Flier at Occupy Phoenix asks, “When should you shoot a cop?”

posted at 12:05 pm on October 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hot Air has confirmed with the Arizona Department of Public Safety that fliers have been found at Occupy Phoenix instructing people on when to shoot police officers.  First reported by the Jon Justice show on  104.1 FM in Tucson, the flier resulted in a counterterrorism alert issued to all law enforcement agencies in the state:

Copies of an “informational” letter were left on a table for protestors pick up [sic] and read during the “Occupy Phoenix” event at Cesar Chavez Park.  The presence of the letter was reported to the ACTIC by a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy who had responded to an unrelated call and was alerted to it by another deputy working the event.

The letter is blatantly anti-government and anti-law enforcement in nature.  It not only condones but even encourages citizens to kill any “government agent” (i.e. law enforcement officers), who in their perception violates their rights.  Examples are given in the document, of “illegal” search and seizure, sobriety and border checkpoints, airport security, etc… In essence this document states that citizens have the right and moral obligation to resist any action by law enforcement that is viewed as a violation of the citizen’s rights, and often-times resistance involves killing officers.

“Occupy” events have drawn protestors for various causes including “Chalk the Police” and “Police Brutality Day”.  With emotions running high in regards to law enforcement and government personnel, there is obvious concern this document could incite actions with protestors to take actions they might not have taken otherwise.

It’s a lengthy flier, but these two paragraphs are worth noting, as they capture the general flavor of the missive:

Pick any example of abuse of power, whether it is the fascist “war on drugs,” the police thuggery that has become so common, the random stops and searches now routinely carried out in the name of “security” (e.g., at airports, “border checkpoints” that aren’t even at the border, “sobriety checkpoints,” and so on), or anything else.  Now ask yourself the uncomfortable question: If it is wrong for cops to do these things, doesn’t that imply that the people have a right to RESIST such actions?  Of course, state mercenaries don’t take kindly to being resisted, even non-violently.  If you question their right to detain you, interrogate you, search you, invade your home, and so on, you are very likely to be tasered, physically assaulted, kidnapped, put in a cage, or shot.  If a cop decides to treat you like livestock, whether he does it “legally” or not, you will usually have only two options: submit, or kill the cop.  You can’t resist a cop “just a little” and get away with it.  He will always call in more of his fellow gang members, until you are subdued or dead.

Basic logic dictates that you either have an obligation to LET “law enforcers” have their way with you, or you have the right to STOP them from doing so, which will almost always require killing them. (Politely asking fascists not to be fascists has a very poor track record.)

The flier goes on at length for two pages with much of the same vitriol.  Let’s try approaching the actual arguments presented in this screed, such as they are.  I’ll grant that police occasionally abuse their power, and that some functions like airport security have become overbroad and unnecessarily intrusive (in service to political correctness, actually).  In some cases, those abuses get taken to disturbing levels, as I have learned through personal experience and through the experiences of those close to me.  However, the vast majority of my contacts with law enforcement have been professional and even friendly.

When a law-enforcement officer crosses the line, people in a free society have more options than surrender or murder, however.  We can work to change the laws so that the abuses get curtailed, when the abuses come from the law itself (airport security and sobriety checkpoints among them).  We can pursue legal action when the abuses come from the police officers individually.  Put simply, contra this person’s hysteric and historically ignorant perspective, we don’t live in a fascist state or anything close to it.  This is a person straining mightily to give intellectual and philosophical cover for murderous intentions, which run seriously and deep.

I’m curious to see how the media in Arizona and the rest of the nation approach this development.  They went into convulsions retroactive to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting that killed six other people because Sarah Palin used crosshairs on a map once (as had Democrats on a number of occasions), which the media used to paint the Tea Party and conservatives as somehow responsible for the massacre conducted by a madman with no discernibly rational political posture.  Will they hold the Occupy movement to the same ridiculous standard?  I’m betting …. no.

Update: Verum Serum has more on the self-described anarchist whose writings were used for the flier, and his appearance at a Tea Party event in 2009.  It’s not clear whether Rose distributed the fliers or someone just lifted it for the Occupy Phoenix event.

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