Pro-Choice Rally in Virginia

Johnny - posted on 03/05/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...



I found this video very shocking. An apparently very peaceful protest responded to with riot police and the SWAT team. I have never seen a peaceful political protest in my country responded in this way at all. I am aware that American politics are polarizing and often intense, but I was very surprised to see this level of suppression with little mass media response. Perhaps over-shadowed by the excitingly controversial Rush Limbaugh issue, but I find this more concerning and relevant.



I will say that I did not think that there was anything in that video that could be called "excessive use of force" by the police context of violence. But the fact that they were called out to suppress a peaceful, fairly small political rally really boggles my mind.

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Jodi - posted on 03/05/2012

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This is really messed up. I mean, I get it that you're supposed to have a permit...but seriously...as if the govornor would have been all "Heck yes ladies! Here's a permit to protest exactly what I support on capital grounds!!!" Right, I'm sure there would have been some stupid reason why their permit was denied. I do not believe a permit should be required to assemble, especially to voice your opinion on a stance your own govorner has taken against you.



I applaud these women (and the men!) for their bravery and courage to stand up against their governor, the police, a riot squad and the SWAT to stand up for what they believe (and I agree) was a true injustice.

Jenni - posted on 03/05/2012

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Megan, we are unstable when it comes to our Hockey. ;)



This video was hard to watch... by the end I was crying. It had nothing to do with the cause for me... it is the dismantling of the right to gather in peaceful protest when those in power do not agree with the cause.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/05/2012

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Thankfully not everyone from VA is that way either.



I have to admit I'd be shocked if I heard of that coming from my home State of New York because I consider my state moderate rather than conservative. The closest I've seen to crazy was right after 9/11 when a friend of mine and I were driving through Genessee Valley park and saw some rednecks with a large plywood sign that said Death to Towel Heads. We were shocked by that, but it's very out of the ordinary.

Johnny - posted on 03/05/2012

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I realize that these things vary vastly from state to state. I spend quite a bit of time in my neighboring state of Washington and would be stunned and amazed if such a thing occured there. My husband's best friend is actually moving to Virginia in the next couple months as he is marrying a woman from there. It saddens me to think that her two daughters are going to be growing up in that atmosphere of hatred and violation of women.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/05/2012

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Johnny, don't forget the Stanley Cup Riots last year. Yes, those weren't politically motivated, but they were still crazy. In fact some Americans now use those riots to prove that Canadians are unstable. FML.



Virgina is fucked up, but thankfully the actions in that state don't reflect every state in the Union. I'd hope that these two groups could file a lawsuit with the state of Virginia or at least the local police farce... I mean force. In the 2nd post (about gun violence) the police were violating a few Amendments themselves. And yes I am all about lawsuits this morning because the Tax office down in Surrey is taking their damn sweet time to fix Lee's HST refunds and give me my child tax credit. They've been dicking around since August.

Mary - posted on 03/05/2012

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Virginia has been a rather fucked up state for quite a while now. It sometimes makes me nervous that I am only an hour's drive from it.

Johnny - posted on 03/05/2012

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Actually I take back my comments about never having seen this in my country. Really, both the G-20 in Toronto and the APEC in Vancouver have caused similar responses. Although in those cases, there was rioting, vandalism and such by the protestors, which was clearly not the case here. What I saw in the response at the WTO protests in Seattle were also similar, but the protests were so different, so much larger, so much more intense and had the intent of civil disobedience and disruption from the start.

Johnny - posted on 03/05/2012

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A little context on how previous rallies have been handled, even in more tense circumstances, by the police and their leaders in the same place.



Picture the scene, a cold January day in Richmond, Virginia and a group of about 120 people are gathered for a solemn vigil on the grounds of the Capitol building, to commemorate the lives of the more than 800 Virginians killed by gunfire in the previous year. The group listens in complete silence as one of the speakers, a mother whose child was shot dead in his own bed by a stray bullet passing through the wall of his home, hold up his photograph.



As she speaks, a large group of armed men surround the crowd, their coats removed even on this cold day, to reveal the handguns they carry on their belts or the assault rifles slung over their shoulders. Some of them push so far forward that those on the fringes of the crowd can feel the weapons pushed up against their backs. As the woman describes her harrowing loss in a faltering voice, one of the intruders yells out "Guns Save Lives" and the others laugh cruelly.



Meanwhile, a small number of armed Capitol Police stand idly by, yet, despite direct pleas to move the gun wielders back from our lawfully permitted event, they simply reply that "These folks have a basic 1st. amendment right to gather and speak".

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