Last time we paid attention to Adam Kokesh, former co-protestor Medea Benjamin was saying “The thing about Adam is he’s a publicity hound. He loves the attention. He’s got a huge ego.” (This was before Ms. Benjamin re-established her own bona fides heckling the President on Thursday.)
Now, according to Dell Cameron reporting for the political types at Vice, Kokesh’s latest Totally Awesome Not At All Impractical Performance Stunt, calling for “1,000 people to march across the Potomac on July 4 carrying loaded rifles”, may possibly have hit a wee minor snag:
Last week, I spoke to activist and libertarian talk show host Adam Kokesh. Less than 24 hours later he was taken into custody by federal agents…
Adam’s latest agenda is probably his most controversial to date. A couple of weeks ago on his talk show Adam vs The Man, Kokesh announced his plans to celebrate Independence Day by marching into the nation’s capital with 10,000 followers, all of whom would be armed with loaded firearms…
Because there’s enough malware on my aging desktop already, I’m not gonna explore whether the WaPo underestimated Kokesh’s call to arms or Vice overstated his enthusiasm by a factor of ten.
… The day after our conversation, Adam was arrested at “Smoke Down Prohibition,” a public protest for the legalization of marijuana that takes place every month in Philadelphia… Before last Saturday, no arrests had ever been made at one of these events, despite the fact that police were always present and laws were broken every time.
There are several videos on YouTube that document the moments before and during Adam’s arrest. In one of the clearest videos, Adam isn’t sparking up. He continues talking into the microphone while everyone else is flicking their Bics. Within seconds, the police move in and Adam yells, “Everybody get closer. Show some love. Come on, we’re going to make it difficult for the police here.” That didn’t work out so well…
According to Lucas Jewell, Adam’s podcast manager, the arrest is in direct response to the upcoming Independence Day march, not the Smoke Down Prohibition demonstration. “They walked by a big black guy with dreads smoking a blunt and snatched Adam when he hadn’t done anything illegal.” The fact that Adam was originally taken to a local jail but then picked up by agents and transferred to a Federal detention facility has only fueled this theory….
It’s unclear if Adam will be released in time to conduct his march on DC, if it will be canceled, or whether the arrest will inadvertently cause even more people to show up on July 4 with loaded weapons slung over their shoulders. If the arrest was indeed a preemptive strike by law enforcement attempting to stop the open carry march before it took place, the tactic of targeting Kokesh in public might very well backfire….
Or then again, maybe Kokesh has found a face-saving tactic to avoid the embarrassmment of explaining to every media camera inside the Beltway why his “10,000 followers armed with loaded firearms” had devolved into “a couple dozen scruffy weirdos, plus several buses of elderly Midwesterners carrying nothing more dangerous than their KFC Double Downs”. Tha MAN is keeping his people DOWN!:
VICE: Hi Adam, thanks for talking with me. How many people have signed up to join your open carry march?
Adam:The total is over 4,000 now, so we’re well on our way to meeting our goal of 10,000. There are a lot of people who have signed up by e-mail who said they’re going to be organizing buses. So I think with all of the support we’ve gotten outside of Facebook we’re close to 10,000 already…
While we’re on the topic of politics and guns, do you think the tens of millions of dollars spent by groups like the NRA place the value of the money above our influence as individual citizens on the political process?
I think, really, the problem of money’s influence on politics isn’t the money that is used to communicate ideas for whatever reason. The problem is that people are willing to vote without thinking. In a sense, voting is an act of aggression because you are saying that if I happen to have the majority when I cast this ballot, it’s legitimate for the government to force my will on you; to name a leader for you that has certain policies that you may or may not agree with. To impose a tax on you or pass a law that is going to be forced on you. As long as people believe that somehow voting is appropriate as a way to organize society through force, then we’re going to have a problem with influence from various places that are going to try to effect how people vote and who the guns of government are pointed at. I think that’s a much deeper problem.
Myself, I think that is some fine, uncut, weaponized-grade Glibertarianbabble, right there. Much more at the link, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.