A man demonstrating with a conservative, Second Amendment-supporting group this weekend had to receive medical attention after being attacked by left-wing counter-protesters at a pro-Second Amendment rally in Seattle, Fox News reports.
The “Liberty or Death” rally took place outside of Seattle’s City Hall and was organized by the Washington 3 Percenters and Patriot Prayer.
The latter group in particular has been the subject of some controversy of late, as several of its protests in Portland, Oregon, have devolved into riots with local far-left antifa groups, which claim that Patriot Prayer hasn’t done enough to deal with unaffiliated white nationalist groups that often latch on to their rallies, among other things.
While they may no longer have been in Portland, this was Seattle and there’s certainly no dearth of insane leftists groups in a city that only got rid of hard-left former Mayor Ed Murray after the fifth person came forward and accused him of molestation.
The protest this time has to do with a city gun control measure that would raise the purchase age for firearms from 18 to 21 and would mandate firearm storage standards. While Saturday’s protest was made somewhat moot the day before — a judge threw out the 300,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the ballot in November — once you’ve got a good Second Amendment rally going there’s no particularly good reason to stop it.
While antifa thugs weren’t necessarily involved under that name, similar groups like the Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity, Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party — all described by the Seattle Times in all due objectivity as “anti-fascist protesters” — organized a counter-protest to the event. Because, you know, anyone exercising their constitutional rights to bear arms must be “dangerous.”
According to Fox News, the protesters “yelled and used cow bells and sirens in an attempt to drown out speeches from the other side,” because apparently opinions that disagree with theirs are just too dangerous to hear.
Now, see if you can spot the problem the problem I did with the coverage from the Seattle Times: “Dueling rallies outside Seattle City Hall remained largely peaceful Saturday afternoon, even as heavily armed right-wing protesters traded verbal barbs with bandanna-clad anti-fascist protesters across the street,” the piece read.
“The two groups were separated by metal barricades along Fourth Avenue and a sea of Seattle police officers, many of them on bicycles.
“Three men were arrested, all for misdemeanor assault, said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a Seattle police spokesman.
“At one point, a scuffle broke out on the corner of Cherry Street and Fourth Avenue. A man dressed in black, with a black bandanna, was taken away in handcuffs. A man in a red Donald Trump hat knelt on the street, bleeding from his forehead.”
Paragraph one: “heavily armed right-wing protesters” menaced left-wing “anti-fascist” protesters. (Still not seeing those “fascists,” but whatever. And what constitutes “heavily armed,” pray tell? A .22 air rifle?)
Paragraph two: Those “largely peaceful” protests were largely peaceful only because the police were separating the original demonstrators from the “bandanna-clad anti-fascist protesters” (who wanted to do nothing wrong, I’m sure; nobody with a bandana has ever wanted to cause trouble).
Paragraph three: Three men were arrested for assault. It doesn’t say who they were or anything, so one might assume there were assaults on both sides.
Paragraph four: “A man dressed in black, with a black bandanna, was taken away in handcuffs. A man in a red Donald Trump hat knelt on the street, bleeding from his forehead.”
That lede wasn’t so much buried as stuffed in a lead-lined coffin and interred under 10 feet of cement. These bandana-clad anti-fascists apparently decided to beat up someone who disagreed with them. I’m pretty sure that’s actually an element of fascism — and probably ought to have been the very first thing we’re talking about here.
Now, let me add a disclaimer about Patriot Prayer that I can surmise is going to make a few of their supporters angry. I know roughly two things for certain about the group, aside from the fact that they claim to be aligned with political and social beliefs I hold.
The first is that fringe white nationalist groups tend to agglomerate around their rallies, at least according to most reliable reports. I’m not saying these groups are being invited, but perhaps it might behoove Patriot Prayer to more aggressively disinvite them, if you get my drift. The presence of a fringe element reflects poorly both on Patriot Prayer in particular and conservatives in general.
The second is that I’ve never once covered a Patriot Prayer event that hasn’t ended in some kind of violence. Now, don’t get me wrong — like this event here, almost all of that violence seems to be attributable to left-wing “anti-fascist” fascists who follow Patriot Prayer around like neo-hippies following a Phish concert tour. All that being said, I cannot recall covering any other group where there’s been a 1:1 correlation between their rallies and their rallies turning violent.
These disclaimers noted, it’s still worth pointing out who’s responsible for this violence: Far-left counter-protesters who somehow get away with being labeled as compassionate, public-spirited “anti-fascists” by the media.
From all reliable indications, it was the Trump supporter who was being assaulted here. And yes, we don’t know what side the individuals who were arrested were on yet. However, keep in mind that when their political alignment isn’t mentioned in the media, you can very reliably assume the alleged perpetrators weren’t wearing MAGA hats.
I don’t care what Patriot Prayer’s faults may be or how the left feels about the Second Amendment. Political passion is all very well and good, but nothing justifies this kind of politically motivated violence.
And if I can’t get through to them, perhaps I can get through to the media: No, a protest where someone is beaten up — presumably for their political opinions — is not “largely peaceful,” and no, the people intimidating others who are trying to exercise their constitutional rights are not “anti-fascists.”
No matter how the media may feel about the Second Amendment, they should at least be taking a stand for the First — starting by doing their jobs honestly.
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