When a group of black bloc “protesters” arrived over the weekend at a Fort Collins, Colorado, neighborhood that was hosting a pro-police rally, the locals turned back the troublemakers. It wasn’t a particularly vicious encounter. But it was a foretaste. We’ll be seeing more violence in our streets unless elected leaders start doing their jobs.
Everyday Americans, seeing the savagery committed without consequence by Antifa, and in the name of Black Lives Matter, are fed up. They’ve seen the looting, the destruction, the assaults, and the death that the “mostly peaceful” demonstrators are leaving behind. They understand the difference between constitutional, peaceful protests and barbaric riots that are intended to destabilize and crack apart our society and Western civilization. And they’ve watched elected officials not only approve of the violence but in some cases encourage it.
But if those elected officials don’t soon take back the streets from the criminals, everyday Americans might soon do the job for them. We leave it to columnist and Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson to make this point far more eloquently than we can:
There will be a counterrevolution because without one there is not much of America left. And about 250 million people liked the America prior to March 1 and finally, in extremis, won’t so easily give it up.
In addition to law enforcement supporters in Fort Collins forcefully marching the “protesters” out of their neighborhood, a 77-year-old Portland woman pleaded last week “with anti-police protesters to stop the destructive vandalism amid weeks of unrest in the city – only to have paint dumped over her head,” according to the New York Post. She said she “just got heated under the collar” and felt she had to defend her neighborhood.
Over the weekend, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s neighbors, some with guns, challenged a menacing-looking dressed-in-black group that appeared to be “walking in the direction” of the chief’s home.
“Neighbors worried what might come next,” the media reported.
Police Chief Best might have been able to make a difference early on had she not been handcuffed by politicians. Now she has no chance. Best announced her resignation Monday evening, effective Sept. 2, after the Seattle City Council voted to reduce the police force by as many as 100 officers, and cut its budget, as well as the salaries of Best and other high-ranking officers.
As unpleasant as things appear to be now, they will only grow worse if elected officials continue to pretend the violence and destruction is part of 2020’s “summer of love.” Street justice will be meted out summarily by Americans weary of riotous mobs destroying, swarming and assaulting innocents, illegally (and menacingly) blocking streets and sidewalks, wrecking public and private property, and, in some cases, killing. It will be a regrettable chapter in our history.
In fact, the introduction has already been written:
- In late July, weeks after the riots began, Best sent a letter to business owners and residents, telling them that a city ordinance restricting police operations to control crowds “gives officers no ability to safely intercede to preserve property in the midst of a large, violent crowd.”
- The Portland Police Association has told Mayor Ted Wheeler and District Attorney Mike Schmidt, another prosecutor who appears to be in office to avoid prosecuting crimes, that if city hall continues its laissez faire policy toward riots, “Portland is lost.”
- Meanwhile, “a record number” of retirements appears to be running through the Portland Police Bureau. There are multiple factors behind the departures, says PJ Media’s Victoria Taft, but “on balance, it’s the riots and attacks on police officers and budgetary ‘defund the police’ antics that have demoralized the cops, causing them to get out.”
- One-third of the force in Minneapolis, where George Floyd died in police custody, might leave “by the end of the year with no replacements in sight,” reports HotAir.
The pullbacks not only embolden rioters, they encourage other felonious behavior.
“In two cities where the police have pulled back from urban areas, they’ve been replaced by armed gangs demanding protection money, increased violence and, yes, prejudice against people who ‘don’t belong,’” law professor and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds wrote in Tuesday’s USA Today.
When law enforcement won’t or can’t do the job, then it falls to others. We can almost guarantee that when civilians impose sentences on the rioters, the outlaws will be treated much more brutally than if the police were keeping the peace. It won’t be pretty but it will be effective.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board