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Free Speech Died in Berkeley, California

Updated on March 23, 2017

Just Who Are The Real Fascists?

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, hoping for a totalitarian one-party state that crushes the other side’s voice. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is inherently negative and accomplishes nothing. They view political violence and war as a means to achieve their aims. Fascists emphasize direct action, legitimizing political violence as a central part of its platform in the process.

Fascism views violent action as a necessity in politics that they identify as an "endless struggle". This emphasis on political violence ensures that most fascists employ their own private militias, as the Nazi Party did with brown shirts and Italy’s fascists did with black shirts. After the Nazis came to power in Germany in the 1920s, Hitler created his SA or Storm Troopers and his Protections Squads or the SS in order to terrorize political opponents and beat down or kill people they deemed to be opponents.

Sadly, America’s liberals are acting like the fascists they claim to despise.

On the night of Wednesday, February 1st, over 100 armed and masked individuals clad in all-black uniforms inflicted whatever damage they could to stop the former Breitbart editor and libertarian-conservative provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, from speaking that night. On the campus of UC Berkeley, free speech was quashed. The ultimate irony because Berkeley was where, in the 1960s, many peaceful protests erupted that became the start of the Free Speech Movement, which had national implications and sparked the counterculture movement and anti-war demonstrations speaking out against atrocities by our government, in defense of the First Amendment.

In the chaos that ensued on and off Berkeley’s campus last week, businesses were vandalized and over $100,000 in personal property damage was done throughout the night. Innocent bystanders were attacked for merely being there. Women were pepper sprayed. Unconscious men were beaten down in the street.

A silent and peaceful protest of over a thousand mostly students, started at UC Berkeley before a planned speech by the controversial right-wing columnist and speaker. However, when the violent group of armed anarchists showed up, the protesting students and demonstrators were not afraid of them, in fact, many cheered them on, knowing that Milo would for sure be shut down! Among one of the businesses hit was a Bank of America. Scrawled on the building was, “KILL TRUMP.”

The protests escalated quickly on the UC Berkeley campus ahead of the speech planned for 8 PM that didn’t happen. UC Berkeley police ordered the event cancelled at 6 PM after protesters breached barricades, smashed windows, and set a large bonfire at the venue.

This shutdown of free speech was far from a one-time event. Yiannopoulos was also stopped from speaking at UC Davis not too long ago, amidst raucous protests and lack of campus police presence. A man was shot and critically wounded outside a speaking engagement in Seattle on the campus of the University of Washington, reportedly by a Yiannopoulos supporter. However, the shooter turned himself in and claimed he was acting in self-defense.

The radical left-wing terrorist organization responsible for the Berkeley riots, as well as similar appalling attacks, was a group called the Antifa, which ironically is short for Anti-Fascists. These Anti-Fascists lit a generator on fire causing a massive ball of flame which was amazingly “cheered on by protesters as they chanted hate speech in an attempt to shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’ right to free speech,” according to entrepreneur and technology executive Trent Lapinski.

What is even more amazing is the police response, or lack thereof. Milo was safely taken away from the area and the police secured the auditorium where he was supposed to speak. The police repeatedly told the crowd to disperse. They even threatened to use chemical agents, but did nothing to confront the crowd based on the many videos, images, and accounts of the event. The police appeared to move into the crowd after someone was severely injured, but they seemingly did nothing to prevent further violence from occurring.

Meanwhile, “peaceful protesters” began dancing to music and celebrating as fights continued to break out. The Antifa broke windows and lit fireworks directed at the MLK auditorium. The police did not act. The police continued to observe, doing little to nothing to contain or quell the riot, so, it soon spread to downtown Berkeley without a single police officer in sight. “Between 6:30–9:30PM I did not see a single police officer, or police vehicle in the downtown Berkeley area or any of the live video feeds I was watching including live helicopter footage,”, according to Lapinski’s coverage of the story.

A bystander who said he was attacked by protesters looks for cover amid a UC Berkeley rally against a scheduled speech by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
A bystander who said he was attacked by protesters looks for cover amid a UC Berkeley rally against a scheduled speech by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos. | Source

The Dangerous Radicals on the Left

The Antifa are a dangerous group and must be stopped if we are to defend civil rights in this supposed land of the free. It’s incredible that these individuals continue to call themselves Anti-Fascists, yet use the exact same tactics from the fascist playbook. Violence is not free speech. Violence is not a form of protest. Just because you disagree with someone or think they are saying something hateful, it does not give you the right to silence them by any means possible.

