The violence that stopped Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at the University of California, Berkeley this week happened after some incredibly irresponsible statements by university administrators and local politicians.
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin tweeted that Milo’s “hate speech” was not “welcome in our community.” UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said that the university not only opposed Milo’s views, but also his ostensibly harmful presence on campus.
Yet most of the blame must lie squarely with the rioters, who include Black Bloc anarchists and so-called “Antifa” (anti-fascist) activists, who exemplify the very fascism they supposedly want to resist.
These groups openly and explicitly declare their intention to disrupt public gatherings where conservatives — or, really, anyone they do not like for whatever reason — are scheduled to appear. They not only celebrate violence, but they come armed, masked, and prepared to fight and vandalize.
Were these groups merely showing up at events to protest — to express their views without silencing others — they would be perfectly entitled to do so. But lately, they have taken advantage of the timidity of the police — which they helped engineer, through their participation in the Black Lives Matter movement — to run amok, breaking up events and assaulting innocent people in full view of law enforcement officers and even the media. They are almost never pursued and never punished.
Consider this, from the Berkeley campus newspaper, the Daily Californian: while there were three arrests made Wednesday — two in connection with violence earlier in the day — there was only one arrest by campus police at the protest itself, despite the violence.