I previously testified in the Senate on Antifa and the growing anti-free speech movement in the United States. I specifically disagreed with the statement of House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler that Antifa (and its involvement in violent protests) is a “myth.” My greatest concern remains the growing use of violence to shutdown free speech events around the country — a practice that has been going on for years on our campuses. That danger was evident in San Francisco yesterday when a conservative group gathered for a free speech rally to protest the recent actions of big tech companies like Twitter. They were violently attacked and the organizer had two teeth knocked out before the event was canceled.
A conservative group named Team Save America organized the event and were met by a violent crowd intent on preventing them from speaking. Media reported that the counter protesters carried BLM and Antifa signs. In a now familiar pattern, the counter protesters stopped those with opposing views from being heard. Philip Anderson, an organizer of the event, had his teeth knocked out by someone he identified as Antifa.
As I have written, Antifa is indeed more of a movement than a specific organization, but it has members and associated groups. Indeed, it has long been the “Keyser Söze” of the anti-free speech movement, a loosely aligned group that employs measures to avoid easy detection or association. FBI Director Wray told Congress “And we have quite a number — and I’ve said this quite consistently since my first time appearing before this committee — we have any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists and some of those individuals self-identify with Antifa.”
My greatest concern is that we need to take Antifa seriously as a virulent anti-free speech organization. There is a fair criticism of politicians who have refused to denounce the group or even support it. Former Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison, now the Minnesota attorney general, once said Antifa would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump. This was after Antifa had been involved in numerous acts of violence and its website was banned in Germany. His own son, Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, declared his allegiance to Antifa in the heat of the protests this summer. During the prior hearing, Democratic senators refused to clearly denounce Antifa and falsely suggested that the far right was the primary cause of recent violence. Likewise, Joe Biden has dismissed objections to Antifa as just “an idea.”
What is striking is how Antifa rhetoric has become so prevalent as people claim that the act of silencing others is not only commendable or even itself a form of free speech. NBC quotes counter protester Shagoofa Khan as proudly declaring “We actually kicked them out.”
A local resident named said Carole Selignan is quoted as saying “We don’t need those types of people in San Francisco” while Kristina Lee said that this was “working class solidarity against that rhetoric that’s divisive and pits the working class against one another.” It was in fact an effort to prevent opposing views and voices from being heard. It is an example how free speech is now treated as itself a threat. That is right out of the Antifa Handbook.
Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook discusses what Antifa calls “self-defense,” including violence against police or anyone deemed a fascist. In a Washington Post opinion editorial criticizing President Trump’s attacks on Antifa as “delegitimizing militant protest,” Bray stated:
“I believe it’s true that most, if not all, members do wholeheartedly support militant self-defense against the police and the targeted destruction of police and capitalist property that has accompanied it this week. I’m also confident that some members of antifa groups have participated in a variety of forms of resistance during this dramatic rebellion.”
Antifa rejects the very foundation for free speech. Indeed, Antifa Handbook starts with the following quote from Buenaventura Durruti: “fascism is not to be debated, it is to be destroyed.”
84 thoughts on “Conservatives Attacked by BLM and Antifa Supporters In Effort To Hold Free Speech Rally In San Francisco”
Firstly, A bunch of thanks for sharing such valuable information with us. Actually, I was doing some research about anti-free speech movement in the United States & antifa initiatves. And I get landed over your article & it was too informative.
Jonathan: Over many columns you have argued that ANTIFA is the existential threat to free speech because of its “growing use of violence to shut down free speech events around the country”. This is all about misdirection–a way to avoid discussing the real threats to free speech from the right wing supporters of Donald Trump. One prime example is the plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan because they didn’t like her pandemic restrictions or her criticism of Trump’s policies. Then we have more recent cases. A Trump supporter, Alexander Treisman, was indicted back in September on child pornography charges and is now being charged with a plot to assassinate Joe Biden. Another 42 year old Maryland man was charged Wednesday with writing a letter threatening to kill Biden and Kamala Harris. Trump supporters are all over the country appearing at polling locations, intimidating voters. In Albuquerque Trump supporters intimidated voters at two polling locations in predominantly ethnic-minority neighborhoods. These are just a few of the many cases of voter intimidation and physical threats against Trump’s political opponents–just 10 days before the election. This is the real threat you ignore.
What an absolute load of crap. Antifa is straight violence and destruction. The right doesn’t give a piss what you say and we’re definitely not trying to take away a persons right to free speech. Furthermore, stop lying about Trump supporters posted at poles to intimidate voters. We already got warning that these fake stories would make the rounds. A false narrative that the left can use as basis of election interference accusations. So, don’t even try that BS here.
I am a white man in America. I self-identify as Jewish and with people of color. I do NOT “self-identify” with “white American.’ Does that make me black, that I self-identify as black? I also self-identify with Antifa’s anti-fascist goals. Does that make me Antifa? There comes a time when fascist forces gain too much power where “freedom of speech” is no longer the answer. Fascist forces here have talked endlessly about a violent war to establish their power. Are anti-fascists supposed to debate men with guns?
