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Published:February 28th, 2009 14:04 EST
In Germany Some Protest Economic Woes By Burning Luxury Cars

In Germany Some Protest Economic Woes By Burning Luxury Cars

By Robert Paul Reyes


"When Berlin resident Simone Klostermann returned from vacation and couldn`t find her Mercedes SLK, she thought it had been towed. Police told her the 35,000- euro ($45,000) car had been torched.

`They`d squirted something flammable into the car`s engine block in the gap between the windshield and the hood,` said Klostermann. `The engine was completely destroyed.`

The 34-year-old`s experience isn`t unique in the German capital. At least 29 vehicles were destroyed in arson attacks this year, most of them luxury cars, according to police. The number is already about 30 percent of the total for 2008. The latest to go up in flames was a Porsche, on Feb. 14; two days after a Mercedes was set alight in a public car park."

Most hardworking Americans hit hard by the struggling economy will have little sympathy for Klostermann and the other affluent Germans who were targeted by vandals. Wall Street is a den of thieves and the banking industry is riddled with greedy bastards who make astronomical profits at our expense. It`s a natural reaction to rejoice when we see the rich suffer misfortune, but we must never condone violence and anarchy.

I own a little 2-bedroom house and I drive around in a 12-year-old Jeep Cherokee, but a homeless person who tools around in a shopping cart may consider me rich, and set fire to my car. Condoning or attempting to justify acts of vandalism or violence against the wealthy will only lead to anarchy.

Or an environmentalist may blow up my Jeep because he thinks nobody should drive a gas-guzzling SUV. Violence is always wrong, and arson is never justified.

There are more productive ways of demonstrating our outrage at the way the well-to-do have plundered our economy. We can write letters to the editor, and demand that our elected leaders put a cap on bonuses and salaries paid to executives of companies that accept any bailout money.

The militant group claiming responsibility for these acts of arson sees themselves as foot soldiers in a war against greedy capitalist pigs. When the perpetrators are caught they should be treated as common criminals and not political prisoners.