ABC News beat the competition last weekend with this priceless piece of newspeak: “Protesters in California set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station and assaulted officers after a peaceful demonstration intensified,” read the a tweet from one of the country’s largest media organisations.
Whatever our differences, we can surely all agree that the phrase, “a peaceful demonstration intensified”, has a reassuringly gentle quality to it. It’s perhaps how the Luftwaffe might have described events during the Blitz: tens of thousands of Londoners were killed after Germany’s peaceful demonstrations against British resistance intensified.
He then says:
It’s fair to say that most of the people demonstrating on America’s streets this summer have a peaceful, lawful intent: to challenge police brutality, expose inequality; denounce a political order they see as inimical to the nation’s values. There have doubtless too been provocations at times by law enforcement officers that have triggered violent responses.
Actually no. I think we’re getting beyond that stage.
But there’s no doubt that a significant number of the protesters are politically motivated radicals with a revolutionary agenda, armed to the teeth and committed to violence.
That is more like it. It is troubling:
These are not examples of peaceful protests intensifying. These are disturbingly like early scenes from a civil war. You hear little about them because they don’t fit the media’s happy narrative of an unarmed, concerned citizenry resisting the violent efforts of the state to crush it.