The Protesters The Women’s March Forgot About
Beck Levy, WATT, Feb 8, 2017
On Inauguration Day, I volunteered on a hotline providing legal support to protesters. Hundreds were arrested. Before they were out of jail, mainstream feminism had already cast them aside.
Police are unleashing torrents of mace. The spray is so dense it is opaque. The police are standing in the street, two blocks from my old apartment. In case you haven’t been to a protest, you might be picturing the kind of mace people carry for self–defense. Instead picture a fire extinguisher. It might be tear gas. The spray travels far. But the police aren’t aiming far; they’re not really aiming at all. They’re spraying people right in front of them, where the force of the spray is the greatest and the chemicals are most dense.
One of these people is a short elderly woman, a grandmother, an indigenous woman. She is doubled over on the sidewalk. 10 cops are standing in front of her. None show any concern or notice her at all. There is a man on crutches in front of the old woman. He is shielding her. He is blinded by mace and thus unable to move. Someone runs over to help the old woman and the disabled man and is promptly sprayed point–blank in the face. The same cop continues to intentionally spray this trio as they slowly hobble, huddled together, further away from the street. People run, faces red or covered. Coughing, chaos, a drum beating. Press photographers anachronistically walk through the scene, faces strained with fear, looking naked next to the stormtroopers. The worst sound: a woman howling, “My child!” She runs past, holding a bawling, red–faced little boy. The police have used tear gas on him. People rush to help her carry him quickly away. Everyone is screaming for a medic. The screaming for a medic goes on and on. No medic comes. They have already been arrested. So have legal observers, journalists, and bystanders. Rounded up en masse and trapped.
This is a 2min 20sec video where the civilians are mostly on the sidewalk and the police are all in the street. The police are heavily armed and masked. The civilians are cowering, immobilized, or struggling to help each other. There are so, so many cops. This is an example of asymmetric warfare. This was Inauguration Day in DC.