I’m not a big fan of get-arrested theater posing as civil disobedience. We see quite a bit of it here in Washington, and I can’t help think it says more about those getting arrested than the cause, because it’s a tactic as fresh and timely as a Nehru jacket. It also reeks of entitlement, since the presumption is that those arrested will be processed, offered bail and probably have charges dismissed or reduced to a fine.
Which brings us to the Unitarian Universalist arrest-a-thon today, the day after a federal judge gives SB 1070 a judo chop to the throat. But the show must go on, and Phoenix sheriff Joe Arpiao — admittedly not one of my favorite people — himself has become a focus of the campaign. That’s mission creep from an anti-SB 1070 stand. Â (And, how, for example, does this show solidarity for those who are avoiding or do not deserve arrest?)
But say what I will about D.C. arrestees, at least (I’ve heard) they have their lawyers all set up. And at least they’re not asking for a legal defense fund, as the tweely-named UUA Standing on the Side of Love campaign is. (I’m not linking to it.)
If you set yourself up to be arrested, be prepared to pay the cost. That’s pretty basic to real civil disobedience. You might even refuse bail. Real love has costs, and sometimes hurts — and the hurt will find you; you needn’t look for it.