The debate that people in Seattle (police officers, journalists, activists, Sloggers) have been having since the May Day smashup is kicking up again in the comments on this post about an SPD raid this morning that recovered some articles of clothing and some political pamphlets.
Some say a SWAT-serviced search warrant to find smashistas is completely legitimate. Some say it is an overreaction. Some don't understand why it's a big deal one way or the other.
My two-part, double-edged question:
Were I to walk down a random street tonight and throw a stone through a window, how many police resources would be devoted to catching me? (My guess is not much.) Were I to walk down a random street tonight and throw a stone through a business window, then spray-paint an anarchy symbol on the adjacent window, how many police resources would be devoted to catching me? (My guess is more—and that investigation might rope in the FBI, Washington State Patrol, perhaps even the military.)
Why is politically motivated vandalism so much scarier than—and demanding so much more response than—random vandalism?
Because it's more embarrassingly high-profile? Because it's actually more dangerous? If the latter, more dangerous to whom? Or to what?