Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL May 8, 2015
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– Rioting, or uprisings, as some pundits call them, are out of control, and tougher responses are needed to constrain the elements of society who take rioting in the streets as a full or part time occupation. Whether rioting involves knee-jerk reactions to unresolved crimes, court case outcomes, labor union disputes, sporting event incidents, or politically and racially motivated agendas, any uncontrolled acts of mayhem and violence must not be tolerated or permitted to continue without some type of lawful intervention.
A civil society simply cannot allow destructive and escalated rioting, in the form of so-called protesting, to overtake cities and towns like Baltimore, New York, and Ferguson. The answers lie with the towns and cities themselves and how they deal with preventing riots while controlling the criminal elements that engage in rioting. Local communities have to face the truth of what is occurring in the community and take a hard look at the issues they face. Sidestepping or ignoring critical underlying problems and shifting blame to this or that group will not resolve deep-seated problems. Common sense and proactive solutions are what alleviate difficulties and once civic leaders, mayors, town, and city councils realize the hard facts of problem solving and the basics of communication and true relationship building, unrest will continue.
Militarizing the police in serious riotous situations appears to escalate the fervor of rioters bent on circumventing civil obedience but, on the other hand, the consequences of violent behavior require immediate and quick action by law enforcement authorities. If community businesses and peaceful residents are threatened through destructive means such as hurling lethal objects, looting, burning, stealing and generally demolishing property, then police must immediately take rioters into custody in a firm, consistent manner and place them in jail. Standing down will not inhibit an angry crowd. The reaction must be immediate and swift with the first indication of chaos. If riots escalate beyond police control, National Guard troops must be deployed without hesitation to create a stabilizing presence to the situation.
Riotous behaviors are to be condemned and not saluted. Perpetrators cannot be encouraged by outside political operatives, special interests or individuals to participate in activities that promote riots. Those encouraging, inciting, agitating and headlining such behaviors must be subject to ridicule, condemnation and arrest themselves. Promoters of such activities have little concern other than to further their own agendas and care little for the actual protestors themselves. If they did, they would involve themselves in the real causes of such outbreaks of violence and provide solutions for the repair of the traumatized community.
Riots will continue to frame the headlines and without direct community intervention and a serious look at what really causes riots, this gnawing issue will go unresolved. There must be a rejection of ineffective policies at the local administrative level with a replacement plan of workable guidelines, along with the immediate enforcement and punishment of violations. Perhaps new and bold strategies will bring about some semblance of peace in the streets.
Raleigh, NC Correspondent-One of the benefits of living in the United States is the freedom to assembly which is guaranteed by the First Amendment. However, some people have taken this right to the extreme and use it to behave in the way which is certainly unlawful. Unfortunately, some last events in such places as Ferguson and Baltimore brought the issue to the forefront again.
What should the response of the government be in such cases as to not arise more civil disobedience but to be effective at the same time? Well, opinions differ. Many people have critiqued Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake delayed response to mayhem which has occurred in her city under her watch. While her motives are understandable given the hot atmosphere around the issue of police overstepping their powers and their targeting of specific elements of the society, still, shouldn’t the issue be looked at the larger scale?
The motive for these riots is much wider than specific deaths of specific people. It is the whole condition of national environment where people feel themselves trapped in their poor circumstances and as such revert to violence and disobedience to help themselves. However, these people also need to realize that their actions do not help their cause but hurt it. The rioting and looting make disservice for the causes they are supposedly are for.
How can the issue of ending the rioting in the USA be accomplished? What needs to be done is to meet the demands of people who have legitimate claims against the police. Also, while it might not be possible to be done quickly, people need to be re-established within their communities. Ethics, morals, common values need to be taught. For that, maybe the police needs to be fortified. Both the police force as well as community they protect can certainly benefit from learning how to respect each other’s lives. Still, to ask a simple question from yourself: Would you rather have police around when you take a night stroll or not? Maybe your answer gives all the replies you need.
Asheville, NC Correspondent-The past 6 months have seen some of the most divisive riots in American history. Not in the last 60 years has the country been so violently divided. The causes are many, and it’s a tragic mistake to paint the events of Ferguson, Missouri, New York, New York, and Baltimore, Maryland with the same brush. Each has its own story of division, pain, and injustice. Yet, these diverse places experienced an injustice, and reacted with anger. Sadly, it is too often innocent Americans who are made to pay for this injustice. Small business owners lose sales and see their property destroyed. Commuters lose jobs when they can’t get to work, leaving them short when the bill collector comes. Police officers, trying to protect public order, are insulted and threatened by callous individuals trying to turn a peaceful protest into a violent brawl. Innocent protesters engaged in the democratically sacred act of voicing an opinion in public are beaten, maced, or tear gassed by police officers, who are often scared and untrained for the service they are asked to perform. American police departments do not need more riot preparation. They need better riot preparation. It is militarization only in the sense that it should borrow from modern military training techniques. For the past 10 years, American soldiers have been involved in intense urban warfare, charged with “keeping the peace” in places like Baghdad, Iraq and Kandahar, Afghanistan. The techniques they have tested in these environments, to de-escalate tense situations and promote calm, civil engagements, include such basic steps as keeping weapons at low ready, not trained at citizens. Training major urban police forces in these tactics would do much to make them peacemakers, rather than provocateurs, in times of civil unrest.