The continual anti-Trump leftist violence that began before even the president’s inauguration saw another chapter written Sunday, when black-clad anarchists attacked peaceful demonstrators at a Berkeley rally.
The scene was the California city’s “No Marxism in America” protest. While it was met by a larger left-wing “Rally Against Hate,” the trouble didn’t begin until approximately 100 anarchists showed up and, apparently, were given minutes of free rein by police. As eyewitness Lizzie Johnson, a San Francisco Chronicle reporter, related in a tweet, "The #Berkeley police have stood down. A sea of black masks as far as I can see. This is what WAS NOT supposed to happen."
A bizarre explanation was offered for this. As Fox News writes:
Berkeley police chief Andrew Greenwood defended how police handled the protest, saying they made a strategic decision to let the anarchists enter to avoid more violence.
Greenwood said to The Associated Press: “the potential use of force became very problematic” given the thousands of peaceful protesters in the park. Once anarchists arrived, it was clear there would not be dueling protests between left and right so he ordered his officers out of the park and allowed the anarchists to march in.
There was “no need for a confrontation over a grass patch,” Greenwood said.
The chief’s excuse sounds much like the upside-down, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength” propaganda in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. As the violence proved, there was a “need for a confrontation over a grass patch,” and it was clear there would be violence once the anarchists arrived. The label “anarchists” suggests anarchy, after all. Or did the chief think miscreants dressed like Islamic State terrorists had an Amish philosophy?
One of the men attacked was Joey Gibson, leader of the unfairly maligned Patriot Prayer movement. He, too, noted the apparent police complicity. After cancelling a free-speech rally he’d planned for the day before due to concerns over violence, he said, “‘At the end of the day I had to make that decision because it just felt like it was a set up — the way everything was set up,’ Gibson said from an undisclosed location where he spoke with a handful of reporters on Saturday,” Breitbart related.
Gibson determined that the “logistics set up by city officials and police would put the people at the rally in danger,” the site further explained.
This isn’t the first time police in liberal jurisdictions have been accused of allowing leftists to attack conservative protesters. Below is video of one incident from earlier this year.
Of course, in certain cases this government inaction could be attributed to liberal policing “theories.” Yet many suspect that these jurisdictions’ leftist politicians often are allowing the fellow-traveler thugs to do their dirty work, to silence voices of which they disapprove. It’s reminiscent of the Mississippi Burning case, in which police purposely handed off three civil-rights workers to KKK members who had murderous intent.
Also forgotten, however, is that many, if not most, of these violent acts are orchestrated by well-funded professional agitators. This was proven conclusively via a 2016 Project Veritas sting operation in which Democrat operatives were caught on hidden camera plotting to foment violence at Trump rallies. One of them, Scott Foval, called this “conflict engagement” and unabashedly stated, “We’re starting anarchy here” (To watch the video, click here; warning: foul language).
Aside from the above “AstroTurf” activism, these often-successful efforts at shutting down free speech reflect a troubling societal trend. My elementary school teachers would often emphasize, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Of course, words can bruise feelings, but it was a way to cultivate the sufficiently thick skin necessary to tolerate unwelcome, free-speech-born opinions.
Today children hear a far different message: Words can be “criminal” and that so-called hate speech (there's no such legal category in the United States, mind you) must be purged from every tongue. The result? Many Millennials are now amenable to limiting free speech — and some are willing to use sticks and stones to do so.
This is folly. When people can’t talk something out, they’re left to fight it out. As retired police commander Charles “Sid” Heal told SFGate.com while addressing police inaction, “The first and fundamental reason government exists is for protection. When government fails, the people take the matter in their own hands.” Or as John F. Kennedy put it, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
Increasingly, though, those desiring a violent revolution that may visit tyranny are getting their way.
Photo: AP Images