First they attack with words, words escalate to incitement, then it gets physical. Such is the progression of mobs.
Make no mistake. COWS (Commies on Wall Street) has been a mob from its inception. Would one expect a different progression?
What distinguishes a MOB from legitimate assembly for the purpose of redress? Though doubtless an incomplete list, here is a start:
1) Mobs are unreasoning. A mob cannot be reasoned with, nor does it act according to reason. Mobs make irrational, contradictory demands. It is because the unstated purpose of a mob is to incite chaos. Reason undermines this goal.
2) Mobs disregard law. I do not disagree that civil disobedience is sometimes necessary, in extreme cases as a last resort. One recognizes honorable civil disobedience as it specifically targets an unjust law. Rosa Parks defiantly, and quietly, sat at the front of the bus. She did not break 100 laws in protest. Yet, mobs relish flouting even minor laws and enjoy rebelling against so much as the appearance of authority. Mobs are criminal. In the same fashion that they progress toward ever greater violence, mobs progress from minor to greater lawbreaking.
3) Mobs seek to take down the entire sociopolitical system, not reform it.
4) Mobs destroy property.
5) Mobs disregard the rights of citizens. If people get hurt, so much the better.
6) Mobs are incapable of acknowledging reality. For instance, attacking the police or others while screaming "We want peace!"
7) Mobs accept no responsibility for its actions. Whatever harm a mob causes is justified and rationalized both by the mob, and its defenders. However criminal the mob, the mob defender intones "We must not lose sight of their important message" or "This behavior is uncharacteristic of the group as a whole."
8) Mobs despise individuals. Individual thinking or behavior is not tolerated. If one thinks or acts independently, he is ousted from the group, if not physically attacked. If you want to be safe (or rather, safer), then you'd better keep to the herd.
9) Otherwise cowardly people find courage in the mob. The mob provides anonymity. The coward acts within a mob in a way that she would never behave individually.
10) Mobs are bad for society. Mobs undermine civil authority. Peaceful assembly to petition the government for redress is a beautiful, necessary constitutional right. Mobs bastardize the concept. Mobs do not build society up, they rip at its fabric. They do not prune the tree, they chop its roots. Mobs do not strengthen our rights, they weaken constitutional protections and turn the rest of us into targets.
Insistence by politicians and propaganda fueled media on treating OWS as legitimate poses a threat to society. A spade should be called a spade and a mob should be called a mob.
Keywords: Is Occupy Wall Street a Mob?; Is Occupy Wall Street legitimate?; 10 Characteristics of Mobs