A very thoughtful post on how the response to #OWS police brutality could very rapidly…

A very thoughtful post on how the response to #OWS police brutality could very rapidly escalate out of control.

Reshared post from +Baratunde Thurston

I've watched this video several times and thought about it even more. There's a lot to say including some interesting thoughts in this Atlantic piece

Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike – Alexis Madrigal – National – The Atlantic http://bit.ly/rxCpEc

But I want to focus on another thought I've had but only voiced briefly in a standup show last night.

The authorities in all these #OWS crackdowns are assuming a steadily passive reaction from the protestors. Despite the constitutional right to peaceably assemble, governments and post 9/11 militarized police (LRAD!?) are responding with violence against their own people.

The thing about violent uprisings is that you rarely see a steady escalation. These Occupy Wall Street gatherings have been extremely civil and peaceful by and large. And I don't think you're gonna see some slowly increasing amount of violence on the part of the protestors. That's not how revolutions generally pop off. I'm pretty sure that, in general, something just snaps. A student gets shot. A man sets himself on fire. A cop punches an old lady. Then BAM: full scale violent conflict.

So there's that.

But I want to come back to the other risk in the presumption of passivity. There's a frighteningly relaxed attitude to this "Peace Officer" in the video below and among many authorities. It's a condescending attitude based in the idea that these "kids" won't do anything about it. I could be reading too much into the situation, but I think authorities have bought into the narrative that this is a generation raised on iPods and Facebook and MTV reality shows and when push come to shove, they won't fight back.

I would just humbly remind folks that all those factors are true about this generation, but the response may not be. You see, this generation was also raised on collaborative multiplayer combat sims: World of Warcraft, Modern Warfare, 007, Resident Evil, etc. We've literally spent hours building teams and fragging people and aliens and zombies and not batting an eye. Millions of Americans have clocked hundreds or thousands of hours in war simulations. We have all gotten pretty comfortable with coordinated violence.

While it's not "real" war or "real" violence, our brains think differently. We get an adrenaline rush. Our heart rates increase. We sweat. The perception is quite similar, and I just think it's worth some extra thought on the part of the authorities.

I am absolutely not advocating violence, but I can't help but think that you might want to be careful provoking people who have been subconsciously trained on war games.

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