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Cancelling Patriot Prayer

Democrat politicians let antifa thugs suffocate free speech

Matthew Vadum author image /

Freedom of speech in America is under assault by the Left like never before.

The constitutionally-suspect shutting down of Patriot Prayer’s tiny, properly permitted rally at a federal park in San Francisco Saturday is yet more proof of the political ascendancy of the evil ultra-violent “antifa” street thug movement. The Left now has the power to dictate what is and is not acceptable speech in California and many parts of the country.

Patriot Prayer is an innocuous Tea Party-ish group that only wanted to conduct a rally to affirm its members support for free speech. Instead the group has been smeared relentlessly — and now as it turns out, persecuted by state actors.

As Fox News reports:

Joey Gibson, who is Japanese American and leads Patriot Prayer, said his group disavows racism and hatred and wanted to promote dialogue with people who may not share its views. He cancelled a planned rally Saturday at a field under the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge after he said his members received anonymous threats on social media and feared civic leaders and law enforcement would fail to protect them.

The official excuse for sabotaging conservative events is always “public safety,” even though left-wingers never have a problem getting their message out. Given the track record of authorities in California in dealing with conservative speakers, Gibson’s fear that his supporters would be vulnerable to attack by antifa were completely justified.

So while Gibson may have canceled his group’s event, it was the authorities in San Francisco who effectively shuttered it by making it difficult if not impossible for his would-be speakers to speak. Police in nearby Berkeley prevented David Horowitz and Ann Coulter from speaking there by moving their speaking venues far from the university campus and changing the time of their events to make it inconvenient for students to attend.

San Francisco officials denied the First Amendment rights of Patriot Prayer supporters for a second time on Saturday by shutting down Alamo Square park at which Gibson wanted to hold a presser after canceling the rally at Crissy Field. A fence was erected around the park and riot police kept people out.

More than a thousand left-wingers showed up at Alamo Square to demonstrate against the non-existent neo-Nazis. They waved signs and chanted, as leftists are wont to do, the rioters’ mantra, “Whose streets? Our streets!”

Gibson later addressed a few supporters, including blacks, a Latino, and a Samoan American, in suburban Pacifica. Several reportedly said they “support President Donald Trump and want to join with moderates to promote understanding and free speech.”

Gibson told Fox News that San Francisco’s pro-antifa mayor, Ed Lee (D), prevented the rally from happening. Lee had claimed previously that the rally would attract violent hate-speech practitioners and violence. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and a cohort of Democrat politicians lied repeatedly, claiming Patriot Prayer’s rally was a “white supremacist” event that should not be allowed to go forward.

This makes the San Francisco event the second fake “white-supremacist” rally – so designated by the Left — to be shut down in recent days. On August 20, authorities in Boston undermined a conservative group. That rally went on but speakers were drowned out by antifa and people protesting the rally.

“They’re definitely doing a great job of trying to make sure my message doesn’t come out,” Gibson said of the aborted San Francisco rally in the Fox interview.

Mayor Lee bragged about crushing the constitutional rights of Patriot Prayer supporters.

“If people want to have the stage in San Francisco, they better have a message that contributes to people’s lives rather than find ways to hurt them,” he said. “That’s why certain voices found it very difficult to have their voices heard today.”

The claim that Patriot Prayer is a so-called hate group is laughable. Not even the extreme left-wingers at the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose website is the go-to reference for aspiring left-wing terrorists wishing to maim and kill conservatives, labels Patriot Prayer a hate group or considers Joey Gibson an extremist.

On Sunday Gibson attended a “No Marxism in Berkeley” rally near the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park that was more violent than the event in San Francisco. Berkeley police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said the police force allowed hundreds of thugs to climb over police-erected barriers so they could assault anti-Marxists. Antifa beat rally attendees and journalists with sticks and their fists, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Video footage establishes that “Gibson backed away from a mob of black-clad aggressors who swore, hit him with a stick and shouted, ‘Fascists go home!’ Gibson leaped over a concrete barrier before being chased into the embrace of riot-gear-clad cops.”

This is America and what happened in California and elsewhere is profoundly un-American. It cannot be allowed to stand.

Somehow ordinary conservatives have become neo-Nazis and white-supremacist ogres in the eyes of the mainstream media, a process that received a huge boost when one radical kook (who was no conservative) used his car to murder one person at the misnamed “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Yes, it was a terrible crime that deserves to be denounced and punished to the fullest extent of the law but it does not justify the mass hysteria now gripping parts of the nation.

