The brave ones are the women marching, faces uncovered, banners held high. Peaceful, enthusiastic, determined, saying "Look at me, look at us, here we are. Listen." Telling their employers, employees, patients, clients, families, everyone, they're willing to, want to, be seen. Have something important and valuable to say.
The cowardly and stupid ones are dressed in black, faces covered, lighting fires, running up to windows and smashing them and going off to hide in the crowd, like kids who put burning bags of dog shit on a porch, ring the doorbell, and run away.
I don't know who they are, what they think they're accomplishing, what message they're sending. For that matter I don't know whose side they're on, if any. But I hate them for making it easier for Trumpists to ignore the meaning of the rallies, to pretend that what they did is the message, not the voices of the marchers in protest. Perhaps that was, in fact, exactly their intention. Happily, they stayed away from the Women's March. Afraid their mothers would see them, maybe.
But they're there, somewhere. Burning garbage cans, looting, breaking windows, hiding. Wherever there are good people, committed, brave people (braver, still, in these times), so are there these self-described but delusional anarchists, who are, at best, nothing more than idiots, pretending to be something they most decidedly are not, afraid to take an actual stand, and be seen.
In this era of fake news as subterfuge and distraction, following false stories of "liberal" protesters being paid to disrupt, who can say these destructive assholes aren't, in fact, organized by Trump supporters, to discredit the waves of protest around the country? I find it entirely possible, with worse to come. On the other hand, such people as these have always been around, as they were here in Seattle during the WTO protests which turned into riots. Deliberate or not, on the "right" side or not, the only thing they achieve is damage.
Whoever they were in D.C. during the inauguration, they're the equivalent of a Trump tweet: superficial, simple, nasty, accomplishing nothing positive.