The Democrats Are Destroying Free Assembly

During a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing discussing the rampant violence by extremist groups such as the domestic terrorist organization ANTIFA plaguing potentially peaceful protests, ranking member Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) stormed out of Senator Ted Cruz’s speech, refusing to condemn the violence and inexcusable actions from ANTIFA.

Entitled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence,” the subcommittee hearing began with Senator Cruz asserting the critical paramount of free assembly within a democracy, protected under the Consitution, and the degradation of initially peaceful protests hijacked by violent and malicious rioters, endangering the lives of police officers and innocent bystanders, not to mention protesters themselves. 

Previously, Senator Hirono condemned the title, complaining to CNN that “the hearing we should be having is one called ‘the right of the people to peaceably assemble without being beaten up by unidentifiable federal agents.’ That would address an actual problem.” And three panels of guests into the hearing, her dissatisfaction with Senator Cruz exploded.

“There are all these attacks on Black Lives Matter, and what they’re saying. I mean, how many of us even think that defunding police departments should be taken literally?” she asked. “I mean, I certainly don’t. So, you know, we have this pesky thing called freedom of speech, and I’d say that the people who support Black Lives Matter — and if they’re calling for various boycotts and all that — that’s called freedom of speech.”

After noticing Cruz in a side conversation with an aide, Hirono spat “You aren’t listening. So I hope this is the end of this hearing, Mr. Chairman, and that we don’t have to listen to any more of your rhetorical speeches. Thank you very much. I’m leaving.”

“Well, as always, I appreciate the kind and uplifting words of Sen. Hirono,” Cruz responded, noting “that throughout her remarks she still did not say a negative word about Antifa, nor has any Democrat here,” in the midst of Hirono packing her bags and standing up. Offering a moment “to say something negative about Antifa,” she outright refused, mumbling something to Cruz out of reach for the microphone. 

“OK, she declined to speak, so that is the position of the Democratic Party,” Cruz finished.

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, who testified against the impeachments of President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump and a member of the third panel of guests, tweeted, “The hearing ended with Sen. Hirono walking out after confrontation with Sen. Cruz over Antifa. In roughly 50 hearings, this is a first for me. I was not sure if I should turn off the lights when I left.” He jokingly added, “This actually could be the pilot for ‘Survivor: Capitol Hill,’ where senators vote themselves off the island. The good thing is it meant I could make it home for the Cubs game.”

This latest incident adds to a consistent string of denial from Democrats regarding the overt and disturbing violence overtaking peaceful demonstrations and the threat posed by anarchist organizations like ANTIFA, counterproductively gaslighting those who call out such violence and preventing any measures to help protect honest protesters who wish to remain peaceful. Defined as a legitimate domestic terrorist group, ANTIFA routinely goes after conservative speakers on college campuses and have stoked the destructive violence terrorizing cities and protests, with even Attorney General William Barr observing rioters employed “Antifa like tactics.”

Dedicated to the silencing of opponents through violence and rioting, the anarchist group, along with numerous other militant organizations, has concerningly garnered many political allies, hidden behind the guise of being “anti-Fascist” by right of their name, despite fascism’s obvious incompatibility with the American democratic institutions and various other political safeguards such as checks and balances. Regardless, Democrats, in particular, have enabled, and some even supporting, them to spread and terrorize protests long before the current wave of national demonstrations for social justice, citing extremist right-wing groups posed the greater threat. 

Three years ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted the group has “been there forever” and that “some people may have infiltrated” it. Former deputy chair of the Democratic Party, Representative Keith Ellison, proudly supported ANTIFA, posing with their handbook and bragging it would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump.

And many leading Democrats’ latest refusal of condemnation of ANTIFA and their blatant throttling of peaceful protest is equally as frustrating and equally as fruitless. Instead, wild conspiracy theories of Russian interference and white supremacists have replaced the obvious culprits. Susan Rice, the former national security adviser to President Obama, believes “this is right out of the Russian playbook.” 

Some Democrats have unabashedly denied any violence in general or expressed support for ANTIFA. New York Representative Jerry Nadler brushed it off as “myth that’s being spread only in Washington DC.” New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is openly fundraising for a radical Antifa-affiliated “citizen journalist” group called Unicorn Riot. And Hirono’s refusal of condemnation during Cruz’s speech, along with a deathly silent stretch from Democrats, highlights their compliance in the violence. During Attorney General Barr’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats resorted to speaking over Barr after probing his condemnation of the riots instead of allowing him to testify.

