Pelosi Condemns Alt-Left Brownshirts After Inciting Them to Violence Against Anti-Supremacist Trump Supporters
Possibly fearing legal action against her and other elected officials who labeled a group of anti-white-supremacist Trump supporters as "white supremacists," former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi disavowed the self-styled "anti-fascist" group Antifa in a press release, while still implying that the group, Patriot Prayer, was a "hate" group.
"We must never fight hate with hate" said Pelosi, even though it was her characterization of Patriot Prayer which helped rally the masked attackers against Patriot Prayer. Patriot Prayer has strongly and repeatedly denounced KKK, white supremacists, Nazis, and other racist ideologies, and stated that it does not welcome them into their midst.
The group describes its mission as uniting moderates against extremists on both the left and the right in favor of civil debate and discussion. Its founder, Joey Gibson, was chased through the streets of Berkeley last Sunday by masked men wielding clubs and pepper spray intended to blind him before an assault.
Gibson, alternately backing away with his hands in the air and running, eventually found a police line, with the help of friend who helped guide the retreat. Gibson crashed through the police line to safety, taking refuge behind the line.
Attackers managed to beat Gibson with clubs and sticks as he ran. Today he displayed extensive red marks and bruises on his torso which left little doubt that, had his attackers caught him, they intended to beat him to death.
Pelosi's statement read in part:
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts. The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”
However, last month, Pelosi made a statement which was sure to draw "Antifa," which is short for "anti-fascists." The word-play has struck many as ironic, since one firm characteristic of fascism is the tactic of silencing one's opponents by violence, something "Antifa" proudly admits to. Antifa critics on the Internet liken the group more to "Alt-Left Brownshirts," since the group espouses an anarcho-Marxist ideology.
Patriot Pray's Joey Gibson is chased by "Antifa" in Berkeley
In a press release before a scheduled Patriot Prayer rally, which was to feature mostly Black and minority speakers, and even one transgender Trump supporter, Pelosi labeled them as a group of "white supremacists." Knowing Antifa's well-reported history of violence, some say, it is impossible that Pelosi could not have foreseen the consequences, and used incendiary language in an attempt to shut down the rally.
Patriot Prayer founder Gibson did cancel the rally, citing fears for the safety of participants and onlookers.
However, Gibson announced on the Patriot Prayer Facebook that he would be in Berkeley the next day, Sunday, in an attempt to conduct dialogue with "normal people."
At another rally in Boston this month in which generally pro-Trump participants strongly denounced white supremacists, KKK, and other racist ideologies, the local media had similarly labeled the rally alternately using the terms "white supremacists," "alt-right," and "far-right." The coverage spurred a massive counter-protest of 40,000 people, including "Antifa" which engaged in violence with police when they could not get at the ralliers. A mixed-race rally of conservatives held up signs, to no avail because they were too far away to be seen by the crowd, saying "Black Lives Matter."
As described by the Anti-Defamation League, "alt-right" thought includes believing that Seth Rich was murdered by the DNC, or that there is a highly placed paedophile ring operating out of Washington, DC, frequently referred to as "Pizzagate."
This week, reports by the ACLU, CNN, and the New York Times asked questions about some police departments' role in creating conditions at protests and counter-protests which are ripe for violence.