Project 21 New Visions

Stacy Swimp

Civil Disobedience or Uncivil Chaos?


by Stacy Swimp (bio)

 

Protesters, many aligned with Occupy Wall Street, recently disrupted American businesses to commemorate International Workers' Day (May Day).

Banks in Manhattan received suspicious (albeit non-toxic) powder in envelopes. Businesses were vandalized. Commuters were disrupted.

Stacy Washington, a member of the Project 21 black leadership network, said: "It's attention-seeking behavior at its worst. Like children throwing a tantrum, they should be ignored. Without a clear goal, or objective, Occupy protesters are a constant reminder of just what this country does not stand for: rape, destruction of private and public property, filth, violence and disrespect for the American way."

It is ironic when protesters claim their chaos is "civil disobedience" because they are celebrating past lawlessness and socialism.

May Day observes the 1886 Haymarket Riot in Chicago, ignited by a protester throwing dynamite at cops keeping order during a labor strike.

Tragically, many of the cops — and many of the protesters — lost their lives. The International Socialist Conference later called for worldwide annual protests to "stop work" and "demonstrate… for the class demands of the proletariat" to remember the Haymarket violence.

Civil disobedience, in my opinion, is best defined as nonviolent protest of unjust laws. To the contrary, Occupy radicals — from the outset — were documented as being disruptive, disrespectful and malicious in their treatment of private property.

Occupy protestors seem to show no consideration of the law whatsoever, and their actions are hardly nonviolent.

Like the Haymarket protestors, they violently lash out at their fellow Americans. Their cause is not a matter of civil disobedience, but a matter of uncivil chaos.

Speaking on their May Day antics, Amy M. Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said: "People who claim to care about the welfare of the so-called 99 percent seem in fact to care only about calling attention to themselves. I realize at their advanced age it's a longshot, but they should grow up. Blocking bridges and roads does nothing for the 99 percent except make them late for work."

To these protesters, May Day is an "International Workers' Day." But, to me, the forced unionism and socialism they celebrate is largely responsible for high unemployment.

Union subsidies such as the Davis-Bacon Act cost American workers over 160,000 jobs per year while preventing equal access to jobs.

Forced unionism not only denies Americans a choice in employment, but it also violates citizens' First Amendment right to dissent. It's important to note that states that have "Right to Work" laws preventing forced union membership have higher employment rates than states that do not.

Internet talk radio host Kira Davis, commenting on Big Labor's collusion with Occupy Wall Street protesters, said: "The fact that the Occupy movement is now coordinating with unions and May Day is solid proof that it is not a grassroots effort at all but an astroturfed campaign to benefit bloated, wealthy unions.  Union bosses want Occupiers — who despise capitalism — to stand with them as they strike for more money and benefits from their corporate employers. Apparently irony really is dead."

Despite what they may believe, leftists are not helping workers. Instead, they are advancing a socialist agenda prolonging our economic crisis.

A holiday is a time to celebrate. The left's May Day agenda provides the American people with absolutely no reason to be jubilant.

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Stacy Swimp is a spokesman for the Project 21 black leadership network, president of the Frederick Douglass Society and talk radio host. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.


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