Oh, the horror, the violence.
Predictably enough, the Fox News-Breitbart crowd is trying to make it look like Tuesday's protests in Michigan were wildly violent. But despite the fact that there are hundreds of police and reporters on the scene, reports of violence from police and non-Fox-Breitbart reporters are minimal to non-existent.
An Americans for Prosperity tent was knocked or torn down, with no injuries. That is the single example of protester "violence" being reported beyond your basic jostling that happens in a big crowd, and there were no injuries credibly reported in the tent incident. Americans for Prosperity is trying to turn it into a big story, of course, but, as Marcy Wheeler writes, AFP's claims come:
in spite of the fact that witnesses say the Americans for Prosperity people were trying to provoke union members to violence, and witnesses reportedly saw AFP people loosening the ropes on the tents so they would come down. And in spite of the fact the place was crawling with cops (shipped in from around the state) who didn’t do see anything amiss.
Eclectablog similarly cites witnesses
who saw Americans for Prosperity people weakening their own tent.
Fox News contributor Steven Crowder is working overtime on the effort to create a violence narrative, claiming to have been punched repeatedly and promoting a video spliced and edited to the point of hilarity—you're not supposed to figure out that in between the obvious cuts, Crowder is provoking people into yelling at him. Oh, and Crowder claims to have been punched repeatedly in an area filled with police and to have it on video, yet he hasn't pressed charges, police don't seem to have witnessed the supposed violence, and Crowder's face looks just fine. Even the pictures on Breitbart intended to illustrate the damage show a "minor cut" on his forehead that looks like he may have popped a pimple at some point in the day.
This is a big, heated protest. There's been jostling and shouting in the crowd, for sure. But so far, there are no credible reports of real, harmful, malicious violence among the protesters. (Emphasis on credible.) By far the most pain has been inflicted, it would seem, by police using pepper spray.
1:31 PM PT: TPM:
“While of course we do not condone the actions taken by a small group of people, the disciples of James O’Keefe were attempting to instigate the crowd all day,” [AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie] Vale said, referring to the right-wing, video-camera-wielding provocateur. “As soon as the incident happened our marshals worked with the police to move the AFP people through the crowd to safety with no injuries.”
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