So here’s a question for anyone who has kids or works with kids. If two kids are having an argument, a verbal one, do we condone one of them, even if their position complies with the rules, hitting or kicking or pushing the other? Do we condone either of them throwing things at the other? Of course not. We tell our children to use their words and talk out their problems. We tell them to avoid violence, don’t we? And we certainly don’t condone them escalating a conflict by initiating violence.
What about in the workplace? It’s one thing to get into a conflict with a co-worker or even someone above or below us on the org chart. Now, there’s a lot in the workplace that’s subjective about how verbal conflicts are handled, but I’m pretty sure that it’s pretty universally accepted that initiating physical violence is frowned upon, to say the least.
The same goes for the other relationships in our lives, be they with friends, neighbors, customers and service providers. There are a lot of variations on what actions are okay and what are not, but you need to show a really, really good reason to escalate to violence.
So why is it, that when citizens peacefully assemble to protest against the government and business powers that have driven our economy to the brink of collapse by enriching the few at the expense of the many, it’s acceptable for police to meet that peaceful protest by introducing violence in the form of tear gas, flash bang grenades and rubber bullets? I concede that these are considered “non-lethal” methods of crowd control, but make no mistake. They are designed to control a crowd by inflicting pain.
We would not consider it appropriate for one child to enforce a rule by hurting another child. Why is it okay for the police to infice pain on people for marching in the street or camping in a park in protest?