A "flash point" in law-enforcement terms is "a point at which someone or something bursts suddenly into action or being." One such point sits just ahead on the horizon in America, with various leftists and anarchists preparing to mobilize all their reserves for a burst into action beginning on and around Sept. 17.
The goal appears to be to bring the Arab Spring and European-style mob action stateside. While various websites related to the events call for "peaceful" protests against government and business, the website names contain words such as "rage" and "revolution."
What is their purpose? Frankly, it doesn't seem to matter. Different causes are all interlinked with one another through their related websites. Take your pick, as plenty are provided: Do you fly off the handle at the idea of political parties being allowed to receive donations of more than a single dollar per citizen? If so, then this protest movement has you covered. Are you angry about "globalization"? Antiwar? Are you against the climate changing? Do you feel entitled to more entitlements? Has jet-setting to riots around the globe this year blown out your bank account and now you're broke? Are you out of work and don't feel like doing something productive right now to change your predicament, preferring instead to vomit your frustrations on the world in general? Are you generally annoyed with Wall Street like most of us, yet want the banks to be run by the "state" that you purport to hate? Are you looking for a vacation from logical reasoning? Are you looking for a cheap two-month camping trip with awesome security?
Excellent, come on down, Comrade 2.0, and bring your iPad -- because everything is set to kick off with a two-month "occupation" of Wall Street from which you can tweet furiously at The Man.
One of the event's websites attempts to define the mission: "On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades, and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices and we will not leave until that demand has been met. Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants."
What is their almighty "one demand," you ask? They haven't decided yet, but they are conducting a poll and will keep us apprised.
Attempting to set up a camp of 20,000 people in and around the most exclusive area in Manhattan, guarded by the NYPD and armored vehicles day and night, strikes me as precisely what people do when they're seeking to address something peacefully and nonviolently.
More related events are scheduled in conjunction with the Wall Street stakeout and will likely feed off of each other, as we have seen in similar worldwide events. One is set for Los Angeles on Sept. 16 and 17, and another at the Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6.
Will it all amount to anything? It might, depending on several factors. Working against the protesters is the fact that America, unlike the U.K., for example, is a geographically massive country. Unless someone is funding the protesters' travel, logistics should prove difficult for them if they're as downtrodden as they claim to be. And as bad as things are in America, it's not Egypt or Tunisia. They do realize that their guy, Obama -- of community-organizing fame -- is in charge now, right?
Perhaps the most important factor is whether the law-enforcement authorities' attorneys will permit the preventive and reactive measures necessary to contain the event before it has the opportunity to spiral out of control.