In disturbing parallels to the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Weather Underground of the 1960’s, we are seeing a small band of violent radicals attempt—and thus far succeed—in imposing their will on Americans. The terrorist acts that the SDS and Weather Underground engaged in are what we most remember, but it’s worth noting that they, too, started out with threats, riots, and destruction of property during their “Days of Rage.” They ultimately used violence as a means of condemning violence(?!) and of coalescing their “families” and “tribes” behind a “youth resistance,” and we are seeing this all unfold yet again as violent radicals shriek about fascism while engaging in it themselves.
In the wake of the violent riots that shut down speaking engagements by Milo Yiannopoulos and Heather Mac Donald, the violent radicals of the fringe left have notched up further “wins” in silencing Ann Coulter and in now causing the cancellation of the Avenue of Roses Parade in Portland, Oregon.
KGW Portland reports:
The annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade in East Portland has been canceled.
The parade, which is the first sanctioned event of the Rose Festival season, was scheduled for Saturday, April 29. Organizers said the event was canceled “following threats of violence during the parade by multiple groups.”
The Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP), whose members were going to march in the parade, said threats were made against their group.
According to the Oregon GOP, organizers of the parade received an email saying that a group would take their own initiative to make sure the MCRP didn’t march in the parade if organizers let them participate.
“We will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push those people out as we will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward LGBT, immigrants, people of color or others,” the email reads in part.
The email in question reads as follows:
These cowards are objecting to “hateful rhetoric” and the “spread[ing] of views” with which they do not agree. Regrettably, they do not seem to understand that they are exactly what they claim to reject: hateful fascists policing speech and threatening an event that is attended by families with children and by the elderly.
This war of “resistance” against Trump and the GOP has spread from individual speakers like Milo and Coulter to the wholesale ejection of Republicans from all civic, nonpolitical activities, including a parade that has taken place for 81 consecutive years.
The Atlantic comments on the disturbing trend:
On the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated, perhaps 3 million Americans took to the streets in peaceful protest to register their opposition. When news of his travel ban broke, I stood at LAX watching Angelenos sing the Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace. Across the nation, peaceful protest against President Trump continues. But a violent fringe has been using Trump’s rise as a justification for political violence, as if his authoritarian impulses justify authoritarianism from his opponents.
This tiny faction knows that most of their compatriots on the left are committed to nonviolence, so they frame their aggressive actions as a narrow exception to the rule.
Most famously, they insisted that it was okay, or even righteous, to punch white supremacist Richard Spencer because he was “a Nazi.” That position impels the debate down a slippery slope. And now, activists in Oregon caused the cancellation of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, a community event in the southeast quadrant of Portland, by threatening to forcibly drag “fascists” off the parade route if they weren’t excluded.
Who exactly did they want removed from the parade? The local Republican Party of Multonomah County.
Ah yes, the dreaded Republican Party of Multonomah County . . . obscure nobodies who might, with their very presence in a parade, commit the heinous act of “normalizing” support for a sitting president.
The Atlantic continues:
[O]ne reason these protesters cite as justification for stopping Republicans on a parade route is that they will otherwise “normalize support” for a sitting president.
. . . . So long as threats of violence succeed in causing events to get shut down by their risk-averse organizers, more threats will be made. One wonders who this faction on the left will next label a Nazi or a fascist in order to justify their own use of fascistic tactics.
This is indeed the danger inherent in this chilling trend. It’s hard to tell where they go from here with yet another “win” under their belt because, unlike their ideological foreparents in the SDS and Weather Underground, these violent radicals aren’t trying to stop a war they don’t agree with, they have no concrete cause. They are simply policing thought and shutting down rhetoric with which they disagree.
So who will be next? Will it be pro-life Democrats, those recently told they are unwelcome in Tom Perez’s Democrat Party? What about Bernie Sanders who recently called protests and threats like this “a sign of intellectual weakness“? Maybe it will be Bill Maher, who also dared support Ann Coulter’s freedom of speech?