I agree with Charles Cooke.
In Oakland, Occupy Wall Street protesters fought with police officers after vandalizing and breaking into City Hall, then attempting to take over a closed-down convention center. Yet, in the media reports about this violence, the occupiers are almost invariably described as “demonstrators” or “protesters.”
Demonstrations and protests are protected under the 1st amendment. Acts of civil disobedience are not necessarily protected but are often seen in a sympathetic light by the public at large. But these actions by the occupiers are not the sort of protests or demonstrations that fall under protected speech, nor is there anything “civil” about them.
These are rioters we’re talking about. Vandals and trespassers, thugs and looters.
Protests and demonstrations are inherently noble pursuits. Those words should not be tarnished by association with violent criminals who try to hide by hide our nation’s liberal allowances for speech while assaulting the property rights (among others) of their fellow citizens.