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LG Bill Bolling: Dems Should Apologize for Speaking Up for Women's Rights, Against Excessive Force

by: lowkell

Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 15:59:44 PM EST

No joke: this is the response from Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R, of course) to heavily armed police crushing a peaceful women's rights protest this past weekend in Richmond, and to several statements by Democrats (in support of the women) since then.

Here are some powerful photos from that fiasco, courtesy of Patience Selgado. As you can see, the demonstrators were completely peaceful, most definitely not a threat to anyone, yet the deployment of force to confront these folks was overwhelming. What was that all about, exactly, and where were Virginia's Governor and Lieutenant Governor when all this was going down? Maybe they were both chilling out on the weekend?

Well, now the weekend's over, and it appears that Lieutenant Governor Bolling is not at all pleased with people pushing back against his party's war on women's rights in Virginia (and around the country, for that matter), including the heavy police crackdown this weekend. Obviously, based on the above tweet, Bolling didn't take kindly to this statement by the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) earlier today. That statement said, in part:

lowkell :: LG Bill Bolling: Dems Should Apologize for Speaking Up for Women's Rights, Against Excessive Force
Watching riot police with helmets and shields march through peaceful protesters on the steps of Mr. Jefferson's Capitol is a particularly vivid reminder of how far this Commonwealth has fallen in just the few short weeks since Bob McDonnell and his party took total control over Virginia's state government....This should not be about the Capitol and State Police who responded to the protesters, it should be about the Republican politicians whose radical agenda created the environment for this unfortunate situation to arise.

Bolling also was clearly not pleased by two Democratic Senators - Chap Petersen and Janet Howell, both of Fairfax - speaking out on the floor of the State Senate this morning. A few choice quotes from those speeches that might have gotten under Bolling's (apparently very thin) skin? First, Sen. Petersen:

That's why I've been so shocked & amazed over the past few weeks to see the reaction of certain state agencies to the presence of protestors in Capitol Square.  

On February 27, there was a peaceful gathering by several concerned women in front of the Governor's mansion. That is publicly-owned property and part of Capitol Square.  There was no indication that anyone was in any harm.  

Regardless, there were State Police running around in flak jackets and an armored car parked at the mansion.  

This past Saturday, March 3, there was another gathering of approximately 1,000 people, again mostly women.  

They were met by squads of State Police wearing riot gear, more appropriate for a bar brawl than a civil protest.

Men of Virginia -

Would we permit our wives, our sisters, our mothers and daughters to be treated this way in our homes?  In our communities?

I speak not as a State Senator, but as a man who is the son of a Virginian, married to a Virginian and the father of Virginians.  

It's not right to see our Virginia women treated this way.  

We are a free society.  This is a public square.  People have a right to protest, without harassment or intimidation.

Now, Sen. Howell:
This past Saturday, 850 demonstrators came on the Capitol Grounds. They were chanting, "Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!"

And it was! Peaceful demonstrators going to the seat of government to express their views. In this case, they were marching and chanting for women's rights.

And what did they force? SWAT teams, state police in full riot gear, police armed with semi-automatic guns, and dogs, dogs!

Not since the massive resistance days in the 60s have I seen such a disgraceful display of excessive police presence in my state.

Lieutenant Governor Bolling's response to all this? Try to change the subject, of course, from his party's war on women, and demand that Democrats apologies to the police for "calling them out on the Senate floor." In reality, of course, Democrats were mostly calling out Gov. Bob McDonnell and his sidekick Bill Bolling for allowing the situation to get to this point.

Remember, Governor McDonnell and his majority of radical-social-issues Republicans are the ones who led us down this path in the first place. It's also Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling who have caused Virginia to lurch away from its long tradition of being a well-managed state with a reputation of being open for business. Now, somehow, this party which ran in 2009 and 2011 on supposedly all about "jobs" and the "economy" have shown themselves to be obsessed with controlling women's wombs, turning Virginia into a national laughingstock as the transvaginal ultrasound state, where peaceful protesters wind up in showdowns with heavily-armed riot police for peacefully demanding their rights to control their own bodies.

