Antifa wishes you a happy — or rather, angry and anarchic — New Year.
Over the New Year holiday, far-left rioters in Portland firebombed police. In Seattle, a marauding group of “activists” terrorized businesses. And their counterparts in San Francisco vandalized Nancy Pelosi’s home and left a bloody pig’s head at the House speaker’s door.
Unless leaders in blue states and cities get serious about repressing Antifa, the radical brutality that disfigured 2020 will extend into 2021.
Last year, Dems allowed violent activists to hold their cities hostage. On both coasts and in blue-governed heartland cities like Minneapolis, left-wing rioting was met with sheepish apologies and acquiescence to insane demands. National Democratic leaders, meanwhile, denied that any rioting was taking place (New York’s Rep. Jerry Nadler) or that such a group as Antifa even exists (Joe Biden).
A cynic might wonder if Antifa was a useful tool for mainstream liberals, since the group’s fiery mischief served to underscore how America under President Trump had spiraled into chaos. Whatever the motivation for empowering Antifa, now is the time to disempower it.
The New Year’s Eve violence in the Pacific Northwest, a hotbed of radical activism, was instructive. Just before the clock struck midnight, Portland experienced yet another riot, as Antifa threw “multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial-grade fireworks at the federal courthouse,” according to police.
Nearly a dozen businesses and government agencies were vandalized, and social-media footage showed law enforcers retreating from a mob of about 100 militants.
In Seattle, an unruly group terrorized the neighborhood around the East Precinct in the former Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, the touch point for the Emerald City’s “summer of love.” The group burned a US flag and blasted fireworks at the King County Youth Services Center.
Militants also targeted the nearby Cafe Argento, damaging the storefront. Why did the self-proclaimed anti-racists hurt a small business owned by a person of color? The owner, Faizel Kahn, suspects it’s because he asked the city to help people living in the nearby homeless encampment that Antifa helped establish. After a standoff, police cleared out the encampment. This was Antifa’s revenge.
The radicals act with the impunity blue leaders granted them.
Portland militants rioted for more than 100 consecutive nights, yet activist Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt declined to prosecute some 70 percent of cases. He justified his position by acknowledging that he agreed with the activists’ anger. When Antifa showed up to harass Mayor Ted Wheeler at his home, the mayor said he’d move, quite literally allowing thugs to chase him from his own home.
In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan ceded a piece of her city to militants to create the region’s original autonomous zone. She then stayed silent for months as activists tried to murder police, even cementing shut a door to a precinct while trying to set fire to the building. The city council rewarded such actions by defunding the police.
Antifa, to be clear, doesn’t want reform. It seeks the abolition of police and prisons — of the state as such.
But that’s not all. The group also rejects private property, borders, free speech and self-defense. These loosely aligned anarchists and Marxists, in other words, abhor the basic principles of the democratic West. And they have no qualms about using violence to advance their agenda. Your average activist doesn’t leave a severed pig’s head outside the home of the House speaker. That’s the work of a committed extremist.
With the election over, there is some mild pushback against monsters that in many ways are of the Dems’ own making. The normally submissive Wheeler condemned the “lawlessness” of “radical antifa and anarchists” — rhetoric that would have been roundly “fact-checked” by mainstream media had Trump uttered it three months ago.
Wheeler also asked a silly question: “Why would a group of largely white” good-for-nothings harm people “struggling to get by.” Why? Because Democrats allowed them to.
At any rate, words will go nowhere. Only a harshly decisive and punitive response from the state will stop Antifa. For that to happen, the politicians who turned a blind eye last year will have to let police forces do their jobs. And they must convince prosecutors, who are releasing Antifa members without charge, to dole out charges and convictions. That won’t be easy.
Jason Rantz is a talk-radio host on KTTH Seattle and a frequent Fox News guest.