ANTIFA and its allies, donors, collaborators and CO CONSPIRATORS MUST BE CHARGE WITH CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE CIVIL RIGHTS
they have done this again and again and the weak corrupt FBI fails to build the case. or maybe waiting until later? hmmm why
“If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”
or DO CONSERVATIVES NOT ENJOY “EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAWS?”
Bold: Antifa bad, free speech good!
I certainly agree. Those who refuse to condemn Antifa violence are outliers. In case Biden’s view isn’t clear:
Each side is quicker to condemn violence perceived to be from the other side than that associated with their own side. There’s a danger of making extremist violence a partisan issue that way.
I haven’t followed these things closely, but Antifa and groups like the Proud Boys, Boogaloos, etc, seem to me to be very much alike in terms of the personalities of those involved. The ideology seems more or less accidental. They rely very much on each other for continual mutual provocations.
Rather like Fox and MSNBC, but physical instead of verbal. But there’s a plausible connection.
TNYT Magazine today has free speech as the long lead article. Well worth your time, Jonathan Turley.
Turley writes: “My greatest concern is that we need to take Antifa seriously as a virulent anti-free speech organization. There is a fair criticism of politicians who have refused to denounce the group or even support it. Former Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison, now the Minnesota attorney general, once said Antifa would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump. This was after Antifa had been involved in numerous acts of violence and its website was banned in Germany. His own son, Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, declared his allegiance to Antifa in the heat of the protests this summer. During the prior hearing, Democratic senators refused to clearly denounce Antifa and falsely suggested that the far right was the primary cause of recent violence. Likewise, Joe Biden has dismissed objections to Antifa as just “an idea.””
Let us concede for the sake of argument that Antifa represents authoritarian socialism, and it is infecting (best case) or doing the bidding (worst case) of the Democratic Party.
Have you endorsed a candidate in this election, Mr. Turley, will you remain silent, or are you undecided? I am having such a difficult time deciding that for this and other reasons I am inclined to abstain from voting this time around. I first learned about your work during Trump’s impeachment and I was very impressed. It is not clear to me as I read your blog (I have come to it only very recently) whether you think 1) the Biden-Harris ticket is consistent with a healthy move toward western multiparty socialism, and you are determined to prevent it from deteriorating into anti-intellectual authoritarian socialism, or 2) the Biden-Harris ticket has already fallen too far gone into anti-intellectual authoritarian socialism, and you are therefore backing Trump-Pence in 2020, despite imperfections in the first four years of their administration?
We can expect these groups to only get worse because they have no limits to their terror tactics and remain unchecked by the Left which actually deny their existence. Joe Biden said they are just an idea. That tells you he’ll use them to attack the right if, God forbid, he is elected. They are thugs.
Thank you for telling me Putin’s opinion.
That worn out dog won’t hunt. Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from the Moscow mayor’s wife.
‘The media spent years desperately trying to find some evidence that President Trump and his kids were profiting off of his office.
Now, they have proof that’s exactly what Joe Biden was doing as Vice President, and they won’t even report on it.’ @eddiezipperer
Some random opinion isn’t proof.
Linking to a Youtube video that makes a claim about a Senate report but doesn’t give the name or date of the report — that’s not proof.
Link to the report, and let’s see if it’s true.
Are you stupid? The video is from The NY Post , the oldest newspaper in our country and it was posted 3 weeks ago. It clearly states that. And if it wasn’t true Biden’s lawyer would sue them. But he can’t do that because ALL of the corruption would be aired.
P.S. You cannot sue the federal government for defamation. What do you think he would sue for?
Your IQ gets lower with every thing you say. Biden’s lawyer could have sued the NY Post if what they printed and posted wasn’t verified by their sources as true. He has never denied the story as untrue in the 3 weeks its been out.
He cannot sue a paper for repeating a statement in a government report unless he can show that the paper either knew it was false or was reckless. The NYP doesn’t have to independently verify that it’s true.
You’re awfully quick to insult my intelligence when you don’t even understand our defamation laws.
Listen child. I said yesterday I didn’t want to communicate with you anymore because you attacked my faith, but you keep changing your name as if you have multiple personalities. Your last reply was as ignorant as the rest.
I’m not your child, and multiple people post here anonymously, which you’d realize if you paid attention, since there are a wide variety of views posted anonymously, from extreme right to extreme left.
Instead of focusing on me, focus on the facts: it has been disputed by Hunter Biden’s lawyer on his behalf, it’s not sourced well in the Senate Report, and as a public figure, Biden cannot sue a paper for defamation unless he can show actual malice, which he cannot show with the Post, given that they were simply repeating what a Republican report said.
