Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Kokesh and the Marching Morons

When you look into the career of Adam Kokesh, you realize that he's pretty much just a media whore, who bases his entire schtick on anarchy and "government bad!" In his opinion, governments shouldn't be able to stop people from doing whatever they want to do. That's pretty much the extent of his philosophical depth, as far as I can tell: "you're not the boss of me! I can do what I want!"

I'm pretty sure he isn't married: he couldn't share the spotlight. Life with him would be one constant tantrum-fest.

He likes to stage random events where he can demonstrate that the government is power-hungry and out of control. But most of his problems seem to stem from his own inability to accept authority. He's been reduced to social media and YouTube, since, ironically, even Russia Today (a Russian-funded propaganda channel) got tired of his bullshit.

In the larger sense, I guess I have to appreciate that Kokesh is happy to piss off both sides equally - I can't find a mention of him on any right-wing website that doesn't call him "paid Russian agent Adam Kokesh." But in the end, that isn't enough: he's too busy marketing the one product he has - himself - to be anything more than a self-absorbed yutz.

His latest gag, though, is exactly what a disaster looks like in the fetal state: it's a bad idea waiting to blossom into a nightmare.
On the morning of July 4, 2013, Independence Day, we will muster at the National Cemetery & at noon we will step off to march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge. This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.

There's a remote chance that there will be violence as there has been from government before, and I think it should be clear that if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting. We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
Really, Adam? You design an event to appeal to the paranoid lunatics with a penchant for violence, and you don't see where it can go horribly, horribly wrong? So I thought I'd make a suggestion.

The DC Metropolitan Police Department has a contact email address right their on their site, so I used it.
You guys don't get enough respect to begin with, and now you have to deal with an internet-celebrity drama queen and his planned act of "civil disobedience." On behalf of the sane people of America, let me apologize to you. You're put in the unenviable position of dealing with a man who wants to attract paranoid gun nuts to try and start a confrontation.

This is an unsolicited suggestion, so take it for what it's worth, but perhaps what you want to do is not treat it as a show of force, but simply an act of crowd control and mass processing.

They've published their planned route, which starts by marching across the Memorial Bridge. Now, that goes right into the mall around the Lincoln Memorial, which is going to make this a logistical nightmare anyway. But if you close the Memorial Bridge off to vehicular traffic and use a lot of crowd-control fences to block them off when they're distinctly in the District, you'll have already disrupted their plans. Then you set up a bunch of folding tables and chairs so that you can process 40 or 50 at a time, and a person with a loudspeaker advising them "Are you aware that you're breaking the law? This is your opportunity to turn around." Then, for any of them that continue, have a smiling officer direct them to the next open table where they can sit for the initial processing.

The Facebook page for the march says that they want it to be "a non-violent event" and "if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting." So take them at their word.

You'll probably want to have some quick reaction teams nearby, but don't have them visible to the idiots. Just professional uniformed police officers.

Borrow a lot of gun racks from the National Guard, and do the minimum processing on the scene, including, obviously, confiscating their weapons ("Oh, no, sir. You'll get a receipt, and you'll get it back when this is all over.") Two-part receipt, with half tied to the weapon and the other half given to the owner. Quick frisk to find any other weapons, basic paperwork at the table, hustle them out of sight into GP Large tents set up on either side, and when you have good-sized group, put them on buses to finish the processing elsewhere.

Mostly, you want to break them into manageable groups, get the ringleaders shipped out fast where they can't make a spectacle (that being Kokesh's big plan), and keep them moving. And anybody who wants to go back across the bridge to Virginia? Don't stop them. Once a few of them decide they don't want to get arrested today and start walking back, more will join them.

Everybody you arrest gets fined, run them for outstanding warrants, check that the firearms are legal somewhere, and let them go. They get the various weapons back after all the checks are done and you know that everything is clean, if the owner goes to a specific location (a National Guard armory, for instance - someplace you can secure that many weapons), Monday through Friday from noon to four. (You're under no obligation to make it easy for them, are you?)

Like I said, mass processing. Break up their momentum. Let their "statement" fizzle out. Anyone who wants to be arrested gets their wish. Everybody wins.

But mostly, good luck.
The cops can't let the march happen, and a show of force is just a mistake. I have no idea what they'll do, but with any luck, Kokesh will end up looking like more of a fool than he usually does.

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