There was some good news for Boston police and all Americans in a Boston courtroom where Judge Thomas Horgan told three protestors charged with assaulting police during an Antifa protest of the Straight Pride Parade in the city on Saturday to “Stay out of Boston” while they await their next court appearance in November.
In another courtroom, Judge Richard Sinnott denied requests from prosecutors — yes, you read that right, prosecutors — to dismiss charges against seven others arrested on lesser charges.
All of this came one day after the head of the Boston police union urged prosecutors and the city to take seriously the incidents this weekend in which 36 counter protesters were arrested. “We’re very happy with the judge’s decision,” said Larry Calderone, a representative of the Boston Police Patrolmen Association.
The judges’ actions were wholly appropriate but out of step with the lax way Boston city officials seemed to address Saturday’s events, and with the city of Portland, Oregon’s repeated failures to keep dangerous Antifa protestors in check. But it turns out Boston ain’t Portland.
One thing should be made clear: the Straight Pride Parade, which attracted a whopping 200 attendees, compared to more than 600 protestors, is a stupid event meant only to provoke angry opposition. Its grand marshal, Milo Yiannopoulos, is a consummate grifter who makes his money and reputation stoking anger in young men by convincing them they are being oppressed.
The 200 lost souls marching through Boston on some kind of supposed “straight pride” agenda, while following the flamboyantly gay Milo, are a pathetic bunch that should be ignored. Pointing at rare examples of anti-straight rhetoric, like a recent NBC news story arguing that heterosexuality may be obsolete, they decry their supposed oppression, but they really are trolls looking for attention that the counter protesters, including Antifa, foolishly gave them.
But hey, if people want to spend their actual lives in the equivalent of a daylong argument with anonymous Twitter trolls, it’s their dime. What crosses the line is violent or criminal activity. What crosses it further is violent activity directed at police.
Antifa, the darlings of many useful idiots on the left, often target police with their rhetoric, angrily and baselessly accusing officers of defending fascists instead of fighting against them. But they have friends in high places. Both Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ayanna Pressley had nothing but praise for these thugs accused of assaulting police, even urging followers to donate to their legal funds.
The disgraceful pass that too many on the left give to Antifa in this situation is wrong for many reasons, but two stand out. First of all, Antifa are not modern-day stormers of the beaches at Normandy, trying to stamp out some growing trend of fascism in the United States. They are in fact, generally privileged, entitled, totalitarian anarchists (yes, that’s a thing) who want to shut down the speech of anyone they disagree with. They accept and espouse violence as an appropriate method for their activism. They are criminals and thugs.
But the more important reason in this case is that the target of their violence was police officers. There aren’t a lot of jobs in civilian American life in which people literally have to put their lives on the line and wonder if they will be going home after their shift. Being a cop is one of them. Our duty as a society, the duty of our government, is to protect them to the best of our ability.
That prosecutors would seek dismissal of charges against those accused of being involved in the mischief of putting police at risk, and that congresswomen would applaud them, is extremely disturbing. The men and women of our nation’s police forces, who represent every possible demographic group our wonderfully diverse society has, deserve better. They deserve respect.
The judges in Boston did the right thing. Hopefully this will become a growing trend and Antifa will learn that their violent antics won’t simply be put up with because of a wrongheaded and simplistic notion that they are on the right side of history.
It is happily ironic that Horgan told them to stay out of Boston, as one of Antifa’s common rallying cries is that those they protest against aren’t welcome in the cities they claim to be defending. Not this time, Antifa. Boston cops and Boston judges are right to demand you have your day in court. Let’s hope more cities do the same.