I didn’t say you were my child. Read the links you showed me. They say the response from Biden was not clear as to whether it was true or not. That’s not a denial. I called you child because you talk like a child.
You are lying about the different usernames too because others on here have made me aware of your usernames and your voice doesn’t change with a name change
From Snopes: “Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, refuted this claim, which the report describes as one of the investigation’s “key findings.” In a statement sent to Snopes, Mesires wrote: “The Senate report falsely alleges that Hunter Biden had a financial relationship with Russian businesswoman Yelena Baturina and that he received $3.5 million from Baturina. Hunter Biden was not a co-founder of Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC (“RST”) nor did he have an equity interest in RST, so the claim that he was paid $3.5 million is false.””
Where he said that the Senate report falsely alleges Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from Baturina — that’s a denial.
I think you’re the one acting childishly here.
As for others here telling you my “usernames,” do tell, what are the other ones? I’m curious who you’ve got me confused with.
Snopes’s myth busting can’t stop fantasy masquerading as fact either. It’s a for-profit business whose complete reliance on advertising exposes it to the same forces that stoke fakery: Survival requires more web traffic than debunking true urban legends can easily attract. And according to critics, Snopes is biased to the left.
WSJ June 2018
We don’t need fact-checking sites. They are a crutch for those needing a bailout. Take note of anyone citing them and ignore them in the future. They are admitting they aren’t capable of independent thought.
I’m aware of this particular person and the motives. A troll is a troll and that in itself makes them crave trying to be accepted as an extremely intelligent individual which they will never be.
All of which is irrelevant to the fact that they quoted Biden’s lawyer denying that it was true. Can you admit that?
Still waiting to hear the other names you think I’m posting other. Should be good for a chuckle.
I can admit that you’re eating out of the plate of a biased fact checking site which is only going to give answers the Left wants to hear.
Here’s a chuckle for you. You are getting very boring to me. And change your name all you want. I’ll ignore all your usernames
Phyllis, the anonymous commenter who posted the 10:03 PM comment is different from me, the person who has been discussing the Senate report with you. I don’t care whether you like Snopes or not. They quoted H. Biden’s lawyer, and it contradicts your claim about there having been no denial.
Just accept that you were wrong.
Also, his lawyer has denied it on his behalf.
I already gave you links to Snopes and Politifact articles quoting the lawyer. See my 8:03pm reply to you.
I posted another reply, but it’s not showing up, maybe because of the links, so here’s attempt #2…
No, I’m not stupid, and just because a news outlet makes a claim, that doesn’t guarantee that the claim is true.
Here are two different fact-checks for your claim, indicating that it’s not at all clear that it’s true:
FWIW, the NY Post isn’t the oldest paper in the country. Several are older, including The Hartford Courant.
Phyllis & FishWings:
Not that either of you said Putin’s opinion is necessarily wrong.
Scenario 1: Biden wins, right wing accepts the election results, Antifa fades away.
Scenario 2: Biden wins, right wing accepts the election results, Antifa and the hard left wing of BLM get even more disruptive. Biden defunds police departments and refuses to call in the National Guard. The right-wing responds with armed resistance.
Scenario 3: Trump wins, left wing accepts the election results. Antifa fades away.
Scenario 4: Trump wins, left wing contests the election results. Antifa and the hard left wing of BLM escalate disruption over the next four years. Trump strengthens police departments and calls in the National Guard. Right wing does not need to respond with armed resistance because POTUS does his job.
Scenario 5-20: Many more combinations of these few variables are possible.
What kind of scenario do you think is really most likely in the event of a Trump win? A Biden win?
Lest my previous comment sound too slanted against Biden, I should add:
Biden’s son Beau was in the National Guard.
“Biden praised the National Guard for its efforts over the past two decades, and in particular for recent months, when the Guard has deployed to stem the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect citizens and property amid civil unrest, all while continuing overseas missions and deploying in response to natural disasters.”
“Biden also bashed the president for his decision to require most states to pay for the ongoing Guard COVID-19 response and for diverting $1 billion in funding from the National Guard earlier to pay for a southwest border wall.”
I’m not Phyllis nor Fishwings nor the “other” Anonymous…..but this is my opinion —–>>>
Scenario 4: Trump wins, left wing contests the election results. Antifa and the hard left wing of BLM escalate disruption over the next four years.
Word of advice: get out of the cities and stay out of major cities on Election Day and thereafter as there will be violent protests, destruction, and unrest. Much like 2016 only worse.
I appreciate the opinion, Anonymous.
In support of a Trump win scenario: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/why-2016-election-polls-missed-their-mark/
I live between AOC (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
I imagine to be provocative was the motive for holding the well publicized event. It’s a G.O.P. strategy these last final hours to provoke violence. “Law and Order” says the man with pending indictments. An AG Andrew Cuomo possibility adds another layer of nightmare. Ergo, he’ll do anything now.
Their tolerance is breathtaking.
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