Literally in 2014,the army came out cause we were in groups asking not to get killed by the police
Or the Tulsa Massacre of 1921
Ma’am are you aware of the 1985 Philadelphia bombing
I remember seeing protests happening in France or smth and people were asking why Americans couldn’t do the same thing….ma'am our police will gun us down and face zero consequences
people being pretentious asking why the poor people of the USA aren’t doing a general strike or a revolt like other countries. ma’am our government has drones.
Also, for most of us just being arrested can easily result in us losing our jobs (not charged or convicted, just being arrested) and basically fucking up our entire lives.
So you go to a protest. The police “decide” it’s a riot. This can happen because the protest didn’t have a permit. Or someone throws a bottle. Or the police think maybe they possibly see someone with something that might, maybe, conceivably, be a weapon. Or, you know, they tell you to march on the wrong side of the street and then arrest you for being on the street. Or if you disobey police instructions to do an illegal thing, they arrest you for disobeying police instructions.
Oh, and if they really don’t like the protest, they will embed agents provocateur in the protest to manufacture the violence the real protesters refuse to conveniently provide. (I’m looking at you, California Highway Patrol).
So. You get arrested. And by “You” I mean “You and 5000 of your closest buddies". Well, okay, if you’re lucky you’re just arrested. If you’re unlucky first they decide to “kettle” the protest, which is where they just force the protesters into a dead end and then just… don’t let anyone leave. For hours. Without food, water, or access to bathrooms. But eventually they decide to start arresting people en masse.
In mass arrests, police tend to play fast and loose with these little concepts like “right to see a lawyer” and “stand before a judge and hear the charges”, or “know what you are charged with” and even “not being detained without charges”. In fact, they tend be kinda hinky about “keeping you in a safe holding cell provided with food and water” and even “letting you have access to live-saving medication or care”. They’re… really shitty to protestors in general, okay?
Now, you’ve been arrested. You may be suffering from injury due to tear gas, fire hoses, or just having the shit beat out of you because the arresting cops felt like it. You may be injured because they zip-tied your hands for hours, using “mass arrest” zip tie cuffs which are only safe to use for a brief while as someone is in transit, but cops don’t follow rules, they enforce “rules”.
You’re in a mass holding facility. These are temporary deals, usually warehouses pretty far from the center of town, consisting of holding cells made using chain-link fencing. You’ve been shoved in one of these cells with too many other people. There is nothing to sit on, no bedding, no blankets. No AC in the summer, no heat in the winter. You’re just… standing there. If you need to go to the bathroom, or gods forbid see a doctor - good luck with that. If youre fellow cellmates are decent, they’ll maybe try to arrange to stand in a way to get some privacy while you each pee in a designated corner or something. Dignity is not an option.
At some point, usually within 48 hours or so, you’ll either be charged with something, or released without charges. If the former, you’ll be none-too-gently thrown into a proper detention cell at the city or county lockup to await a hearing. If the latter, you’ll be “released”. Your belongings (i.e. your cell phone, wallet, keys, cash, etc.) might be returned to you at that point, but don’t hold your breath. More likely they will either refuse to return these things at all, or they will “graciously” mail them to your legal address within N weeks. After imaging your cell phone and throwing any cash you had into the “confiscated, could not return” pile.
Now, when I say “released” I don’t mean they give you a ride back to where they grabbed you. You’re now in an industrial park on the outskirts of town, without a wallet, money, or a cell phone. And you’re not released all at once, they just let out a few at a time. Fortunately there are groups which will meet and assist you in getting home, but you’re kinda entirely at their mercy. And yes, police have a history of fucking with those groups, too - they’re not big fans of anyone who helps protesters. Which means they’ll lie about where and when people are being released, threaten and intimidate the support folks - you know, like cops do.
But let’s optimistically assume at this point you can get home. Let’s even optimistically assume your vehicle, which you smartly did not drive to get to the protest, has not been impounded. You have most likely been missing from work, with no way to contact your job, for at least one full day, maybe longer depending on when the protest was, when your next shift was, and how long the police decided to hold you.
If you work in an at-will state, that’s all she wrote. You’re now out of a job, unless your boss is particularly merciful. At best you were fired with cause for failing to come in to work. At worst, well, the police can still decide they want to charge you. That’s a specter which can hang over your head for years, especially if you ever get arrested again. And in the US, having a criminal history, or even having been arrested, can keep you from getting a job again.
Yeah. There’s damned good reason people don’t go to protests.
But I think eventually TPTB will push things too far. Eventually all that shit won’t seem any worse than what people are already dealing with. And shit is going to get very, very ugly.
I apologize, but I couldn’t leave that commentary in the tags. Hope that’s okay.