Wednesday, November 16, 2011

OWS Mic Checks come to Hopkins




An increasing tactic of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been to launch "mic checks" at the public speaking arrangements of the movement's enemies. In a "mic check", somebody yells mic check and then the OWS supporters stand up and begin call-and-answer protest chants in the middle of the speech, making it impossible for the speaker to continue. OWS supporters call it bravely standing up to the establishment by demonstrating that you will be silent no longer. I call it terribly obnoxious, arrogant, and detrimental to the movement because every reasonable person in the country recognizes it as obnoxious and arrogant. I have no problem with you exercising your right to free speech, but I do have a problem with you preventing others from exercising theirs. This is not the "non-violent resistance" you claim to advocate, and it is not something MLK would smile to see. It is disruptive, obnoxious, rude, and not conducive to the civil discussion that is necessary to bring about the productive change your movement claims to seek.

Anyways, last night I got to experience a "mic check" first hand when Karl Rove came to Hopkins to speak. Occupy Baltimore protesters infiltrated Shriver Hall and began chanting about 15 minutes into the speech. After about 10 minutes of disorder, Rove was allowed to continue before the shouting began anew several more times. I captured both instances (minus the first 2 minutes or so, when I was so entertained by what was happening that I forgot to whip out my phone) on video, and you can see them above.

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