For the sake of the country these vile antifa extremists need to be rounded up, arrested, and given lengthy prison terms for sedition and possibly racketeering, among other crimes. This leftist filth, which is openly supported by a cohort of Republican quislings, will not be satisfied until the First Amendment is abolished.No one has a constitutional right to riot or silence conservatives (or anybody for that matter). Violent leftist protest is not constitutionally protected speech no matter what Nancy Pelosi says.

Unlike President Obama, President Trump has no difficulty naming the domestic enemies of the United States. At a rally on August 22 in Phoenix, Arizona, after protesters tried to shut down the event, Trump told the crowd, “You know, they show up in the helmets and the black masks and they’ve got clubs, they’ve got everything,” he said, calling out the violent leftist group’s name — “antifa!”

“Trump spent about 20 minutes re-litigating the establishment media’s Charlottesville coverage,” Breitbart reports, “pointing out that he condemned hate, violence, the KKK, neo-nazis, and white supremacists, but that it was never enough for the dishonest media.” Outside the rally, police battled antifa rioters, who now regularly crash Trump’s events.

At press time early this morning around 310,000 people had signed a petition, well over the 100,000 required to force consideration by the White House, urging the administration to “[f]ormally recognize AntiFa as a terrorist organization.”

Mark Bray, an antifa supporter and historian at Dartmouth College and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, says the antifa “reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville.”

Bray told a friendly media outlet:

The other key point, which probably isn’t made enough, is that these are revolutionary leftists. They’re not concerned about the fact that fascism targets liberalism. These are self-described revolutionaries. They have no allegiance to liberal democracy, which they believe has failed the marginalized communities they’re defending. They’re anarchists and communists who are way outside the traditional conservative-liberal spectrum.

Of course, Bray is using a self-serving definition of fascism so he can evade the fact that the antifa are left-wing practitioners of classic fascist tactics: physically intimidating and assaulting perceived enemies, breaking up opposition meetings and rallies, and smearing those who oppose them as the “real” fascists.

Meanwhile, the tone-deaf useful idiots at the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a statement condemning white-supremacists while ignoring the much more numerous, much more violent, seditious radicals of antifa.

The unanimously approved RNC resolution states, “Nazis, the KKK, white supremacists and others are repulsive, evil and have no fruitful place in the United States.”

There is no denunciation in the resolution of the leftists and government officials who trampled on the First Amendment rights of conservative groups in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Boston. The statement was reportedly a priority for RNC Chairman and squish Ronna Romney McDaniel.

The resolution comes on the heels of a new Islamic State-inspired recruitment video that was published online by an armed antifa cell in Philadelphia calling itself the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM). RAM idolizes cop-killers like Mumia Abu Jamal and Russell Shoats and conducts anti-cop training sessions called “Our Enemies in Blue.” A RAM communique claims “mosques are being ruthlessly bombed” and “LGBTQ are being battered.” It adds, “The destruction of black life continues unabated as millions languish in the plantations of the modern day slave system.”

Recent history reminds us that left-wing city officials don’t like putting down riots, especially those started by their comrades-in-arms. They know that social justice warriors like rioters are an important voting bloc in the Democratic Party. They don’t like interfering with the spontaneous outbreaks of ad hoc redistribution – for example, the smash-and-grab appropriation of consumer electronics – that looters effectuate.

And the police, under orders by left-wing officials in state and local governments and with the encouragement of then-President Barack Obama, have allowed Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter to run wild in recent years. Obama even rewarded riot-inciters and those who support murdering cops by hosting them at the White House. The DNC even endorsed Black Lives Matter in a resolution.

Instead of protecting citizens and their property, some politicians even admit pro-rioting policies openly, as when then-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) acknowledged in April 2015 that authorities “gave those who wished to destroy space to do that.”

Fortunately, not everyone on the Left supports the violent leftist mobs.

Last week on “Fox and Friends,” Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, urged his liberal brethren not to get in bed with antifa.

Antifa is a radical anti-American, anti-free market, communist, socialist, hard, hard-left censorial organization that tries to stop speakers on campuses from speaking. They use violence, and just because they’re opposed to fascism and to some of these monuments shouldn’t make them heroes of the liberals.

Whether the few true liberals remaining in the Democratic Party will listen is far from certain.

This article first appeared at FrontPageMag.

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The Author

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum writes and speaks widely on ACORN and other…