Police State Mardi Gras in Galveston

Another Mardi Gras has come and gone, and it continues to get stupider (is that a word?) every year. This year, there was a “riot” that was quelled by brave police officers.
The fracas erupted while police were “clearing” the streets at 1:00 am, as they have been instructed to do on Friday and Saturday nights during Mardi Gras.
Officers,  some on foot, some mounted on horses and motorcycles, all armed, and    wearing riot gear advance like soldiers in a skirmish line down the street, sweeping away all people in their path. Any resistance means arrest or worse. That’s how Mardi Gras is done in G-Town by the Sea . It’s as if the City and those who are getting rich off the event are saying “Thanks for the money, now get the fuck out, right fucking now!”
They don’t do this in New Orleans.  The only time they clear the streets there is at midnight on Fat Tuesday, when the Lent season begins. On the weekends, the party goes on until dawn. That’s how the real Mardi Gras works.
They also don’t have a cover charge in Nawlins. They also haven’t harassed all the bars out of existence, so there are cool places to pop in and hear some music or buy a drink. All of which is why the Galveston Mardi Gras is a piss-poor imitation. Anyone who has been to the Crescent City for Mardi Gras will agree.
So, what about this alleged riot?
Well, police advanced on a group of people who were waving a large American flag, chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A!”
Some in the crowd threw beads. The police fired tear gas or pepper spray grenades into the crowd. Bottles were thrown. Seven were arrested, including Zach Flanagan, who had the misfortune to be leaving “The Lounge” at the time the melee occurred.
“The police beat the crap out of me for no reason. I walked out of The Lounge and had no idea there was a riot happening outside. The next thing I know, I am being slammed to the ground by a cop. He slams my face into the concrete, puts me in hand cuffs, and almost breaks my arms as he is lifting me up off the ground by my handcuffs. I did absolutely nothing wrong. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got arrested. I was one of the seven. Now I have to go to court and pay for a lawyer.”
All of the media have praised the police and the event for how well they handled the rowdy partiers, and the handwringers are all worried that these miscreants are going to hurt tourism in Galveston.
Let me say this:
I paid for myself and my wife to get into this event, which closes down public streets (which I paid for) for the benefit of private businesses. I also paid to park. Then I spent my money to have a good time.
So, under what Constitutional authority do the police and the event operators tell any adult that he cannot be on any public street at whatever hour he chooses?
When did they become the owners, and when did we become the cattle?
That is my fucking street. It does not belong to the City of Galveston, the State of Texas, or the United States of America, it belongs to We the People. It sure as fuck does not belong to the organizers of this watered-down ersatz version of Mardi Gras.
This “riot” did not start until the police started advancing on the crowd, who were doing fine until the goon squad showed up.
The people in that crowd probably thought it was very un-American to be forced off public property where they were peacefully and lawfully assembled. I agree.
I’m not upset with the Galveston police. They just do what they are told to do. If they are told to clear the streets, they will do so. But whoever came up with this bright idea is a goddamned Nazi, and this is their fault.
If the powers in Galveston want Mardi Gras to be “successful”, they need to deregulate it. Get the City and the politicians out of it.
Do what they do at the real Mardi Gras and Let the Good Times Roll. Get rid of the cover charges and the strip searches.
And for christsakes, stop trying to make an adult party event into some kind of “family friendly” tourist attraction!

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