Crazed European Protesters

I will never understand why Europeans accept the level of violence from their protesters that they do – they just sit back and take it.

I’ve been watching coverage of Greek protests against spending cuts, and at what point do the citizens lie down and let the anarchy take over? It started with throwing rocks and burning cars. They also destroyed shop fronts & set businesses on fire. Now, the protesters are throwing molotov cocktails directly at police officers in order to set them on fire. Yesterday, they threw one into a bank to kill three people and injure more.

I’d like to think that here, we would tell our police officers to get rid of them with any means available. I can’t fathom that if a radical group started marching through a city, killing bystanders, and trying to set police officers on fire, we would just ask them to push back politely. At what point does your society decide that it no longer wants to defend itself from arbitrary mob attack?

12 thoughts on “Crazed European Protesters”

  1. Shop owners in many places of this country would meet violence with violence.

    I’m all for peaceful protest, but when you start destroying life and property that aren’t even the target of your protest…. you’re going down.

  2. “Shop owners in many places of this country would meet violence with violence.”

    Didn’t they do that in LA at one point?

    “Yesterday, they threw one into a bank to kill three people and injure more.”

    Even worse, they deliberately prevented firefighters from getting to the bank to rescue the ones who hadn’t gotten out. Every person in that mob is guilty of murder.

  3. “Didn’t they do that in LA at one point?”

    Yes. You didn’t screw with the Korean shop owners during the King Riots. While this may not be true of all of them, many stayed in their stores with shotguns and rifles.

  4. Europeans accept violent protests because they:

    1. are disarmed by the state


    2. often sympathize with the protesters and their goals. Remember that over there even the ‘conservative’ parties are welfarists, and any cuts to social programs are met with near-universal opposition, but only the most violent and progressive members of society (usually communists, revolutionary socialists, and anarchists) tend to do the molotov-cocktail flinging and window-smashing.

  5. The people of Greece are with the rioters, because they are so upset at the idea that they are going to be disconnected from the government teat they’ve been conditioned to rely on for several generations.
    The rest of (Western) Europe agrees.

  6. Also, Americans don’t (by and large) riot; because we’ve got the idea that we will be able to participate in the political process. When that view is shaken (late 60’s, race riots in general, etc); it’s Katy bar the door.

  7. Which reminds me – the Dems (and Repubs, for that matter) ought to beware of shutting the Tea Partiers out of the political process.

  8. I understand people’s disgust with violent protesters, and I agree with those who would defend their property, but it’s surprising to hear “any means necessary” comments from people who 1) believe guns are a hedge against tyranny and 2) regularly complain about police over-reaction (like shooting the pets of a marijuana user). I know: burning buildings is not the same as smoking a joint. But still, I’m not sure how to feel about the Greek protesters. On the one hand, they are socialists complaining they might no longer get something for nothing. On the other hand, the bailout is not for their sakes, but for the sakes of European bankers, yet it comes at their expense, and it has no popular support. That sounds a bit like tyranny to me. The thing is, our debt is no better, and “austerity measures” are coming here too sooner or later. We’ve taken on the bad debt of bankers and car companies and made it our own. At what point do the American people respond likewise?

    1. Part of the issue is that the people continued to vote for this crap in Greece, and here in the US, too. So I would argue that they did get themselves into the mess. I do think you have quite a few people here who understand we need to make serious cuts to the entitlement programs. People know they are unsustainable. You even have some government workers in states that have been more responsible outraged – and ready to slash pay – for those who haven’t been responsible. (My mom, for example, has said as a state worker in Virginia, she hasn’t had any pay adjustments in 3 years. They understand why, but they get kind of peeved when federal workers are still getting crazy salary hikes without question when the feds are in far more trouble.) I don’t think you’ll get as much “automatic sympathy” here as you might in a more widely unionized country.

  9. That last is what may allow Christie to break the strangelhold public sector unions have on NJ politics – the unquestioned assumption on the part of those unions’ leadership that the fravy train of benefits will roll on (and their ability to convince their membership of same). The other part of that equation is the unthinking arrogance of the union leadership, and the cracks in the lie they’re peddling ot their current members. The rank and file live in the communities and can see that their neighbors don’t have the money any more.

    We will ahve to see if the unions can convince their members that “the rich” can be squeezed to fulfill the union leaders’ promises.

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