What did the white supremacists think was going to happen?

So there was a little violence in Berkeley. Did these jokers really think they could come here and provoke a fight without getting one?

Rose Aguilar, the KALW radio show host, had the point right: On Facebook, she noted that “the white supremacists were tear gassed in Berkeley, and that’s going to be the news headline” — not the fact that 5,000 people peacefully marched against fascism and hate.

Peaceful protests in San Francisco

For the second day in a row, the Bay Area demonstrated that the hate-monger message wasn’t welcome. The outpouring of people power was impressive.

Of course, the the surprise of nobody who has been to East Bay demonstrations in the past five years, a few people jumped the fence around the park in Berkeley and went in to confront the far-right; the black bloc is going to do that sort of thing. There was some violence (but not as bad as we’ve seen in the past, thanks to Berkeley enforcing rules against guns, sticks, and knives). 

The news stations tonight all led with “violence in the streets of Berkeley,” because that’s what TV stations do. Most of the actual protesters were peaceful, but that’s not what makes headlines. 

I am not condoning violence against the alt-right (although they are espousing a violent ideology). But it was entirely predictable. 

That’s why it’s such a bad idea — and an open provocation — for these folks to come to Berkeley itching for a fight.

All I can say to Joey Gibson and his gang is: What did you expect? You come into a town that is known for tolerance and progressive values with a message of intolerance and you try to start a fight — and you’re likely to get one. 

Don’t go whining to the press about how the left won’t let you speak; you got plenty of press this weekend. The right-wingers weren’t there to exercise free speech; they were there to antagonize the rest of us, to try to create a violent scene so they can then blame the left.

The best way for them to avoid violence was not to show up in the first place. 

Get a clue — your hate isn’t welcome here. Don’t come back. We’ll all be better off.


  1. "What did you expect? You come into a town that is known for tolerance
    and progressive values with a message of intolerance and you try to
    start a fight — and you’re likely to get one." LOLz – the level of cognitive dissonance in that statement is staggering. It's hilarious how Tim doesn't even see that either.

  2. KQED estimates the Berkeley crowd at 7000, with some 500 dressed as Antifa (black clothing, kerchiefs)_.

    One caller on Forum stated she saw one of the Antifa with a bandana that said "1776", and wonders if alt-white actors are mingling in the mayhem.

    In my opinion, Antifa gives the Bay Area – and lefties by association – a bad image. I don't think its necessary to include them in either resistance or standing up for principles. Continuing to shelter them is a tactical and strategic mistake.

  3. What the likes of Joey Gibson expected was what they got in past violent alt-right rallies in Berkeley and, as one other example, Charlottesville. Joey and his goons thought they could go on bullying communities with their violence, using the thinly inadequate cover of free speech.

    Joeys Prayer Patriots cancelled their supposedly big Presidio rally as soon as the Nat'l Park Service made it clear no weapons would be admitted into the rally. And once Berkeley posted that no weapons would be allowed in their Civic Center Park or the surrounding streets, the alt right mostly bailed.

    I guess Joey is a moron. I guess he showed up in Berkeley having forgotten that Berkeley is full of smart people who were not going to tolerate another "Battle of Berkeley" with alt righters macing people, using leaded sticks, etc.

    I saw Joey running around like a chicken with his head cut off in our Civic Center Park, as he was chased by folks yelling 'nazi go home'. Instead of just leaving, he ran back and forth for awhile, screaming 'free speech'. Threats of violence are not free speech – threats of violence is a crime in itself. Berkeley cops 'arrested' Joey to save him from the crowd, removing him from the park but not actually arresting him.

    I can't help but take a moment to savor Based Stickman (Kyle Chapman)'s court order prohibiting him from coming within 300 feet ot Berkeley's Civic Center Park. The three-time felon has taken to giving brag speeches about what he characterized as "The battles of Berkeley".

    One thing about the Berkeley rally that still bugs me: the antifa crowd. They did not appear out of no where. They embedded themselves in anti-hate rallies and as those rallies marched to the park, they pulled out their masks and some body armor — they morphed into black masked antifa as they got near the park barricades, putting on thier masks right in front of all the cops standing around doing nothing — cops who claimed to have made a "strategic decision' to let the antifa break through the barricades.

  4. "The right-wingers…were there to antagonize the rest of us, to try to create a violent scene so they can then blame the left."

    Exactly. These are media events to create a alt-fact narrative myth for recruitment and organizational cohesiveness. There's no way to prevent people from generating and spreading lies and misinformation. Ensuring quality education and teaching critical thinking skills is the only way the vast majority of public will routinely seriously question information they encounter and disbelieve what doesn't pass that scrutiny.

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