Rantz: Antifa protesters ask ‘fascist’ cops to break up peaceful protest
A group of Antifa protesters, while trying to drown out Conservative activist speeches they disagreed with, demanded that the “fascist” cops break up the Patriot Prayer and 3 Percenters protest outside of City Hall on Saturday. Let that irony sink in.
I was walking home from the Sounders game when I ran into the protest in progress. I had the opportunity to speak to a number of Antifa and activists who showed up in opposition to the pro-gun Conservatives. Antifa and the general Left’s positions, while passionate, are unconstitutional.
Constitutionally illiterate protester
“Our City Hall should not give fascists the platform and our tax dollars should not pay fascists [cops] to protect fascists,” said one unnamed protester, moments after cursing at and taunting the Conservative activists separated by a line of officers. “Technically, hate speech is not covered under federal law, right?”
Actually, no. There is no federal law that bans “hate speech” (a term that doesn’t really mean anything). Indeed, the Supreme Court has ruled many times that speech one deems hateful or offensive is absolutely protected. And the speech the Conservative protesters engaged in this past weekend was unquestionably protected. I explained this to the protester. You can watch it here around the 32:00 mark (warning: the video includes graphic language).
“It’s unfortunate that they use that free speech, First Amendment, whatever,” she responded. “They [the city] could easily just deny them … easily say ‘no, we’re not going to give them a permit.’ They do that all the time.”
The city does not do that all the time.
When I asked why the government would deny the Conservatives a permit, when allowing Antifa to protest sans permit, she said: “We don’t have to have a permit to publicly assembly” (Neither did Patriot Prayer). What she meant to say was she wants the police – an arm of the government – to stop speech she disagrees with. In other words: she wants fascism from those she insults as fascists.
Ivy, the adorable elderly woman with no sense of history
Ivy is a local with an alarming inability to grasp basic concepts of critical thinking. But she sure was an adorable old lady. She approached me, asking which media outlet I represented. I decided to interview her.
“I think it’s a disgrace that the police gave them a permit when they are threatening people,” Ivy told me. “You know, they have made threats, they have murdered people.”
There were no known murderers in attendance and their speeches, as far as I can tell, included no actionable threats.
“They’re here to terrorize people and to intimidate people,” Ivy warned me.
When asked if she felt intimidated, Ivy told me: “Hell no. I’m not intimidated. My family fought the Nazis in World War 2. They’re fascist. They’re the equivalent [of Nazis].”
For what it’s worth, this Jewish talk show host never felt in danger from the Patriot Prayer side, nor from the Antifa side, though the Antifa side was considerably more hostile, cheering on a fight that left a Conservative activist with a bloodied face. Though, one of the Leftist protesters told me to watch my back when a car approached me from behind. He thought I was on his side, rather than covering the event.
“They want to make women submissive, etcetera,” Ivy warned of the Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys side. When I asked for specific language they’ve used to indicate that position, she told me “It’s on the Internet.” There are lots of things on the Internet.
There were quite a few women on the Conservative side of things. She called them “very stupid.”
I spoke with “Jesus”
I witnessed a young man in a mask, sunglasses, black jacket, pants and vest harassing an older female cop. I stepped in to interview him so he’d leave her alone, though, as the video shows (warning: language), she didn’t need my help.
I found this conversation the most interesting, even if his messages didn’t resonate with me, because he had a passion I don’t normally get to witness. And, for what it’s worth, he identifies as a “humanitarian” and not as Antifa. He told me his name was Jesus Christ (the least interesting and controversial lie he told me).
Like the other protesters, he viewed the cops as fascists, but also wanted them to disband the Conservative protesters. Had the cops did that, they’d be acting like the fascists this Antifa protester is concerned with.
“They should be disbanding those <expletives> and we wouldn’t be here,” he told me, before accusing the Patriot Prayer protesters of paying the cops to protect them. “
He accused the president of holding sole power in this country, and advocated for a system in which “we should all collectively come together, and put all of our heads together to figure out how we, as a species, are going to survive here.” Kind of like Congress, but “obviously Trump does whatever… he wants. And it happens anyways. And if anybody says <expletive> they just get fired. And that’s not a dictatorship?”
I asked who he was referring to. He said John Brennan. He never worked for Trump. I explained that to him.
“But with all this division, with the cops, with <expletive> politics … they’re all moving us towards the end of humanity,” Jesus told me.
“We don’t think as humanity together, how do we species here on this rock that we’re killing … when everybody’s divided … Why don’t we all think together and stop hating each other?” Jesus asked.
Speaking of division, moments before I interviewed him, he was yelling homophobic insults at a “POC-looking cop,” claiming the cop was performing a sexual act on Patriot Prayer by protecting them. And he made no attempt to reasonably speak to anyone on the Right at the rally, choosing, instead, to hurl insults.
My overall impression
Ideologically speaking, I obviously side with the pro-Second Amendment message, but I find these types of protests, in Seattle or Portland, an intentionally provocative trolling of Antifa.
Consequently, I’m on the fence.
While there’s certainly humor in seeing such a dramatic overreaction from Seattleites upset that their opinions aren’t the only ones allowed to be uttered in public, we’re wasting city resources keeping both sides apart, and unfortunately, this style of event could put a cop’s life on the line.
Still, I understand the importance of pushing back at Progressive activists and Antifa, which aim to silence opposition.
For all the talk that the Patriot Prayer folks were violent, intimidating, white supremacists — they were the side that wasn’t acting violent, intimidating or hateful. At least not while I was there. They were called “Nazis,” but this gay Jew didn’t get hassled. Many enjoyed our open-carry laws and that doesn’t make me uncomfortable. And I heard some try to calmly talk to Antifa to find common ground. They were insulted and shouted down.
Antifa got violent, hurled insults, and threatened violence. They say they stand for tolerance and aim to speak out against division, while acting like hooligans. Not everyone on the Left was Antifa, and the majority of them didn’t act out beyond some good ole fashion name calling.
And their argument, essentially, is that you shouldn’t be civil with white supremacists. That’s how they justify their behavior. But I didn’t hear any bigoted speeches at this rally when I was there. Perhaps, these Conservative activists are doing that all online? But from a perusal of the Proud Boys website, they seem more like trolls than bigots. And Patriot Prayer followers? They seem to be engaging in these protests to make a point that they have every right as Progressives to show up and rally. And maybe that’s the only point of these rallies and protests?