Todd Gitlin on the “NATO Three’

Todd Gitlin by David Shankbone cropped by Ed F...
Todd Gitlin

“I have no idea whether the three young men in Chicago charged with terrorism-related felonies are guilty as charged. Prosecutors say they are “members” of “the ‘Black Bloc’ group,” which is not so much a group that has members as a shifting population of enragés who take advantage of large demonstrations which they haven’t organized to break things. …

God knows, I was warning against violence on the fringe of peaceable assemblies in Chicago in 1968, and against violent agents provocateurs, who produce the same results. (They did.) I was recently worrying aloud that this week’s Chicago protests would be sabotaged by incendiaries, literal ones or not.

In the fullness of time, we’ll know more about what “22-year-old Brian Church, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; 27-year-old Jared Chase, of Keene, N.H.; and 24-year-old Brent Betterly, who told police he resides in Massachusetts” were up to. In the meantime, Chicago’s police are trampling liberties and this is an unwarranted outrage.” (via The Chronicle of Higher Education).