The police and their cheerleaders in corporate media keep complaining about “outsiders” coming to Baltimore and joining the protests. Yet, they bring in cops from other cities and states and even troops. The mayor has requested 5000 troops and cops from other states. 100 soldiers are already there.
They call rioting “criminal”. To them killing innocent young men isn’t criminal, rioting is. Destruction of private property, breaking windows, looting and setting fire on cars and buildings may be a crime, but not as big a crime as murdering innocent people with impunity, every day. You can say it’s wrong to damage property and loot and you would be right, but whatever you call it, it’s part and parcel and an expression of people’s justified fury. Let’s not forget that in every police killing, until and unless there is a people’s reaction through street protests, no officer gets charged and no one resigns. It took persistent protests for weeks in Ferguson before city officials resigned. Rioting happens in just about every movement of an enraged people. Martin Luther King called rioting “the voice of the voiceless”.
Is such rioting counterproductive? Does it have a negative effect on the cause of stopping police brutality? Maybe. And of course, it’s what the corporate media will naturally and understandably put all its focus on, but we have to keep the focus on what gave rise to people’s rage: nonstop police brutality and murders with impunity. What we’re witnessing is people saying “Enough!”