Going to great pains to avoid use of "illegal"

We’ve seen lots of this lately. In the most generic sense, all the complaints about the Arizona law ignore that – like every other law on everyone’s books – it’s aimed at combatting things that are, well, ILLEGAL.

Here’s another great example. The Santa Cruz anti-AZ protest march this weekend resulted in a good bit of destruction, considering only 250 people were involved. Note how the police spokesman described it:

It was a harmonious but “unpermitted and unsanctioned event,” he said, until some in the crowd started breaking windows and spraying paint on retail shops that line the downtown corridor.

It wasn’t an “illegal” march, just “unpermitted” and “unsanctioned”. And it was peaceful until it wasn’t. If I pull a gun and shoot someone, was it considered a peaceful act until the point where I pulled the trigger? I guess there is no such thing as premeditated murder in Santa Cruz.

As if that were not enough, then he goes on to say that it was probably “anarchists” who did the damage, not these fine citizens people. Several thoughts come to mind.

  • If it was “unpermitted” then why did they “permit” it to take place?
  • If they were caught off guard and didn’t even know it was happening, how did all these alleged anarchists happen to know about it?
  • And if they did know it was happening and they let it proceed even though they knew it was illegal unpermitted, why weren’t there more cops around? If nothing else, you’d think they’d have been there to protect these wonderful albeit unsanctioned protesters from all those violent racists who see nothing wrong with the AZ law.

You have to wonder how this would have been dealt with had it been oh let’s say a tea party march. First of all I bet they’d have sent out the riot squad to prevent them from marching to begin with, and then arrested as many of them as possible. And if there was any damage or violence at all, it would have been 100% blamed on the protesters, not laughed off as being due to some group of infiltrators.