Monday April 26, 2021
Last year, I 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.” What was most striking about that hearing was the refusal of Democratic members to condemn Antifa’s activities or recognize the scope of anarchist violence even as riots raged in Portland, Oregon and other cities. Indeed, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, famously walked out of that hearing after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, challenged her to condemn Antifa and leftist violence.
Now, Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler who previously blamed former President Donald Trump and the federal government for violence is calling on citizens to stand up to the “self-described anarchist mob.” I am not sure why Wheeler added “self-described” but his belated recognition of the threat is still welcomed. He notably did not specifically condemn Antifa, including the homegrown and notoriously violent Rose City Antifa (RCA).
Wheeler called for the city’s residents to assist authorities in their efforts to “unmask” members of the “self-described anarchist mob” who continue to riot and loot in the city. Portland is in a state of emergency and riots have continued for years. Indeed, Democratic leaders in the city appear to have finally worked through all of the “stages of grieving” identified by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They began with denial and transference in blaming federal authorities and Trump for the violence. They then joined protesters in angry denunciations of the federal government is seeking an alliance.