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The Donald and the Siege of Chicago

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It strikes me that this kind of thing is likely to get worse before it gets better.

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  • postmodulator

    And, once again, I was supposed to be in Chicago tonight. I’m actually not sure if I’m sorry I missed it.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Trust me, you don’t want to be in Chicago for a riot. Trust me its more entertaining from a safe distance away and with a strong drink in your hand.

      • DocAmazing

        A cocktail, but not Molotov?

      • postmodulator

        I likely would have been in Evanston.

        • ThrottleJockey

          My favorite place outside the city.

      • jsba

        A “riot”? Lol, is that serious? If so: good lord. Are people really this uncomfortable with actual popular politics? Particularly given this historical context? Makes me think the anti-democratic rot runs really deep in contemporary American culture…

      • Alexander OConnor

        Trust me this was hardly a “riot”. But more than 2 angry browns get together and its a “riot”.

      • JL

        As the common directed-at-police chant (or one of its variants, anyway) goes, “I don’t see a riot here / What’s with the riot gear?”

        What riot are you talking about?

    • Alexander OConnor

      Well which was was it supposed to be Chicago or Evanston? I could have been in either I was in Chicago.

  • T.E. Shaw

    LMAO at the commentators trying to blame this on the “professional left.” When you take this demagogic circus to a large college campus that’s only about 40% white within a city that has a history of community organizing, what did you think was going to happen? They didn’t exactly have to bus people in from across the country.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Word to Trump: Obama still owns Chicago!

      Go back and make New York great again sucka!!

    • Darkrose

      I was shocked that he’d scheduled a rally for the UIC Pavillon. My high school was next door to UIC, and while I think the projects across the street are gone, it’s still not a part of town that I’d think would be Trump-friendly.

      • Alexander OConnor

        It has changed quite a bit. No scary brown projects across the street.

      • ThrottleJockey

        You’re a Chicagoan, Rose? I always thought there was something extra special cool about you. (Other than the nym I mean :-)

  • g-rant

    I’m sure the principled libertarians at popehat, reason, etc. are terribly offended at the liberals and sjws destroying freedom of speech.

  • N__B

    Back to back articles on Gawker: one on this event, and one on open-carry freakazoids at SXSW. I’m getting in one of my “we need to be culled” moods.

    • Murc

      The SXSW thing is just sad. It’s like they think the Secret Service is just going to let them walk in strapped.

      And this isn’t even some weird legal gray area, where you can make an argument like “an public speech in an open-carry state should expect some number of gun-toters.” Federal law explicitly gives the Secret Service the right to ban guns at any Presidential event it damn well wants. (I’ve seen people squawk about getting that overturned but not even a court of nine Alito’s would do that.)

      • ThrottleJockey

        And fortunately we don’t need to worry any longer about a Court of 9 Scalias…But geez, I feel sorry Satan right now. Can you imagine having to put up that asshole’s whining for all eternity?

        • Darkrose

          Whoa. That’s quite the image. I can just see Satan like, “Can we send him to Purgatory forever? Seriously, I don’t get paid enough for this shit.”

          • Malaclypse

            All the more reason to just give the key to Morpheus.

      • Hogan

        Federal law

        Well there’s your problem–as Cliven Bundy has reminded us, that’s not an actual thing.

        • Murc

          Bundy has been getting increasingly incoherent as he tries to decide on a PR strategy. When he’s speaking to his bands of loons, its all “fed’ral gummint has no authoritah.” When it comes time to face an actual judge, suddenly its all “no, see, this is just a protest on my part, civil disobedience to try and get the federal government to turn over all that land to the states.”

          It’s sad because he’s just smart enough to grasp the courts won’t buy his cockamamie “no authority higher than a sheriff” bullshit but doesn’t actually understand how things like protests actually work.

  • Sue.K.Mabels

    reporting from the ugly dregs of the internet: these protesters are all fascists oppressors (so the cops should be beating the shit out of all of them) and ‘stifling’ Trump’s free speech rights, which you can hear audio of him angrily denouncing via a social media link to a large corporate cable tv news network’s video clip.

    The gulf between realities can’t take much more.

    • Warren Terra

      “Mister, We Could Sure Use A Guy Like Richard Daley Again”

    • Nobdy

      Nothing says “anti-fascism” like a bunch of cops in riot gear cracking some minority skulls.

  • Mike in DC

    Something something wind, something something whirlwind.

    • N__B

      Picture whirled peas, blowing like dust in the wind.

      • tsam

        You don’t pea in the wind.

        • N__B

          No, but penguins do! Run rings around you logically!

          • Warren Terra

            Penguins do not pee. Being birds, and possessed of a cloaca, they are incapable of micturation as such.

            • N__B

              You have failed this portion of your Monty Python exam and will not be receiving a secret decoder ring.

    • Brian Schmidt

      I agree with that sowing and reaping, but it doesn’t make it right to shut down somebody from giving a speech.

      I’d be interested in what Scott and the L parts of LGM have to say – not sure they’d agree with some of the commenters here.

      • Ronan

        Well you didn’t ask, but following a twitter argument based on a seperate though related event, I laid out my thoughts in comments here

        http://www.michaelnugent.com/2016/02/09/street-thuggery/

        • Origami Isopod

          So not surprised to see Michael Nugent tone-trolling antifa protestors.

          • Ronan

            I’d never heard of him before he showed up in in my twitter feed literally predicting the end of democracy. A pain in the arse of a man, though admittedly I should get off twitter.

            • Origami Isopod

              Yeah, if you’re trying to avoid PitAs, Twitter isn’t the place to go.