Yvette Felarca would disagree. Ms. Felarca is head of another terror group, BAMN (the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary), who was also involved in the violence in Berkeley last week and has a history engaging in and organizing violent protests. She was an activist in the Occupy Movement in the early Obama years, then Black Lives Matter, but more recently was instrumental in the horrific stabbing attacks that occurred in Sacramento, California last summer. She also helped embarrass now-President Donald Trump at the Burlingame, California protest that forced then-Republican presidential candidate Trump and his Secret Service detail to leave their vehicle and sneak into the venue through a back entrance.

Ms. Felarca told local TV station KTVU that has she has “no regrets” about the violence that occurred in Berkeley and believes that millions more should engage in this increasing militant leftist violence disguised as protests. Will the sensible Democrats and clear headed progressives join in on the beatdown of the opposition? Or will the real liberals of the Left take their party back from these anarchists? Or is there any difference between the two?

Felarca has openly advocated violence for years. In a 2014 interview, she told The New York Times: “Riots are the voice of the unheard. You can never replace the lives of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but you can always replace broken windows.” Felarca is an alum of UC Berkeley. Are the administrators, alumni, and faculty at Berkeley proud of this alum and their school at the moment?

Dlibert cartoon creator Scott Adams certainly isn’t. He received his MBA from Berkeley and has supported the school throughout the years post-graduation. However, in a recent article, Adams announced he is ending his support for UC Berkeley, writing that he has “decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view. I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus.” This is unfortunately the close minded climate that exists on many college campuses today. What went so horribly wrong?

Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson thinks the Left’s tacit support of fascist terrorist groups has played a big role. “The mainstream left is tacitly supporting a fascist group that is committing terrorism to crush civil rights in the U.S.” Where have all the 1960s Bay Area free speech liberals and hippies gone off to?

Hours after Milo’s event was canceled, the College Republicans, who invited him, issued a statement declaring the Free Speech Movement dead. “It is tragic that the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement is also its final resting place,” the statement declared.

The Academic Left, made up of liberal professors and administrators at universities like UC Berkeley and UC Davis have sadly paved the way for this form of fascism on campus masquerading as modern day liberalism.

“Why is this happening now?” Ben Shapiro asked. “Because the academic left has built up a pseudointellectual bulwark around such fascism. They’ve told students that they deserve ‘safe spaces’ – areas in which their ideas are not challenged in any way. They’ve forwarded the culture of ‘microaggressions,’ which urges students to see any speech they find offensive as a form of ‘aggression’ to be countered by other aggression.” This divisive and closed-off style practiced by our nation’s educators is unhealthy and does not prepare college students for success in the real world. It also encourages the vast divisions and rampant anger we are witnessing today because people do not agree with each other politically or culturally and retreat to their ideological safe spaces where one’s beliefs are echoed by one’s close circle of friends and local community.

Professor Roy Baumeister wrote in Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty, “Hypersensitive people who often think their pride is being assaulted are potentially dangerous. Even when a neutral observer would conclude that no serious provocation occurred, it is still important to recognize that, in the perpetrator’s own view, he or she was merely responding to an attack.” These young adults churned out by these liberal colleges are overly obsessed with race, sexual identity, and the victim-oppressor history and culture that keeps them trapped ideologically on the Left. They sadly see the literal crushing of what they view as hate speech from someone like Milo as totally appropriate. “I am offended, therefore I am right,” is what these delicate college liberals would say. Labeling conservatives who speak their minds, like Milo and for that matter, Donald Trump, as racists and bigots is an inevitable result from this toxic college education that follows far too many into their working years. We now have large swaths of overly sensitive people in the U.S. who can’t get over the fact that someone like Donald J. Trump is now president. Deal with it.

Do you think the Antifa and anarchists in Berkeley were right to shut down Milo’s speech by violence and intimidation tactics?

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Will they ever learn?

President Trump would of course not be silent on the alarming events at Berkeley. He responded to the horrific attack on free speech in Berkeley by tweeting out, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”

Yiannopoulos echoed that sentiment Thursday on Facebook (as he is banned on Twitter): “UC Berkeley should have all federal funding cut until it can demonstrate its commitment to the First Amendment and guarantee the safety of libertarian and conservative speakers on campus -- and the safety of their audiences. Nothing less will do.”