Did Gov. McDonnell and LG Bolling not have any idea what was happening at the Capitol this past weekend, steps from where they and their staffers work? Presuming they knew what was going on, did they not have any power to intervene in the situation once it started to spiral out of control? Are McDonnell and Bolling utterly oblivious, completely incompetent, and/or are they perfectly comfortable with the response that we witnessed this past weekend?

Based on Bolling's statement demanding that Democrats speaking out in support of the peaceful women protestors apologize, it appears that he and his patron, Bob McDonnell, are doubling down on their arrogance, heavy-handedness, and utter unwillingness to listen to anyone else's views. Basically, with McDonnell, Bolling, and Virginia Republicans in general, it's "my way or the highway," "we're right and you're wrong," "if you don't like it you can take a long hike off a short pier," that kind of thing. And they wonder why people don't take kindly to that? Duhhhh.

P.S. Check out the video from The Richmonder (JC Wilmore) entitled, "Bob McDonnell's Virginia: Aftermath."

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Video: Sen. Howell's and Sen. Petersen't Speeches (0.00 / 0)

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other protests (0.00 / 0)
How many gun-toting NRA protesters were arrested when they showed up at the capital? Were state police in riot gear called for a group of predominately white men openly carrying loaded guns?
I do not appreciate any government that forcefully removes citizens from their own property. Is the Gov another Putin in disguise?

[ Parent ]
What (0.00 / 0)
I don't get is why all the police? For a non violent demonstration? Why? Is Virginia so far gone that there is no freedom of assembly here now? huh?

I said it before, and I'll repeat it again (4.00 / 1)
This show of force was not directed at these particular protesters, who were obviously peaceful. This show of police power was, IMHO, engineered by Gov. Bob McDonnell to intimidate all Virginia citizens from coming to the Capitol to protest or speak their mind.

McDonnell looked out, and saw Richmond possibly becoming the next Madison, Wis. -- the site of a sustained and angry protest by citizens finally pushed too far by GOP extremism. To stop that, he called out state police officers with guns to let people know that if they come to Richmond, they could be injured, even if it is just by accident.

The state police did nothing wrong as far as I could tell, but it is wrong that they were used as pawns in support not of legitimate law and order or public safety needs, but in support of the extremist, anti-woman, anti-liberty cultural agenda of the GOP , and in support of the clear political ambition of Gov. McDonnell.  

It needs to be the next (0.00 / 0)
Madison Wisconsin.  I've not yet seen any indication of another protest, but won't be surprised if organizers put another together quickly!

[ Parent ]
You're probably correct on one thing (4.00 / 2)
(that McDonnell intended to intimidate Virginians and forestall other protests)--- he could kill two birds, or, ahem, chicks, or hens, or canaries-in-a-coal-mine, with one stone, but isn't it interesting that he reached panicksville when faced with women? Does he think they are an easy target, a safe target? Sort of a dry run for more serious confrontations to come, where he has already drawn the line in the sand and laid out his bullying modus operandi?

No wonder his Lt. Governor, Bolling, in the Senate, immediately attacked two Democratic Senators for objecting to the overwhelming force used to break up the demonstration by those silly, shrill little b/witches. Did the state police "do nothing wrong?" Maybe you and I see things differently here: as candidate Powell, an attorney, pointed out elsewhere, there was absolutely nothing done by any of the demonstrators that warranted arrest rather than a summons. Certainly nothing that would warrant SWAT teams and dogs, or leaving women on a bus for hours without water or bathroom privileges, or denying them access to an attorney while held handcuffed on the bus; I suspect the Gov's attitude was "this'll teach 'em, if the girls want to be obstreperous and play in the big leagues, let's see how they like what happens."

It it is just by such salami tactics, little by little, that our civil rights are chipped away. Ultimately, it is not the conduct of the police, it is  why they did what they did, and who ordered it in the first place.

Little Mr. McDonnell, trained by the Koch Brothers to be a clone of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

[ Parent ]

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