IRA supporter chides Occupy for "violence"

Rep. Peter King rails against the protest movement

Published November 16, 2011 11:37PM (EST)

Peter King               (AP/Manuel Balce Cenata)
Peter King (AP/Manuel Balce Cenata)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) unleashed a blistering attack on Occupy Wall Street on Bloomberg television today, calling out protesters for, among other things, their use of "violence."

"First of all, you try to listen to them and they make almost no sense," King said. "These are people who were living in dirt, these were people who are involved in drugs, there was violence, there was rape, these were a small number of people — you could probably get more people at a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on a Sunday than you got in Zuccotti Park."

This is pretty much the standard narrative about Occupy on the right, but with an ironic twist.

King, of course, built his political career on his support for the IRA, a movement that used violence against civilians as a tactic for decades. The bombings carried out by the IRA make even the most militant "black bloc" occupiers look downright Gandhian.

Here's a sample King quote from 1985: "If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it." He stood by that statement as recently as two months ago.

The Irish republican movement was obviously very different than the movement for economic justice in the United States. But it's still a bit rich to hear this kind of anti-violence rhetoric from King.

Here's the video:

(Via Jonathan Easley)

By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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