Berkeley police say letting Antifa beat up reporters, protesters ‘forestalled greater violence’

Berkeley police say letting Antifa beat up reporters, protesters ‘forestalled greater violence’
Antifa thugs beat up a helpless man they knocked to the ground seconds earlier. (Image: Screen grab of video via Twitter)

In case you missed it, a “counter-protest” against an anti-Communist rally in Berkeley on Sunday 27 August went completely out of control, when police abandoned the rally as Antifa waded into the anti-Communist protesters and started whaling on them.  For those who won’t take Breitbart’s word for it, LU’s Ben Bowles points out that the Washington Post agrees on what happened.  The rally was peaceful until masked, weapon-wielding Antifa thugs showed up.

The rally had originally been planned by organizer Amber Cummings, who billed it as a “No to Marxism” protest.  It was scheduled in Berkeley for the day after a Patriot Prayer rally in San Francisco, which was cancelled hours before the start time due to the threat of Antifa violence.

Amber Cummings was actually urging her supporters not to show up in Berkeley, due to the same threat of violence, although she herself said she would still be there.  Berkeley had denied her a permit — which probably has more to do with things like the Berkeley mayor’s affinity for groups like Antifa than with anything else — but she and a small number of people from the Patriot Prayer group appeared in Berkeley anyway on Sunday 28 August.  (News reporting suggests they numbered in the dozens, at most.)

Readers can muse over the advisability of that.  But the 2,000-some “counter-protesters” who showed up had no permit either.  And Berkeley had 400 police on-hand.  The city was prepared.

There is no reporting, moreover, that the police ordered anyone to disperse during this event.  They allowed it to continue.

So it is specious — a form of inexcusable special pleading — to argue that the people who were brave enough to go ahead and protest against Marxism for America should properly have been intimidated into silence by the one-sided use of police power in Berkeley.

We’re beyond the point of finding righteousness in mere platitudes about being law-abiding.  The law itself is now too often wielded one-sidedly against righteousness — which in this case lies in letting citizens assemble to speak out against Marxism if they want to, just as they can speak out against the causes opposed by the left.

All this should scare you.  You cannot get left enough to avoid being on the wrong end of the intimidation stick.  Most of you don’t even want to.

If you draw the line at battering your fellow men for their political views, too bad.  In the view of the Antifa goons, that makes you a Nazi.  And that might as well be the view of the political leaders too, in any city where the police back off and let Antifa or anyone else attack, instead of trying to keep order.

The Antifa thugs didn’t confine themselves to attacking anti-Communist protesters.  It’s a good bet, in fact, that they couldn’t even distinguish which of those present were the “protesters.”  They breached a police barrier and rushed the area in what can only be called a general attack.  One thing we do know, from reporting on the scene, is that they deliberately attacked people with cameras and/or press credentials.

To get up to speed on the nature of the melee in Berkeley, you can review the series of tweets (and a YouTube video) below.  This is a small sampling of what’s out there.

As you look at the videos and images, keep in mind these facts recounted by AP and the San Jose Mercury News:

But the Mercury News report, citing Berkeley law enforcement authorities directly, made it clear that police knew that “Antifa” intended to cause violence, and allowed it to happen:

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 “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.

The Associated Press corroborated that report: “Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood said officers were told not to actively confront the anarchists. He applauded officers’ restraint, saying it forestalled greater violence.”

Posting the same video clip, this tweep reminds us Gary Cohn commended Antifa for “standing up for equality and freedom.”

This tweep can’t resist tweaking [score]Paul Ryan[/score] on his seeming endorsement of Antifa.

For good measure, listen to this interview with a Berkeley College Republican explaining the methods Antifa uses to track her around the campus.  The intimidation practiced by Antifa is not hypothetical, and not confined to opposing people at rallies.  It’s more like Nazi brownshirts in the 1930s.

Know the truth.  And remember, these masked goons are not “America.”

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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