- The Washington Times - Friday, November 4, 2011

Remember when Sarah Palin was accused of promoting “Tea Party violence” because she used an ad graphic depicting crosshairs on a map of the United States? On Wednesday, the Occupy Wall Street movement declared a general strike in Oakland, Calif. According to the Occupy Oakland website, the goal of their “anti-capitalist march” was to “shut down Oakland” and “blockade everything.” This was no drawing - the violence was real.

Chanting hippies shut down commerce at the Port of Oakland, apparently unaware that this vital link to the outside world is what delivers the coffee beans for their Starbucks lattes and brings in the trendy iPhones they use to coordinate their activities. Riot police were dispatched to deal with those among “the 99 percent” who expressed themselves by smashing some windows, lighting fires, setting off explosives, spraying graffiti, assaulting police, throwing rocks and looting stores. Local developer Phil Tagami was forced to brandish a shotgun to dissuade occupiers from “reclaiming” his capitalist property, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

When you’re a conservative, your movement receives the “violent” label with no justification. Tea Party protests never violated any laws or caused any damage. The polite participants were most notorious for their habit of cleaning up nicely after themselves. When it comes to the socialists befouling streets and parks in the Occupy Oakland protests, defenders insist the entire 99 percent can’t be judged by the 100-plus arrested for committing actual crimes. Liberals insist this “fringe” element doesn’t represent the 99 percent of the population they claim to represent.

As one protester, Michael Turner, explained in the Chronicle, “A few broken windows is a reflection of what I feel. I can understand why people would have the rage to go and break something. The general consensus is that this is peaceful, but there’s no guarantee it will be peaceful.” This is the kind of incoherent nonsense that flows from a movement whose goal is to expand welfare and destroy capitalism. It’s all about taking things from others; violence is the natural result.

The Tea Party, on the other hand, is a movement rooted in a return to the nation’s constitutional principles. Participants are motivated by love of country and patriotism, so there is no violence. The occupiers need to go home, take a shower and spend their energy trying to get a job.