The talk has been in the air for the past few months. People are upset, and they want to vent their anger. Between bailouts, bogus bonuses and the fear that economic calamity has caused, there has been little doubt that the talk of protests both here and abroad was soon to blossom into unrest.
But there is a difference between mindless hooligans and those who organize a protest against specific policies they believe to be harmful -- such as those having "Tea Party" protests around the nation to protest the administration's seemingly unbridled spending; or the more targeted Fair Tax rallies led by people such as nationally syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz. These protests are to promote real solutions to the problems of massive debt and soaring taxes.
President Obama's trip to London and the meeting of the G-20 brought out the usual collection of motley European protesters. In recent years, they have used George Bush and Iraq as their focal points to fanatically disrupt, attack and destroy all in the name of protest for "the people."
This time it's the same group of primarily young, manipulated and lost people who took to the streets of London. The issue was completely different -- the banks and class warfare. But the faces of the protesters, the hatred in their eyes and their complete inability to truly articulate why they were angry and how they would solve the problem remained the same.
Make no mistake about it. There are organizations throughout this nation and particularly in Europe in which admittedly more socialistic forms of governance have led to ever-greater successes for their members. They take disaffected young people and turn them into brigades of lawlessness.
Consider just a few of their acts of protest in London. Not only did they destroy one major bank, they also invaded a second one and tried to wreck it.
And, unimaginably, when an innocent bystander collapsed during the protests and police attempted to revive him, the protesters pelted the police and the man with debris. The man later died.
I read London's Times Online and its blog of the protests, and it is very clear that these protestors were well organized, had set times and locations for their vicious attacks, and were prepared to move quickly to outflank the massive police effort to control their actions.
And what was their message? Allegedly an "end to money," as one sign read, and to "abolish the banks," as was seen on many placards.
But that really wasn't the message. Their real purpose was to continue their ongoing effort to tear down society, end all forms of capitalism, create class warfare and promote anarchy. The best summary of their real purpose was summed up by the endless ranting of one young man captured on BBC tape -- he simply yelled "violence" over and over.
The banks and financial institutions are easy targets these days. And while outrageous bonuses to bailed-out companies drive people crazy, we must be careful not to allow rotten apples to sow such resentment that we someday see these same well-orchestrated and manipulated mobs in our own streets.
To a great extent, whether such "class warfare" truly develops will be in the hands of President Obama and his own administration. If resentment and anger are allowed to be manipulated by organizations in America -- groups devoted to the same goals of those who created the London protests -- the president will learn what "community organizers" have come to be. And he won't like it.
On the other hand, it's great to peacefully protest and raise awareness of an issue, as these tea-party backers are doing. Perhaps the message that there are serious problems will resonate throughout the nation. But for my money, the rally I find most constructive is the one scheduled in early April in Jacksonville, Fla. It won't be just a protest against an issue -- an unfair tax system. It will also be a rally for a well-researched answer to the problem -- "The Fair Tax." That's protest with a purpose.