Monday, January 29, 2007

Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Worse at the Capitol...

Yes, I'm back. Hey, everyone needs a week (or nine of them) off around the holidays.

In breaking news, DC has decided to go and reverse the "broken windows" policing approach utilized to great success in the mid-90's by Rudy Guiliani in New York. Apparently, the rule of law no longer means anything in D.C., and we don't just mean for Congressmen...

Anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint on part of the west front steps of the United States Capitol building after police were ordered to break their security line by their leadership, two sources told The Hill.

According to the sources, police officers were livid when they were told to fall back by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Phillip Morse and Deputy Chief Daniel Nichols. "They were the commanders on the scene," one source said, who requested anonymity. "It was disgusting."

After police ceded the stairs, located on the lower west front of the Capitol, the building was locked down, the source added.

A second source who witnessed the incident said that the police had the crowd stopped at Third Street, but were told to bring the police line in front of the Capitol.

Approximately 300 protesters were allowed to take the steps and began to spray paint "anarchist symbols" and phrase such as "Our capitol building" and "you can’t stop us" around the area, the source said.

Morse responded to these claims in an e-mail Sunday afternoon explaining that the protesters were seeking confrontation with the police.

"While there were minor instances of spray painting of pavement by a splinter group of Anarchists who were seeking a confrontation with the police, their attempts to breach into secure areas and rush the doors of the Capitol were thwarted," Morse said. "The graffiti was easily removed by the dedicated [Architect of the Capitol] staff, some of whom responded on their day off to quickly clean the area."

He added, "It is the USCP's duty and responsibility to protect the Capitol complex, staff and public while allowing the public to exercise their First Amendment rights … at the end of the day, both occurred without injury to protestors or officers."
(hat tip: Instapundit) Let me start by mentioning that I think Anarchists may be the most annoying of the sub-groups that show up at these rallies, and that's saying a lot. I also wasn't aware that my First Amendment rights included the ability to graffiti public property without punishment -- I'm thinking of visiting the Lincoln Memorial later today to write "WIZARDS RULE!!!"

Seriously, putting aside the fact that I'd like to see a good percentage of the people at these rallies neutered for the good of humanity, can we all agree that public vandalism is not a way to get a point across? I'm guessing most of the peace protestors on Saturday even think it's a bad idea. But to further the point, why let them get away with it? If it means so much for them to spraypaint the Capitol, let's put them in jail for a couple weeks (at least) or stick them on the side of the road doing cleanup work. For crying out loud, the Police Chief made it seem like no big deal that the steps needed to be cleaned afterward; I'm sure the guys who had to do the cleaning didn't enjoy having their weekend interrupted. As a tacxpayer, I don't want to have to pay for overtime for federal employees simply because some little teenage idiot playing political activist thinks it's cool to spend time adding color to the steps of the Capitol. Lock him up and let his parents pay the price, or let him pay if off with some community service.


Blogger The Lord of Truth said...

Welcome back! Now get back to work.

11:12 AM  
Blogger wojr said...

Maybe they should save their message into the back of their heads?

That would get their point across.

12:59 PM  

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