What should a Mayor do when his city is besieged by fascist thugs who won’t let other people speak freely?
Would your answer be that the Mayor should tell the people who speak freely to take a hike, thus leaving the city to the fascist thugs?
If so, you have a happy home in Berkeley, California.
From the “you can’t make this stuff up” file, via excerpts from Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross’s article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle:
In the aftermath of a right-wing rally Sunday that ended with anarchists chasing attendees from a downtown park, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin urged UC Berkeley on Monday to cancel conservatives’ plans for a Free Speech Week next month to avoid making the city the center of more violent unrest.
“I don’t want Berkeley being used as a punching bag,” said Arreguin, whose city has been the site of several showdowns this year between, on the one hand, the left and its fringe anarchist wing, and on the other, supporters of President Trump who at times have included white nationalists.
“I am concerned about these groups using large protests to create mayhem,” Arreguin said. “It’s something we have seen in Oakland and in Berkeley.”
The mayor wants UC Berkeley to halt plans by a conservative campus group, the Berkeley Patriot, to host right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos during its scheduled Free Speech Week from Sept. 24-27. Berkeley’s right-vs.-left cage matches began with an appearance that Yiannopoulos was to have made in February at a campus hall, an event that was aborted when black-clad anarchists like those who broke up Sunday’s downtown rally stormed into Sproul Plaza, smashed windows and set bonfires.
So far, Berkeley’s brilliant Mayor, jesse arreguin, has managed to do absolutely nothing to stop the fascist thugs who, with a profound sense of perversity, call themselves “antifa” – as in anti-fascist, as in anti what they are – from wreaking havoc on his city, because they want to shut down speech they disagree with.
And instead of denouncing the violent, destructive fascists, he effectively sides with them.
This puts arreguin in the same boat with leaders of places with similar attitudes toward free speech, like North Korea and Cuba (which, arreguin’s attitude being what it is, he might take as a compliment).
Political conservatives will be attacked by violent thugs if they dare speak, so shut down the political conservatives and hand a default victory to the violent thugs? If that isn’t one for the “you can’t make this stuff up” file, I give up.