From all reports, the Occupy Keene Valley event on Sunday did not result in the use of pepper spray.
However, that has not been the case in the rest of the country, where we see videos of police using pepper spray or other force to get people to leave or stop doing what they have been told they cannot do.
In other words, the police are being victimized for doing their jobs.
Why is it that we are only getting one side of the story from these events? Why is it that all we see on the national news are the cell phone videos of people who are inciting the situation now trying to show that they are victims?
The fact of the matter is, the police that have been overseeing occupy events or political protest have gone above and beyond their call, keeping the peace and keeping both the protesters and onlookers safe.
When the powers-that-be say that it is time for the people to leave, then the police have a change of job description. They need to make sure that the decrees of policy makers are upheld. It’s their job.
Now, while there is always a rogue, for the most part, the police have given plenty of warning and then went about clearing areas. The problem happens when those protesting believe that they are bigger than the law and start chanting and causing a problem instead of following rules.
You see, when the police ask you to do something, there are two choices: say yes, and everyone remains happy and all smiles. Or, say no, and someone could be getting pepper sprayed or even tazed.
Now, for something completely different.
At one of the regional games I attended this year, there were a couple of fans who were making a little noise because they disagreed with a referee’s call.
They made a huge fuss over it, yelling and screaming and claiming that the call affected the outcome of the game. They even got their friends involved, all trying to make a point that the ref’s call was the be-all end-all of the game.
It wasn’t. The official’s decision to make the call had no impact on the game whatsoever. The officials didn’t score any goals. The officials did not put the practice time in to prepare for the games. The officials did not put the player into a position where a foul could be called that could be seen as wrong.
Yes, fans do get upset when a call does not go their way, but to use that one call to say that the entire game was thrown because of it and not look at the bigger picture is something that kids do when they don’t get their way, not adults. It makes people look immature, irresponsible and as if they want to blame everything else except what most likely really happened — the one team was just better than yours on that day.
It’s a life lesson that can be applied in a lot of other situations, as well.
Keith Lobdell is the editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.