Opinion

It doesn’t require a mob to stage a legitimate protest

What to make of the Wisconsin-esque revolt staged last week in Olympia by organized labor forces ostensibly to protest cuts to public services?

For starters, it’s hard to take seriously a “grassroots” effort that features a rent-a-mob chauffeured to the event in fancy motor coaches, handed professionally printed protest signs and served a catered lunch by a fawning cadre of Young Democrats.

Beyond that, it’s even harder to accept at face value the altruism of the protesters, given that most — or at least the most disruptive — seemed to be members of Washington’s public employees unions who recognize that government cutbacks threaten their own cushy jobs far more immediately than they do those truly in need.

Mostly, though, it’s hard to sympathize with groups that resort to common thuggery to achieve whatever their aims might be.

According to reports, 16 protesters were cited for disorderly conduct and released, and another was arrested on two counts of third-degree assault for striking two Washington State Patrol troopers.

As if that weren’t enough, a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee was disrupted by agitators who interrupted the proceedings and began shouting.

Earlier that same day, deliberations in the House of Representatives were greeted by catcalls and other outbursts from the visitors’ gallery and an estimated 30 people had to be escorted from the building.

The protestors then attempted to storm the governor’s office only to be turned back by security forces.

Simply put, everyone has the right to stage a peaceful, lawful, respectful protest to air their grievances, but no one’s grievances are so urgent that they justify breaking the law, injuring people or infringing on the rights of others.

Unserious protests don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

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