Large scale intimidation and thuggery was on display on the streets of Boston this weekend as antifa and other extreme leftists bullied and harassed anyone they deemed divergent from their groupthink. They spit and punched and yelled hateful things at law enforcement and by Saturday night there were 36 arrests and 4 injured officers, according to Boston police. Nine people face charges of assault and battery on police officers.
Our elected leaders need to call out antifa for what they are: a hate group.
They target anyone they’ve determined to be an existential threat — and that is most everyone except their fellow anarchists, socialists and communists. Any Trump supporter in their minds would most definitely be considered a fascist, and would necessarily need to be stopped one way or another from appearing in the public square.
“We’re covered in black so when we attack these guys we can’t be prosecuted,” said Jon Crowley, an antifa member who told the Herald that he felt violence was the only way to deal with the people marching in the parade, which went from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza. “They are fascists, 100%. How else are you going to get them to shut up?”
In an August 2017 rally on Boston Common, antifa and other radical leftists hunted down attendees of a controversial “free speech” rally. There were 33 arrests for disruptive behavior. The mob descended upon a man wearing an Israeli flag. Bottles of urine and rocks were thrown at police.
Last November, antifa converged on Tucker Carlson’s house, vandalizing the dwelling, chanting threats, banging on the door, and spray painting an anarchy symbol on the driveway according to Associated Press reports.
Ted Cruz and his wife got similar treatment when the same group converged upon them in a restaurant.
In June, journalist Andy Ngo who has covered antifa’s violence in Portland, Ore., critically for years was brutally attacked by the group, suffering a “traumatic brain injury,” according to his then-employer Quillette. Ngo is a gay, Asian-American journalist. It is easy to imagine what the coverage would be like if he was pummeled by a conservative mob.
In the months since, antifa and various far-right groups have continuously clashed on the streets of Portland, with escalating violence that the city and law enforcement seem powerless to stop. Boston must do everything possible to prevent similar repeated confrontations from erupting here and turning the city into a massive street fight every time someone wants to exercise the right to free speech.We do not endorse nor defend the “Straight Pride Parade” or any of the other affiliate groups who were present this weekend in Boston. Interests seemed to vary but by and large there was a strong pro-Trump contingent present among the heavily outnumbered parade-goers.
These groups have a right to lawfully assemble, however, as do counter-protestors. It is unacceptable that peaceful speech from either side should be allowed to escalate into physical altercations by violent mobs. This must be widely condemned by elected leaders regardless of their political leanings.
Congressman Ayanna Pressley, for example, should reconsider her choice to call for donations on Twitter to help bail out the arrested counter-protestors, thanking them and calling them “allies” in a tweet Saturday. Violent and disruptive behavior cannot be normalized by our politicians.
Thuggery must be punished harshly by the justice system and those who attack police must pay a high price for their actions.