My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. (Doctrine and Covenants 121: 7-8)
You probably have already seen it all over the web. I know I have. I am talking about the video of one Officer John Pike seemingly spraying a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters with a casual disregard for their well being. This image has become the symbol of a government so fearful of its people that it resorts to violence to silence them. This image has been photoshopped into numerous pictures to highlight the ridiculousness of the whole ordeal.
Just why is this happening? We hear on the news on a daily basis of the protests in Syria that are being cracked down upon by the Syrian government with the use of lethal force. We condemn the Syrian government and demand that the Syrian President leave his office to let a new leader take over. Yet, here we are with a similar situation and we resort to violence to silence citizens who are exercising their First Amendment right to freely and peaceably assemble.
When we have a government as drunk on power and corrupted as the OWS protesters are fighting against, this is the only real outcome. The people in positions of power recognize the faults being prostrated in the media and fear that their sins will end their reign. As Nephi said in regards to his brothers:
Wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center. (1 Nephi 16: 2; Book of Mormon)
Why have we come to this state? Why have we reached a point where our government that was established “by the people, for the people, of the people” feels that it must increase the use of force and grow the police state? This police state has done nothing but grow over the years. If we are not using force to fight off peaceful protesters, we are using it to imprison people who are in need of medical treatment and breaking up families. We are using it to destroy peaceful and law abiding businesses. We use it steal the property of private citizens and businesses. The police are no longer about protecting the citizens from harm but are now about increasing its own influence and the influence of the government.
We won’t be finding any solution to this growing police state within the current system. Once again we are needing to look outside the system of Democrats and Republicans to find a reversal of power.
Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. (Libertarian Party Platform 1.5)
The Libertarian Party wishes to only use the police to fight real crime. Crime that threatens others life, liberty and property. These protesters were not infringing on anyone’s life, liberty or property. They were calling out to their government and asking them to make choices to better this nation.
As these protesters continue to endure through these perils, and increased restrictions throughout the nation on their ability to assemble and protest, they will continue to make their voices heard. While I feel that some of their positions are misguided, I feel that their need to speak, nay their right to speak should not be infringed by the government.