the more angry and organised a violent protest is, the more certain the media and politicians are that they must be ‘outside agitators’ - and I feel like the roots of this are not so much in fear of these spectral ‘outsiders’ as the firm belief that “ordinary” people don’t ever get angry and organise themselves - it’s unsupportable historically, but i really think they believe that it must be outsiders because it can’t be ordinary everyday folks - because to be ordinary, to them, is to be docile and malleable, capable of being whipped up by agitators, sure - but incapable of coming up with it yourself. You can feel it in the patronising way they talk to us.
I’m not saying that there has never been an instance of people coming from outside to cause trouble at a protest - but I am saying that when that’s the immediate, instinctual explanation that people arrive at in the absence of any evidence, it’s about discounting, diminishing and dismissing the agency of ‘ordinary’ people. It’s saying that whatever you’re experiencing, nomatter how bad it is, it could never make you angry enough to get organised and start hitting back. They can keep thinking that - we know it’s bullshit.