformed. What passed for information among them was misleading at the very best, outright fabrications at worst. Couple that with a bunch of the men protesting deciding to put on dresses and dance around (I swear, I'm not making that part up) as part of the protest - well, it didn't make a lot of sense to me!

        Of course, all protestors are different, just like all cops are.

        Really, I don't at all agree with what you're saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. That's part of the reason I love this country.
        For every one hundred men you send us,
        Ten should not even be here.
        Eighty are nothing but targets.
        Nine of them are real fighters;
        We are lucky to have them, they the battle make.
        Ah, but the one. One of them is a warrior.
        And he will bring the others back.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Downtown Hound View Post
          . What do you think of anti-war protesters?
          Depends on the protestor. If they are obeying the laws then no problem. If they show their [email protected]@ then I have no problem kicking it.

          Most people don't mind a well reasoned, intelligent dissent. What they don't like are idiots with signs espousing mindless drivel.
          A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!


          • #6
            Off the subject for a minute... Why is it that when protesters "protest" in front of an abortion clinic because of their (protesters) strong value for life and when live is conceived, then often don't hesitate to burn an abortion clinic down possibly killing several people? Back to the war, we all have our own views regarding the war and yes we allhave the right to protest if we disagree with issues. As others stated, as long as you protest in a manner that does not break any laws and does not violate anyone elses rights thats fine. If someone wants to walk past you to enter a building, they should not have to fear you of physical or verbal harm. If you decide to lay down in a roadway and disrupt traffic which is inconveniencing others, yes I said inconvenience, because their beliefs may be different than yours and they should not have their lives disrupted because of you. Finally, and your not going to like this, if you lay down on a roadway or entranceway causing disruption to others and as a police officer I order you to move to another location and you disregard my order, I and other police officers should not have to carry you because you lay there limb on the ground. You should be dragged by your hair or any other physical means other than picking you up. I am not here for your "convenience", I am not here to comply with you. Why should I along with other officers raise you off the ground and carry you. You can be rest assured that If I drag you, you WILL get up. I am the most unorthodox police officer you will ever find. I believe in getting the job done and don't care about any political correctness or liberal views. If you don't respect the law you cetainly don't deserve respect. As you were quick to point out that charges you once had against you were dismissd in two weeks. That clearly shows what the mentality of protesters are like. Don't worry if we're arrested the charges will be dropped. Maybe this is why the police (some police) have a negative view toward protesters.
            Last edited by Only 4 to go; 08-05-2008, 02:11 PM.


            • #7
              I will tolerate your opinion and existance, as long as your opinion does not inconvenience me, or especially my family.
              (My wife was approached in her car while waiting to enter the Base and asked why she decided to "Breed more Killers". This bothers me, and had I been there I would have probably hurt someones feelings.)

              Protest all you want, just don't bother me.

              “All men dream...... But not equally..
              Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
              but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
              for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

              TE Lawrence


              • #8
                Originally posted by M-11 View Post
                I will tolerate your opinion and existance, as long as your opinion does not inconvenience me, or especially my family.
                (My wife was approached in her car while waiting to enter the Base and asked why she decided to "Breed more Killers". This bothers me, and had I been there I would have probably hurt someones feelings.)

                Protest all you want, just don't bother me.

                Right on brother! I expect people's BS while I'm in uniform, but what really gets me is my wife has a ACU print purse so like it or not she hears EVERYONE'S opinion of the war and military. I taught her to tell the hardcore anti-everything people, "Please keep your opinion to yourself." she used to get angry and try to reason with these people. I learned long ago after a fellow soldier was spit on in a airport just to ignore these people. I find it amazing how many people now know SO much about a war they've never scene first hand in a country they've never set foot in.
                Last edited by dangerstayback; 08-06-2008, 12:59 AM.
                ~nothing follows~


                • #9
                  I would not ignore it if someone spit on me, a fellow officer, or a service member in my presence!
                  "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                    I would not ignore it if someone spit on me, a fellow officer, or a service member in my presence!
                    What could we have done? I would never lay my hand's on any civilian while in uniform (as much I would of liked to). Basically it played out like this: stepped off the plane started through to terminal to leave was approached by a civilian who started his anti-everything speech we kindly declined to listen proceed to walk away and then he spit on my buddy's back and ran off.
                    ~nothing follows~


