There was another free speech rally in Boston on Saturday, August 20, 2017. This followed the horrific events Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, when a car rammed into counter-protestors at an alt-Right, UniteTheRight rally that descended into a riot with the white nationalists and neo-Nazis on the offensive. The car ramming killed one and injured many others.
So, the rally at Boston was always going to go ahead under a cloud of opprobrium. The media portrayed it as being majority neo-Nazi/white nationalist in character when this was not the case. They made much of the fact, both in American and British news media, that the rally saw thousands of peaceful protesters against a few hundred far-right extremists. Except it wasn’t. One of the main speakers is black. I don’t know if you’re over-familiar with the finer points of white-nationalism and neo-Nazism, but they don’t tend to like black people very much. Also, as John Podhoretz said, given the disparity in crowd size, it doesn’t exactly reinforce the idea that America’s about to be overrun by Nazis.
The crowd sizes in Boston don’t exactly give the impression we’re being overrun by Nazis
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) August 19, 2017
Nor did it stay peaceful. Antifa and the violent hard left once again started violence that saw police have rocks and urine thrown at them, something which Jim Acosta of CNN among others seemed to ignore when they said all was quiet and that Trump was showing his incipient fascism yet again for praising the cool professionalism of Boston PD as missiles rained down on them, a reality that was tweeted out by the department’s official Twitter feed.
It was not only the police that were assaulted and attacked. Rally-goers were also beaten, abused, and assaulted by Antifa and the hard-left protestors. This included a woman who had her American flag torn from her hands and was instead dragged along by the thug who had hold of it. She later collapsed with emotion, as seen on Fox News, which Antifa celebrated. There was also a liberal to who was decked by a hard-Leftist for having the wrong opinion.
Antifa Boston’s Twitter page was rife with vile tweets about how free speech was suppressed and is dead, centrists and conservatives should leave Boston, talking about how the Nazis were overwhelmed, how Democrats are stupid for supporting them (hint: Democrats, these people will bite your structural and party throat out, stop covering for them when they do this) and how the normative #Resistance should grow a spine, calling veterans defending free speech today’s Nazis, various anti-cop tweets, and finally adding a dash of anti-Semitism into the mix for good measure because as we all know, Jews are responsible for the oppressive patriarchical structure of Western civilisation and are really just Nazis perpetuating apartheid and genocide against the Palestinians. Funny, these sentiments remind me of something… can’t think what it is though.
Antifa attacking an innocent Trump supporter who was walking by,
I captured this as I was undercover as Antifa. pic.twitter.com/WFwHnXsclk
— Joey Salads (@JoeySalads) August 19, 2017
None of this is new. Joey Salads, disguised as an Antifa member at one of the Berkeley free speech rallies, witnessed Antifa black bloc members beat an older male unarmed Trump senseless for supporting Trump. He hadn’t done anything beyond supporting the wrong candidate, and by that supreme act of proclaiming his membership of a free democracy, he was thus a fascist, and fair game for righteous retribution. Salads also witnessed Antifa burning an American flag and agreeing to throw it at Trump supporters, a Trump supporter who attempted to call for peace but failed. Antifa also threw rocks, and one member described her assault on a Trump supporter and her intent to repeat her actions.
Before that, the major eruptions were at Donald Trump’s inauguration, where Antifa proceeded through DC smashing Starbucks windows, ATM’s, set bins and cars on fire, threw missiles at onlookers and punched the alt-right leader Richard Spencer in the face because he happened to be standing on a street corner talking to reporters. Following this, there was the eruption at UC Berkeley where Milo Yiannopoulos’s final talk on his Dangerous Faggot Tour was prevented because of Antifa violence. There have been other upsurges of Antifa violence throughout the USA and Europe since January, emboldened by Trump’s victory and the Democrat along with left-wing media’s covering for them. The violence escalated until April when the second free speech event at Berkeley saw a different outcome to the violence-filled filled free speech rally, with the Trump supporters in the free speech rally crowd retaliating against the Antifa violence and chase them virtually out of town.
Then, last weekend we had the Far-Right rally in Charlottesville, and the white nationalists and neo-Nazis came prepared for real violence. This had been growing increasingly evident for months, with the Berkeley rallies being guarded by men in increasingly heavy body-armour, with the final rally being guarded by the Oathkeeper militia, who also showed up at the Charlottesville rally. As we know, what happened wasn’t pretty, and had a horrific and tragic ending. As a result of this and Trump’s frankly pathetic bungling of his response and the laxity of his condemnation of the white nationalists, the media and many in the commentariat rightly lambasted him for his “many fine people on both sides” comment, and what they called his equivocation on the “violence on all sides” at the Charlottesville rally. This was not the time to compare the violence “on all sides”, certainly not after a neo-Nazi killed someone with a car.
However, the fact that the violence leading up to this rally has been coming mainly from the hard-Left and Antifa – as well as from some on the Right – doesn’t seem to register, and if it is raised, that is taken as a sign that you’re also guilty of equivocation, and that by condemning violence on all sides you’re de facto implicitly condoning violence on the Nazi side. As Ben Shapiro often says, this is asinine. And it is counterfactual, narrative-cleaving, blinkered, self-serving, cowardly BS.
I’ve been writing about the consequences of the increasing levels of this damn polarisation, in the US and UK, for months. Anyone who adheres to any degree of truth or objectivity could have seen this violence coming over the horizon. When one side starts beating the other side, it only worsens from there. It’s pure and simple conflict escalation, combined with the poison of the soul that is identity politics, the key to unlocking the gates to the depths of resentment, bitterness, envy, spite and jealousy that resides in every human heart no matter who you are. What did people think would happen after pursuing this brand of identity politics on both sides that got us here? What did people think would happen after labelling everyone on the right as ‘alt-right’ and ‘neo-Nazis’, because they disagreed with them on their voting habits and beliefs, making a negative moral judgement about that person’s honesty of character and goodness of heart based on that?
What did people think would happen after conflating word and deed, labelling speech you disagree with as “hate speech” and violence? It’s simple: physical violence became justified. As a result, Antifa violence was justified resistance to fighting impending fascism. Except, the fascists were normal conservatives and normal Trump supporters. And after months of violence against “violent fascist hate speech”, we have seen the outcome. The real far-Right fascists came out last weekend. And they weren’t messing around. Having seen what happened before, they came prepared to start a fight and finish it on their terms. They escalated the violence, and people died from a far-Right white nationalist imitating ISIS vehicular warfare tactics.
And now? Now, Antifa at Boston have further perpetuated the descending cycle into tribal violence. God knows what’ll happen next, but one thing is for sure, and that is that it will become even worse, and will continue to descend further into absolute chaos. This is what ultimately happens when dialogue breaks down, when we descend into tribalism based on immutable group characteristics and the boundary between speech and action is broken; when speech becomes violence, physical violence soon follows.
And then what? War. Between everyone, all the time. This is the imminent hell that the ideologues of identity politics at both political extremes have created. And we are watching it unfold before our eyes.