Regardless of what happens to UC Berkeley and their federal funding, what is not up for debate is how this violence undermined an initially peaceful protest. Malini Ramaiyer, a freshman at UC Berkeley, said she never felt in danger during a protest until that night. Around 7 PM, she saw “a huddle of people yelling at one another. As more people surrounded them, a burning red trucker’s hat was held up on a stick. There were reports that another student wearing what appeared to be a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat was severely injured.”

The inhumanity of these thugs in Berkeley that night was truly appalling and appears to have woken some up to the radical tactics of some on the Left. Ms. Ramaiyer saw one of these masked soldiers wearing all-black walk up to a student wearing a suit and say, “You look like a Nazi.” The student was confused, but before he could reply, the black-clad person pepper-sprayed him and hit him on the back with a rod. Malini ran after the student who was attacked to get his name and more information. He told her he was a Syrian Muslim. Before she could find out more, he fled. Then, the chaos and destruction.

“There are so many people in this country who have been fighting social injustices for years”, Ramaiyer wrote in The New York Times. “Acts of violence undermine their efforts, and can reverse good, patient work. I understand the fight for a more progressive, just society. But this is not how we get there.” Let's hope voices like these get louder on the Left.

And yet, a growing number on the Left are growing more comfortable with these militant tactics. It’s for the greater good in their “resistance” against Donald Trump.

"This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley," said Mike Wright, a member of the Berkeley College Republicans. Shortly after he made this statement, smoke bombs were set off around him, and someone threw red paint at him, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

In another statement from Milo on Facebook, he wrote, “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.” Luckily for those on the Right, these militants do not realize how much damage they are doing to their own side, elevating Milo in the process.

As Robby Soave wrote in Reason recently, “They turn Yiannopoulos into a free speech martyr, which is exactly what he wants. When Milo is censored, Milo wins.” They don’t see that they are falling right into a trap.

Kevin Quigley, a freshmen at UC Berkeley, summed it up when he told Mr. Soave over the phone: "if it was just 500 people going to hear him talk it wouldn't be in the news, but when you have thousands of people gathering in the streets... they're just making him more famous." And famous Milo is and becoming moreso.

Milo has vaulted to an even higher level of fame, especially given his recent meteoric jump in book sales. Sales of Milo's book increased 12,740% after the fiery night of February 1st, sending it from 642nd to 5th ranked on Amazon.com. Pretty impressive considering the book will not be released until March 14th.

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Free Speech is in Danger

We need to remember that this is a very dangerous and very radical group responsible for this violence. This militant mindset has not swept into a majority of the Democratic Party just yet. However, groups like the Antifa, BAMN, and Black Lives Matter continue to gain support from both politicians and voters on the Left. These masked thugs amongst the protesters in Berkeley that fateful night chanted: “No borders, no nations, fuck deportations.” Another sign read, “Become ungovernable.” And that pretty much sums it up. These globalists want open borders and open season for political violence in our cities. We cannot keep giving them both.

Our liberal leaders are allowing suppression of speech. They are watching as fires are set in the streets. They are condoning the destruction of property. They are silencing the libertarian-conservative opposition.

“If Milo had been allowed to speak last night, a few hundred people would have heard him,” John Rappaport pointed out in a blog post. “There would have been virtually no fallout. But because of the riots, the division between opposites is exacerbated.” And that's it right there. They don't even realize how much they are raising figures like Milo among conservatives, liberty lovers, and others on the so-called “alt-right.” The divisions are widening and no one has proven successful yet at stopping us from drifting farther apart because we are too busy yelling at each other. President Trump could very well have to step in with the federal government if our cities and states do not get a hold on this escalating political violence. Let’s hope it does not come to that.

Free speech and open discussion of opposing and differing ideas is essential to our democracy. Especially on college campuses. We cannot descend to anarchy and ever-increasing polarization. We need to get it together and let everyone's voice be heard. We need to bring free speech back to Berkeley. And back to America’s college campuses.

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    • chris7800 profile image

      Christopher 8 months ago from Northridge, CA

      I've never heard of Antifa, but it is both terrifying and ironic how much these groups resemble the early days of the Fascist parties in Europe following WWI. Let's hope that these groups have the same fate as the British Union of Fascists rather than successfully following in the footsteps of Hitler and Mussolini.