Why all the Smashy-Smashy? A beginner’s Guide to Targeted Property Destruction – Brendan Kiley

In a post below, Paul Constant decries today’s targeted property destruction for upstaging the structural-economic reasons behind today’s protests—the wealth gap, the E-Verify and “secure communities” programs that are tearing apart immigrant communities, how Wells Fargo profiteers in the privatized prison industry, etc. People like Paul call window-smashers “know-nothing nobodies” and “thugs” and “idiots.”

This is not necessarily true. There are reasons why thoughtful people sometimes smash windows.

But first, let’s clear something up: Reporters today on KOMO and Slog and beyond have made the mistake of calling today’s targeted property destruction “violence.” There is an enormous moral distinction between smashing a bank window and smashing a person. Lumping the two under the umbrella of “violence” is linguistically lazy and politically irresponsible. It is worth noting that in the dramatic property-destruction campaigns of groups like the Earth Liberation Front—burning SUV lots, ski lodges, and in one of their stupider and more infamous moments, a botanical research facility at the UW—people don’t get hurt.

In fact, the only “violence” I saw today, aside from some minor pushing back and forth between protesters and police and some pepper spray, was a guy in a tie who was (understandably) pissed off when someone broke the rear window of his car.… Read more