Monday, November 08, 2021

“The Car Becomes the Weapon” when protesters illegally block highways (Boston Globe)



Jess Bilgood offers a Special Report for the Boston Globe (paywall), “The Car Becomes the Weapon” with the byline, “Demonstrators around the country have been injured and killed by vehicle rammings, but there’s been precious little justice. And new laws could make accountability even scarcer.”

The article discusses incidents where protesters illegally block traffic, especially interstate or major highways that have not been lawfully closed, and are struck by vehicles.  In some cases drivers may feel threatened or trapped.

The report starts with an incident on I-244 in Tulsa on May 31, 2020, a few days after George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis and gives the account of a protester grievously and permanently injured. .

The article has dynamic maps showing deaths from these incidents all over the US.  

There is a broader moral question.  When radical protesters bloc  access of persons through a public space or enter private property in trespass, they are trying to coerce others to take sides and join their revolutions, or at least share personally the experience of their pain. Perhaps the gravity of the crimes of Donald Trump on Jan. 6 and the treat that poses forces non-political people to take sides (think about notorious examples in history) and accept personal loss to be imposed on them (think about the way the burdens of the pandemic were not shared).

Picture: downtown Tulsa, Wikipedia embed, p.d. 

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