A moment's attention to language: You do not "disperse" looters.

By Stephen, 4 June, 2020

Much of America is upset at the looting that has happened in the wake of George Floyd's murder by four police officers. Police have been using chemical agents of some sort — I keep hearing denials that these are tear gas, so apparently some other chemical, to disperse the looters.

You don't disperse looters, do you? Looters disperse themselves. Looters steal things and run away, right? Firing canisters of noxious gas at someone running away with a tv won't stop them running away. Police are supposed to be arresting people who break into stores.

But that is not what police are massed on our streets doing. They are firing rubber bullets and chemical devices into crowds of people. People who loot disperse on their own; people who light fires disperse on their own: the only groups the police are blasting away at with all their munitions are the people trying not to disperse, the people trying to assemble in the streets and be heard.

If you live far from the city centers and aren't witnessing this yourself, please keep that in mind: every rubber bullet and gas canister fired is fired at democracy, by police officers not arresting someone breaking into a business.