An army of anarchists in black clothing and masks routed a small group of right-wing demonstrators who had gathered in a Berkeley park Sunday to rail against the city’s famed progressive politics, driving them out – sometimes violently — while overwhelming a huge contingent of police officers.

Hundreds of officers tried to maintain calm in and around Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park before the 1 p.m. “No Marxism in Berkeley” rally, putting up barricades, searching bags and confiscating sticks, masks, pepper spray and even water bottles. The goal was to head off the type of clashes that sprang from similar rallies in the city earlier this year.

But once again, counterdemonstrators frustrated efforts by police, who numbered about 400. As the crowd swelled to several times that size, officers stepped aside and allowed hundreds of people angered by the presence of the right-wing rally to climb over the barriers into the park, said Officer Jennifer Coats, a spokeswoman for Berkeley police.

Continue reading:  Masked anarchists violently rout right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley

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Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  I’m not sharing this post to equate left-wing extremism with right-wing extremism;  but, I am sharing it to help illuminate two very relevant and crucial issues.  First, that the immediate goal of America’s resurgent white supremacists is to provoke such clashes with its perfect foil – the so-called Antifa, an anti-fascist anarchist movement that has been gaining popularity with young people in recent years.  By presenting themselves as “victims” of violence, they hope to force moderate Americans to actively take sides in a decisive race war which would presumably be won by more numerous white people.  Second, that the rise of both the radical Left and Right – primarily in the U.S. and Europe – is a disturbing symptom of the societal maladies plaguing western democracies in the 21st century.

11 thoughts on “Masked anarchists violently rout right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley

  1. Well, at least we have a POTUS who’s doing all he can to bring people together and end this great division within our…..wait!!! Never mind, I was suffering from a temporary hallucination. Man, I think things are just getting started, and we’re in for one helluva violent ride.

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  2. I’m not surprised, but I’m very disappointed! I fear the next step of escalation will be the alt-right paramilitary groups showing up to flex their muscles.

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  3. Trump prepares to lift limits on military gear for police

    SERIOUSLY! The actions of this (so-called) president are getting more and more worrisome. Are we in for another civil war?

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  4. I completely agree with your commentary at the end Robert. Well done Sir.

    The one simple addition I have for your needed blog-post & commentary is for the fringe (undecided) population in between the far-Right and far-Left, but not necessarily rigid-Middle who still have their heads on straight and still possess critical-thinking skills…

    Within the legal verbage of our Constitution’s 1st Amendment is the unequivocal right to assemble peacefully — key operative word there: PEACEFULLY — and to petition the federal, state, or local government for a redress of grievances. This applies to EVERYONE, even those groups we despise, but ALL of the assemblies must be peaceful! When there is police present, this is legal protection for peaceful protesters as well as legal monitoring and enforcement which can be used in court later, if necessary. What mobs and mob-mentality (of American citizens?) seem to contract is a form of Constitutional Amnesia. But fortunately for sanity and civilized democracy (so the theory goes?) amnesia cannot be upheld in court and you WILL, or SHOULD(?) go to jail for breaking federal and state laws and mandates. Period! Homocide is a completely different beast and must be handled promptly and due process applied and upheld.

    As a former educator of Social Studies (4th – 9th grades) what has been appalling me the last 5-10 years Robert is how poorly our American youth know or understand the FULL U.S. Constitution and HOW IN THE HELL can the word “peaceful” or peaceably be blatantly misunderstood or ignored. Riddle me that one! However, with a background in psychology/counseling and A&D therapy… I do know most of the symptoms and causes. I’m still appalled though at the educational-maturity levels of many Americans. 😦

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    • “HOW… can the word ‘peaceful’ or peaceably be blatantly misunderstood or ignored.”

      Professor, you touched on the reason why our constitutional principles are so misunderstood by many Americans these days – namely, the decline of public education. I believe my second point in the commentary generally explains why those principles are ignored – that is, the political and ideological radicalization which naturally occur as civil society breaks down.

      Everyone is, or at least should be, familiar with the psychology of right-wing extremism (e.g. white supremacy, fascism, etc.) because it is so historically prevalent; but, the opposite end of extremism is much less familiar – especially in America – because of the so-called Marginalization of the Left by western establishments. However, one scholar has been attempting to fill that void of awareness – Mark Bray, a lecturer at Dartmouth College. From The Antifa Academic:

      Q: You write that antifa groups are trying to deny fascists a platform by any means necessary. Most universities have taken the position that more speech is the best way to counter bad speech and that we can’t infringe on the rights of anyone to speak because that infringes on the rights of everyone to speak. Can you explain where people in anti-fascist groups are coming from?

      A: For the most part, historically, anti-fascism has focused on depriving a platform to organized far-right groups. The recent university element of it is a little bit of a wrinkle on the traditional model. It’s a slightly different conversation to have at a university versus a neo-Nazi group that’s trying to a rally in a park.

      When this debate exploded after the Milo incident there were some university officials who took a more nuanced stance. One was an NYU vice provost, Ulrich Baer. He came out arguing that if we want to maximize free speech and make it so that people from all sorts of opinions and backgrounds and identities can feel comfortable participating in the public sphere of the university, we can’t allow groups and individuals to dehumanize our colleagues and fellow students and make it so that people feel unsafe on the campus.

      Dehumanization is the crux of the free speech issue. When white supremacists marched into Charlottesville wearing military gear and carrying assault weapons, they were making a very clear and bold statement – that the lives and rights of those in opposition do not matter. It was as primitive a threat as can be imagined, and it elicited a response in kind. The Antifa in Berkeley acted similarly. To them, the life and rights of a white supremacist are not to be respected.

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