by Ezra Van Auken
Could it be that the time for highly controversial civil disobedience is now? Adam Kokesh, a radio show host of “Adam Vs. The Man”, believes just that and has gone lengths to make sure this happens. In what could be one of the most daring demonstrations in some time, the radio show host hopes to gather thousands for an armed, open carry march through Washington D.C., peacefully. So far the event page has received over 2,000 attendees in under a week along with 50,000 being invited – putting this event on track to be a big one.
Kokesh is no stranger to civil disobedience either. The 31-year-old has participated in demonstrations ranging from Jefferson Memorial dance parties and California beach protests against state laws, to standing at John McCain’s Republican convention speech expressing his hatred for the Iraq war. All of these acts are challenging “the man”. Of course now, with the already highly politicized and heightened fear of guns, Kokesh’s idea takes center stage in a nationwide debate over gun control.
Despite the basic stereotype of an open carry march, Kokesh has reiterated time after time that his demonstration should in no way become violent. “This will be a non-violent event unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back,” states the event page. The talk show host explained that he isn’t looking to spark a fight with police, but instead, Kokesh is looking to challenge an “unjust law” and use the experience to challenge government even more.
The host of “Adam Vs. The Man” told SLN, “Not only do we hope to make a powerful statement but if I end up crossing the line and getting arrested, I hope that we’ll be able to face the ultimate legal test of the Second Amendment, taking this to the Supreme Court.” Overall, the achievements Kokesh hopes to garner are practicing self-ownership, working non-violently with authorities to uphold the Second Amendment, and if necessary, taking the demonstration and his arrestment to the Supreme Court.
Violating D.C. gun laws could land Kokesh a 5-year sentence or $5,000 fine, which the host says he’s willing to take for advancing the idea of individual liberty. As of right now, Kokesh hopes he can work with law enforcement to get an escort – maintaining peace as well as organization between the protestors and authorities.
In regards to the worrisome narrative that if Kokesh goes through with an armed march, a bloodbath will ensue, the talk show host explained to SLN this would be the last case scenario. Stretching the possibilities, other critics of the July 4th armed march believe government could go as far as planting an individual with protestors to disrupt the event, allowing authority to take action. Kokesh said to SLN, “That’s going to happen in any event going contrary to the desires of government. If anything, that’s all the more reason to do it;” alluding to how people fear the government.
Lori Stacey of the Examiner described clearly, “In what can only be described as perhaps the ultimate test of the 2nd Amendment,” Kokesh is taking civil disobedience and the Second Amendment to its roots.
During an interview on the Alex Jones Show, Kokesh told Jones that there are two possible outcomes for the July 4th march. “There are really only two possible outcomes for this to go non-violently as we strongly are working to ensure that it is non-violent. But, there are really only two possibilities and one is that she [D.C. Police Chief] honors our request and provides us with an escort along our route,” Kokesh reiterated, looking forward to working with police to generate a non-violent protest.
In response to Kokesh’s planned march, Cathy Lanier, the D.C. police chief, commented on the event this past Tuesday. The police chief said that protestors coming to break the law will be addressed and actions will be taken. Lanier told Channel 8 News, “There is a pretty good chance we’ll meet them on the D.C. side of the bridge.” The chief also said she’d be willing to meet with organizers to discuss the laws they will be breaking, looking to make any amends.
Even though this demonstration seems to be just another Kokesh-created act of civil disobedience like others in the past, the fact that guns are involved has sparked worry despite restatements that peace is the goal. If in fact demonstrators and police, both of which will be armed, peacefully assemble and disassemble, those believing violence is inevitable would be proven wrong. This would open the door for a whole new form of activism.