A simple glance at the current state of Portland exhibits the severity of these riots. For example, Portland Police Bureau recounted a riot that demolished the federal courthouse, describing the scene as “Throughout the night some people in this crowd spent their time shaking the fence around the building, throwing rocks, bottles, and assorted debris over the fence, shining lasers through the fence, firing explosive fireworks into the area blocked by the fence, and using power tools to try to cut through the fence.”

“People wore gas masks, carried shields, hockey sticks, leaf blowers, flags, and umbrellas specifically to thwart police in crowd dispersal or attempt to conceal criminal acts. People against the fence sprayed unknown liquids through it toward the courthouse. People tied rope to the fence and attempted to pull it down,” the bureau continued.

“At about 1:03 a.m. people in the crowd attached a chain to the fence and with many people pulling managed to pull a section of it down,” the bureau said, with protesters also lighting fires in the street.” “People climbed over the fence to get close to the federal courthouse. People continued to launch mortar style fireworks at ground level that were exploding near others.” The bureau also noted that “dozens of people in the crowd maintained this level of violence and tumultuous conduct and were either intentionally or recklessly creating a grave risk of public alarm.”

Protest signs reading “The Revolution will not come by asking or voting”, “Die Piggies” and countless pleas for the assassination of President Trump indicate a far more nefarious agenda, on top of chants of “NO GOOD COPS IN A RACIST SYSTEM” and “A – C – A – B… ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS.” An anarchist commune, the aptly named CHAZ, stole blocks of the Seattle downtown and seceded from the United States, only to fall into a lawless wasteland run by warlords and a d-list rapper within days, ruining small businesses and tax paying citizens who didn’t agree to the secession. 

Protesters unabashedly burned Bibles in Portland. Statues and monuments of symbols of America and Western Civilization continue to fall across the nation, beginning with Confederate figures but quickly intensifying to the absurd. A statue of President Abraham Lincoln, paid for by slaves to celebrate emancipation, Union General Ulysses S. Grants, and even Jesus himself have all succumbed to the mob. As physical representations of tearing down history and culture, statues and books commemorating the bedrock of America must be fed to the revolution.

We must face reality. Unhinged radicals, fronting Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements as a smokescreen, aim to upend Western civilization itself. Their sole objective is sheer obliteration and revolution. Since the liberal apparatus is so dedicated to the preservation of the sanctity of Black Lives Matter, anarchists insulate themselves from the usual scrutiny that violent fanatics who intend to overthrow the state face. And they won’t pretend otherwise. Hawk Newsome, the president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter, explained “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally.”

Nothing will stand in their way, not even enablers such as Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Despite coming out in full support of the riots, Jo Ann Hardesty, a Portland City Commissioner, still dismissed Wheeler as “a privileged white man” amid chants to resign when he waded into a protest. they must not be allowed to continue if we wish to uphold a culture of peaceful assembly. To deny their insurrection disallows law and order to preserve the nobility of grassroots movements and young people flocking to the streets for justice. And if standing in support of these movements, we must also be firmly against those taking advantage of them to enact meaningless chaos.

We also cannot oppose solutions. Federal agents targeting specific suspects to prevent mobbing while removing potential dangers from protests should not have been portrayed as harshly as the media did. Law and order must return to the streets, not quell protest efforts but to ensure the security of good-hearted protesters fighting for justice, not chaos.

But Democrats have chosen to simply nod their heads and hope for the potential supporters after the anarchist’s tantrums. With fringe radicals pushing the Democrat party to the extreme comes the responsibility of leaders to pull the party back from the brink. Limits must be set or cities will be run over, as Portland has for over two months. Nightly destruction has yet to result in the condemnation of the alt-left nor has drawn equivalent horror from a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017. A common understanding of the threat posed by ANTIFA hasn’t hit the mainstream and it has cost large cities dearly. 

Hidden by the guise of Black Lives Matter and social justice feigns an air of untouchability and ANTIFA and other extremist groups employ this tactic to the fullest extent, disparaging all virtue of the protests and imperiling the lives of innocent bystanders and law enforcement. Yet, despite their open support of such movements, Democrats cannot bring themselves to condemn such flagrant barbarity and manipulative strategies, an appalling failure of justice. And the ones who suffer most are the honorable protesters who seek peace and justice.