                    • #11
                      Thanks for your response. So to begin with, no, I don't think all antiwar protesters are the same. I can't ascribe motivations to every person that has ever marched against the war, nor would I try. I honestly think that assigning motivations to them such as the only reason "some" of them are marching is to take shots at this country is a bit of a generalization. If I were to comb through a sea of demonstrators and read their thoughts, I'm sure I could find some that do hate America. But the thing is, they're far from alone. As of now, at this moment in time, A LOT of people around the world hate America. Even a sizable portion of its own citizens. I myself do not hate America. I love her passionately. Which is why I feel so incredibly disappointed in her. You know, when you're in a room full of people, and an overwhelmingly majority of them don't like you, maybe it's time for a little self-reflection. There was once a time when we were the most loved and respected people on Earth. But a lot has changed. Our invasion of Iraq has done more to change that than any one single thing we have done in the last 50 years.
                      So when I say, "the antiwar movement," I'm generally referring to the many millions in this country that marched against this war, the Iraq War, with the idea that it was taking us down a dangerous and immoral road. Iraq did not attack us. Iraq did not have weapons of destruction. It posed no threat to our freedoms, our lives, or our way of life. That some people marching might be against the concept of war in all cases, not just Iraq, and/or have disdain for many American policies, does not make their criticism any less valid.
                      As for the idea that "some" antiwar protesters don't feel that the Iraqis could or should have the same freedom we do, I think that's oversimplified. All of us would love for the Iraqi people to have freedom, peace, prosperity, and security. No one more than me, because I feel an incredible sense of guilt and shame for the horrors that my country has put them through. But my question is this, how can you give somebody freedom by taking away that most fundamental aspect of freedom: the right of self determination? There are many kinds of freedom, the right to openly speak out against your government without fear of reprisal is only one of them. There's the freeedom of knowing that you can walk down the street and not worry that's this is going to be your last day because a bomb is going to go off or a stray American missile is going to come crashing through your front door. The Iraqis live with this every day, and we, and we alone, are responsible. We helped give them Saddam, then we supported him in his attack against Iran, then we supported Iran against him, then we smashed his army and saturated his country with Depleted Uranium when he invaded Kuwait, causing massive birth defects among children being born in Iraq to this very day. Then we tell Saddam's people to rise up against him, and they do, then we let them be slaughtered. Then we impose sanctions against Iraq and starve more than 500,000 of them to death, before we say, hey, Iraq didn't attack us but we're going to invade them anyways. Then we kill hundreds of thousands more of them and push centuries' old tribal conflicts out in the open.

                      Um, you know something? We suck. At least in this case. If you want to interpret this as "hating America", then I would find that sad, but I really just looking on it as taking responsibility. Cops are supposed to be big advocates of personal responsibility, are they not? So by taking responsibility for my country's actions, to the point where I was and am willing to be incarcerated to oppose them, what am I, in your mind? If I break laws by failing to disperse or by blocking the entrance to say, Halliburton (Just so you know, I have no intention of blocking the entrance to Halliburton, this is all merely hypothetical), am I a criminal?
                      I'll answer the question for you. Yes, most definitely, I am. I broke the law. I would expect nothing less than for you or one of your fellow officers to handcuff me and take me to jail. I would willingly accept whatever punishment that the law had waiting for me. That's the whole point of civil disobedience. You don't run from the punishment, you accept it and pay it be it jail, fines, community service, or what not. My charges were dropped the last time through no action on my part. The D.A. decided to drop the charges against all protesters that day, I think mainly because he felt if would be a waste of time and money to prosecute us. So in the interests of fairness, I'm really not all that experienced in the ways of jail. I was there for maybe 10 hours, not exactly a life sentence. I'm not trying to make myself sound harder than I really am. I am scared of going to jail. I'm more scared of what will happen if America continues down the road it's on now. If we stay in Iraq indefinitely or go to war with Iran, then I really wonder how much more we can take. Our debt has skyrocketed, our infrastructure is falling apart, our people are hurting economically and it's only going to get worse. If we go to war with Iran, expect it to get A LOT worse. I love America so much that I can't bear to see that happen. Even if you don't agree with me or my actions, at least know that.
                      So no, I don't expect the police to recognize my right to destroy property, block an entrance, and especially injure other people. I myself would never intentionally injure another person or police officer, and I never have nor will destroy another person's property. I would however, commit civil disobedience such as block an entrance. And I would expect you to arrest me for it. And I would not fight you, disrespect you, or hate you for it. You are doing your job, and I do respect that. The only thing I would ask for is that in exchange for my compliance, you treat me humanely. I believe that you will, I'm just saying that as a matter of principle.
                      So where do I stand in the issue of "police" as you put it? I'm the first to admit, I know next to nothing about them. You ask me how much of an individual I am. Individual enough to seek out my own answers and talk to you myself, even if there is a computer screen between us. I will not lie, because at this point, I wish to build respect, and respect is based on truth, not lies. But in the past, I have hated cops. Most of my hatred was due to youth, immaturity, lack of experience, arrogance, and as you put it, ignorance. I admit this freely. You perform a difficult job, a necessary job, and I have come to appreciate you for it. Whenever I had an encounter with a police officer in the past, I have always viewed it as a sign of challenge. If you show up at a demonstration in riot gear I saw you as the enforcer of the state. I saw you as protecting the war criminals , the ones that lied and took us to war for their own greed. I haven't changed my mind on the war, I've just matured a lot and had more time to think. I apologize for having been so negative, because after awhile, I realized that by taking everything to a place of conflict and struggle, I was really no better than the militant government I opposed.

                      So, I really do apologize for making this post insanely long, but you raised a lot of points in yours, and I felt I had to answer them as honestly as I could. Hope I didn't bore you to tears.

                      And to any moderators, if I'm not supposed to respond to these questions posed to me due to my initial post, I apologize, And again, sorry for making this so long.


                      • #12
                        Okay, I won't make you carry me and I will get up, promise. Peace.


                        • #13
                          what do i think of antiwar protestors?

                          not much, honestly. they're pretty insignificant in my world. we don't have protest, where i patrol. i see them on the roadside, elsewhere, occassionaly but don't pay much attention to them. just silly hippies with too much time on their hands, imo.

                          if we did have protests, where i worked, i'd protect their right to peacefully assemble as per the Constitution. if they failed to be peaceful, well... they'd be arrested for breach of peace (which would be sooooooo ironic lol). but to actually devote enough attention to them to either like or dislike them, that's not gonna happen.


                          • #14
                            double post...
                            Last edited by BD380; 08-06-2008, 02:33 AM.


                            • #15
                              I love when protesters come to my place of employment.... especially when they come armed with sticks, shields, flashbangs, and water balloons filled with pee.


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