Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Keep Portland Weird.
After Trump won, thousands of leftist thugs rampaged through Portland smashing windows and starting fires. They threw fireworks and bottles at police. And they caused a million dollars in damage.
A Homeland Security report described the leftist thuggery as domestic terrorist violence.
Who was "Portland's Resistance" fighting? 73% of voters in Multnomah County had backed Hillary. Only 17% had voted for Trump. The odds that any of the drivers whose windshields were being smashed or the small business owners coming back to a destroyed shop had voted for Trump were vanishingly small.
But the thugs were making a point. Keep Portland weird. Keep it leftist. And intimidate everyone else.
The email that shut down the 82nd Avenue of the Roses parade made that point much more succinctly. "You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely," it warned.
The parade organizers considered wisely. They asked members of the Multnomah County Republican Party to leave the parade. The Republicans refused so the organizers cancelled the parade.
No more pony rides or face painting for the kids. The #Resistance had struck again.
The leftist thugs had threatened that they would have “two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push them out.”
Direct Action Alliance disavowed the threats and claimed that they only “intended to stand between them and those who they wanted to intimidate.” Never mind that they were the ones doing the intimidating. DAA accused Republicans of “normalizing” Trump. “No Portland child will see a march in support of this fascist regime go unopposed,” they vowed.
And no Portland child will see the 82nd Avenue of the Roses parade at all. Because the left shut it down.
Once upon a time, Portland was known as the City of Roses. During the first Bush presidency, it earned the nickname Little Beirut for the deranged and violent tactics of the leftist protesters which included the use of blood, feces, vomit and phlegm. There’s no room for roses in the left’s Little Beirut.
And there’s no room for free speech either.
Portland’s leftist thugs used to be satisfied brawling with police and smashing random windows. Inauguration Day in Portland meant rocks and flares being thrown at police officers. But the left has worked its way down from violently protesting elected officials to protesting conservative speakers to declaring war on the existence of Republicans who disagree with them.
No Platforming now means that Republicans don’t have a right to participate in any civic event. And then eventually that they don’t have a right to exist or leftist thugs will “drag and push them out.”
That is what a totalitarian state looks like. And it wouldn’t be possible without the complicity of the authorities. When they received a threatening email, the response of the parade organizers was to ask the threatened Republicans to drop out. Had a Klansman sent an email demanding that no black people be included in the parade, the reaction would have been the exact opposite. The leftist assault on the Avenue of the Roses parade was successful because its organizers agreed with their overall idea.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler had declared that Portland would continue to be a sanctuary city and “a welcoming, safe place for all people.”
Unless they’re Republicans.
Wheeler is obsessed with gutting Portland’s police department and crippling its ability to respond to violent protests. From trying to push out Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman to attacking the police union to calling for more diversity and community policing, Wheeler has pandered to the thugs.
The arrogant entitlement of the leftist thugs was summed up by protest organizer Gregory McKelvey after the Inauguration Day riots, when he complained, “I gave the city so much. No freeways. No blocking of transit.”
And the police still broke up the riot after leftist thugs threw bottles, flares and rocks at them.
"The City allowed this cancer of lawlessness to grow to the point where its leaders are now bragging, like some sort of comic book characters, that ‘the police cannot stop us’. But this is no laughing matter," the Multnomah County Republican Party warned.
"The participation of political parties in public events like the Parade is not only an American tradition, but also reflects the most fundamental constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of assembly."
And those are the rights that the left is striving to eliminate.
Portland isn’t the only sanctuary space for leftist violence. Berkeley has gone from the free speech movement to the anti-free speech movement. The violent assaults on pro-Trump rallies are aided and abetted by a weak police response. Just as in Portland, the leftist fish rots from the head down.
Hillary won 90% of the vote in Berkeley. Trump finished behind Castro fan Jill Stein with 3.2%. There’s no room for conservatives in Berkeley. That’s the point that Berkeley authorities made when they stood aside and allowed conservatives to be assaulted by leftist thugs.
When leftist thugs attacked Trump supporters at the Tax Day riots in Berkeley, the police did little to stop them. Mesh strung on plastic poles was the only barrier keeping the leftist thugs at bay.
It didn’t last very long.
“If the police went in more aggressively, more people could’ve gotten hurt,” Mayor Jesse Arreguin famously explained.
The “people” who Mayor Arreguin was worried about getting hurt were his thuggish leftist friends from BAMN. BAMN stands for By Any Means Necessary. The name is self-explanatory. The leftist hate group has been linked to “terrorist activities” by the FBI. And to Mayor Arreguin who is a fan of the group.
BAMN organizer Yvette Felarca, a friend of Mayor Arreguin, had boasted after the violence, “If they try to come back, we are going to defend against them again.”
Berkeley authorities knew what was coming. The violence was a sequel. The hands off policy was not an accident.
Now Felarca posted on Facebook, “We got Coulter to cancel (victory!)” It could hardly be clearer than that. Victory is silencing your enemies. There were still some 2,000 people in Berkeley who had voted for Trump.
The ultimate goal of the left is that there should be none.
Berkeley and Portland aren’t just sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. They’re sanctuary cities for leftist violence. They’re safe spaces for thuggish leftist censorship. They’re “resistance” zones where the Constitution doesn’t operate. They’re leftist dictatorships where flags can be burned, but not waved.
The left lost an election and launched a civil war. Berkeley and Portland are in a state of rebellion. And they are not alone. The local authorities are covertly winking at leftist violence because they agree with it. They have become places where conservatives cannot assemble or speak because the police won’t protect them. Americans are becoming foreigners in leftist enclaves like Berkeley and Portland.
Leftist violence in Berkeley and Portland is turning cultural and political divisions into violent ones. The complicity of the authorities in leftist violence against free speech is a crime against the Constitution. It is a political segregation that cannot be abided or obeyed if we wish to remain a free country.
Winning the civil war means enforcing the rule of law in every state and city. The First Amendment must apply in Berkeley and Portland. Freedom of speech and assembly must come to leftist sanctuary cities. Until Americans are free to assemble and speak in Berkeley and Portland, the civil war will continue.