Scott Tibbs
blog post
January 24th, 2005

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Terrorism cannot be tolerated!

From the Washington Post: "anarchists" protesting the inauguration of President Bush attacked and stomped activists from "Protest Warrior", who were counter-demonstrating in support of the President.

This qualifies as an act of terrorism, because the "anarchists" were physically assaulting people due to their political philosophy and political speech. Such attempts to eliminate dissent through violence are no different than the actions of Al Qaeda, the Earth Liberation Front, or anti-abortion terrorists. The perpetrators of this act of terrorism must be hunted down, prosecuted, and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Violence has no place in political discourse, especially when that violence is used to stifle political speech. The D.C. Anti-War Network must immediately denounce and repudiate the terrorism perpetrated by its' members and resolve to disassociate itself from people who think physically assaulting someone is appropriate.

September 11th served as a wake-up call to how dangerous terrorism can be. The actions of the "protesters" (more accurately described as thugs) cannot be winked at while we fight a War on Terror.

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Update: January 25, 2005

Some would argue that the case I cited yesterday does not represent terrorism, in compared to things like September 11.

Few would argue that premeditated arson (anti-abortion extremists targeting a Planned Parenthood facility or eco-extremists targeting a poultry distribution plant) are acts of terrorism even if no lives are lost and no one is hurt.

The reason this is so important (and the reason it qualifies as terrorism) is that when thugs attack and beat people for their political views or political speech, it creates a chilling effect on political activity. If you gear you are in physical danger by making a political statement, you are less likely to engage in political speech. Thus, thugs silence opposition through violence and intimidation.

This creates two problems. First, fewer and fewer people will become involved in the political process for fear of their own safety. Second, it encourages thugs (terrorists) because they are shown that violence is an effective way to silence opposing viewpoints.

Just like al-Qaeda collapsed the World Trade Center and murdered 3000 people in hopes of intimidating the United States to change our policies, the thugs from the D.C. Anti-War Network (who likely do not represent the average DAWN activist) engaged in physical violence to achieve a political end. That end was silencing political speech.

As I said before, these terrorists must be hunted down and punished to the fullest extent of the law.