“Freedom of speech does not mean from consequences,” is an oft-regurgitated line on the illiberal left, who forget that laws against violent behavior exist to prohibit the silencing of political speech through violent means.
As trash fires burned and businesses were looted, the left celebrated violent efforts to silence Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay conservative firebrand whose event at UC Berkeley was canceled. Several Trump supporters were also injured in the chaos as rioters assaulted them with steel rods and used pepper spray to intimidate them.
Much of the violence was perpetrated by “Antifa”, self-styled anti-fascism activists who align with anarchism.
Following the late-night violence in Berkeley, vocal members of the progressive left took to social media to voice their support for the riot, dubbing it a legitimate resistance movement against the Trump administration.
Feminist film director Lexi Alexander, who has directed episodes of Arrow, Supergirl and American Gothic, encouraged rioters to set the campus on fire.
Her calls to “join the resistance” were echoed by comedian and actress Sarah Silverman, whose outspoken calls for violent insurrection have only escalated with each passing day.
CUNY Professor Angus Johnston justified the violence by downplaying the damage rioters caused and their physical attacks on Trump supporters and journalists. He encouraged others to participate.
Austin Walker, the Editor-in-Chief of VICE’s gaming website, wrote a long series of tweets where he framed the violence as the only possible option against “fascism,” a term many progressives use to describe Yiannopoulos’ positions against safe spaces and feminism. Contrary to Walker, Yiannopoulos has never framed genocide as a logical action.
His views reflect an article by Feminist Frequency affiliate Katherine Cross, who argued for the violent defense of progressive safe spaces in a piece titled “Why Punching Nazis Not Only Ethical, But Imperative.” In the article, which was written a day before the riot, Cross described Yiannopoulos as a Nazi.
Carolyn Petit, a current member of the Feminist Frequency non-profit celebrated the riot. She told rioters to give themselves a pat on the back as she urged them to keep fighting.
Spencer Crittenden, a producer on Dan Harmon’s TV shows including Rick and Morty and Community, described the Yiannopoulos speech as a “neonazi klan rally” and called the riot a “protest.”
Laci Green, the MTV and YouTube feminist personality, made a false equivalency between “broken bank windows” and a lot of other things.
Another prominent game journalist, Arthur Gies, explained how he wasn’t going to make a big deal out of “fascists being chased out on a rail.” He attempted to justify the violence by citing how violent the police were 40 years ago.
Polygon senior editor Ben Kuchera expressed support for the violence, saying it was okay to punch anyone who mocked safe spaces.
Hannah Jewell, a senior staff writer for Buzzfeed wrote “lmao berkeley” and followed it up with “all these pics of stuff on fire really bringing back the memories.” Memories of what, exactly? Nevermind, we don’t want to know.
Arthur Chu, the former Jeopardy contestant and perpetually “woke” male feminist ally invited his followers to cheer about the brutalization of a young woman, who was assaulted with pepper spray as she conducted an interview.
Chu also described Trump supporters as Nazis.
Salon.com politics writer and hardcore Hillary Clinton supporter Amanda Marcotte described the Trump supporters at Milo’s event as fascists.
The former NFL player who advocated for armed insurrection against the US government described the riot as “protesting,” downplaying the reality of Berkeley.
Leftists often talk about “going high” when the opposition “goes low,” but they’re not above inciting a riot to silence someone they disagree with. To the credit of UC Berkley, at least, they allowed Yiannopoulos on campus and had extra officers on duty in defense of his right to free speech.