I’ve seen numerous reports and on-scene videos that, in Charlottesville yesterday, Antifa/BlackLivesMatter attacked the “WhiteLivesMatter” (for lack of a precise word) marchers freely, seeking trouble. Per Powerline, even a New York Times reporter agrees:
[A NYT journalist] was on the scene yesterday. She noted on Twitter: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”
None of which would ever justify James Alex Fields’ alleged murderous assault with his car; but the justice system will handle Fields. My point here is, the “other” relevant facts that may be lost in the media frenzy. As our fine commenters have noted,
- The WLM marchers had a permit. (Which the ACLU had to help them get.)
- Antifa/BLM didn’t.
- Both sides showed up ready for trouble, armed with sticks, helmets, pepper spray, shields, rocks, etc.
- Antifa/BLM started at least some of the trouble. (Some would say most.)
- The police were careful about controlling the WLM marchers at first; but did nothing to control Antifa/BLM, and vanished (or dragged their feet or sat idly by) as conflicts broke out.
“[The police] had an opportunity to nip this thing in the bud, and chose not to”, says a different on-scene journalist:
You could build a story of the Left playing one of its old tricks: Instigate trouble, let it flourish (e.g., deny full police protection), then make sure the other side is blamed for everything. Like when VA Governor McAuliffe denounced the WLM types, but not Antifa/BLM.
It comes to mind because we saw it done in the Berkeley riots earlier this year. A controversial speaker was going to speak; leftie protestors made violent trouble; police held back; things got bad; authorities then said “Look, this proves we are right to shut down speakers whom the Left doesn’t like,” granting the Left a Heckler’s Veto to deny the rights of others.
Again, none of this excuses racist losers in any form. And none of this excuses the serious, alleged crime of James Alex Fields. It will be interesting to get more details on his deal. When I saw his picture, my gut reaction was “zombie” – but I couldn’t say whether mentally ill, on drugs, programmed, abuse victim, plain evil sociopath, or some combination.
It will also be interesting to see if Charlottesville police are going to be in for some lawsuits.