      • JL

        I don’t know what the L parts of LGM think of this, but I’m not sure why the fact that they’re the L parts would matter here, because there’s no constitutional issue involved in private citizens yelling at each other or showing up unwanted to each other’s rallies. Or even shouting down a speech, not that that appears to be what actually happened here, since Trump didn’t even take the stage. As I’ve said elsewhere in this thread, you can argue that there are ethical/political principles around the expression of speech that should be applicable here, but they are separate from the First Amendment.

  • Steve LaBonne

    I’m proud of Chicago. I can only hope that Cleveland can do as well tomorrow.

    • I hope Cleveland does as well in July during the Trump coronationconvention.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Even the Browns aren’t as sorry a show as that will be.

    • Hercules Mulligan

      Oh shit. It’s going to be terrifying. I was really looking forward to trying to attend the convention this summer, but now I’m rethinking.

      • Brenda Johnson

        I work in downtown Cleveland. There is no escape for me.

    • royko

      I’m not sure I want to see how Trump’s supporters respond to — and escalate — this.

      • Brian Schmidt

        I agree. That’s another reason not to celebrate what just happened.

    • Brenda Johnson

      Cleveland will probably be nothing like Chicago, if for no other reason than the location of the venue. The IX Center is a stand-alone event center way out in the exurbs (it used to be a tank factory), and is accessible only by freeway. You also have to get through the paid parking booths in order to get into the event location.

      • N__B

        So your saying it will more closely resemble the first scene in 28 Weeks Later?

        • Ahuitzotl

          Tank Factory? it’ll be Stalingrad all over again. With luck.

      • Brenda Johnson

        For those who like visual references, here’s an aerial view: http://www.aboveallohio.com/images/stock/big/aerial_view_IX_center_cleveland_airport.jpg

        • Wow, that’s ugly.

          • DrDick

            The perfect location for a Trump rally on every level!

        • patrick II

          It’s almost as if they have been expecting trouble before now and always planned to keep the the uninvited away.

      • Lee Rudolph

        (it used to be a tank factory)

        Oh, wow. The summer of 1966, after my first year of college, I had a job delivering ball bearings, and I delivered out there more than once. Then after I was laid off from that job, I got a job delivering telegrams (by bicycle) downtown, and once (on my way up in an elevator; no, the bike was parked down on the street) I was thumbing through the pile in my hand (they weren’t in envelopes) and saw something about a investigation of financial shenanigans at the tank plant. I thought of tipping off the Press and the Plain Dealer but decided it wasn’t worth the risk. I got laid off from that job, too. And I never saw anything about the shenanigans in the news, so maybe it was a damp squib.

  • NewHavenGuy

    Not sure if the Trump thing is Fascism exactly, but this is exactly how to confront it.

    Organize, surround them, make it real clear that they aren’t welcome. Make them leave.

    Be prepared for violence, too. Whether that’s early SNCC prepared or BPP prepared is up to you and your conscience.

    And naw, don’t want to hear absolutist nonsense about free speech. (Leave that to the ACLU, they’re good at defending fascists when not too busy flacking for big tobacco or abandoning labor rights.) Trump got to speak live on all three cable “news” networks tonight, he isn’t being silenced and no it’s not chilling.

    When the brownshirts AREN’T outnumbered and intimidated is when things get bad.

    • DocAmazing

      I was at Berkeley when Jeane Kirkpatrick was shouted down (and whined about it the next day at a giant press conference) and the whole respectable world whined about Those Totalitarian Leftists.

      The classics never go out of style, but that’s no reason to pay them any mind.

      • DrDick

        To paraphrase the classic, polite leftists seldom make history.

    • Alexander OConnor

      Yes, confronting evil is rarely pretty.

      • DrDick

        But always necessary.

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

      Not sure if the Trump thing is Fascism exactly, but this is exactly how to confront it.

      Maybe. My alternative take is that Trump has, yet again, played us all.
      Think about how he has run his whole campaign — in his speech declaring his candidacy, he said things that many thought would torpedo his candidacy right out of the gate, but that actually allowed him to suck up all the media attention and jump into the lead in the polls. He has been using similar tactics to fall upwards ever since.
      What are the chances he decided to hold a rally (i) in a city known for protests, (ii) at a university that is majority-minority, and then (iii) cancelled this rally despite assurances (assuming they are telling the truth) from the Chicago PD that things were under control.
      It seems to me that he is just up to his old tricks, we are all playing along, and this incident will get him that much closer to the nomination.

      • Happy Jack

        If you’re betting the farm on the white vote, there’s no better GOTV than pictures of blacks “rioting” and punching whites.

        • DrDick

          Except it was the whites doing the punching.

  • Murc

    Well this was just a shitshow all around.

    • This is what you get with someone like Trump, threatening people and promoting violence like he does.

      • royko

        Yeah. In terms of ideology, Cruz scares me more than Trump, but all this fascist/nativist stuff Trump keeps stoking is terrifying.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I have no doubt that Cruz is cut from the same cloth, just more cunning in what he wears in public.

          • If “cunning about what he wears in public” translates to “doesn’t exhort his followers into imminent violence,” then he should be able to give his speeches without shut-em-down level protests.

            It’s not about whether we like the political vision.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Maybe, maybe not. Once upon a time there were some tree huggers who chained themselves to trees in order to save the forests. I wasn’t mad at them.

              Its my belief that Cruz represents as genuine threat to our personal safety as does Trump. I see no reason to spare him.

              Rubio and Kasich? Their ideology is toxic but they’re qualitatively different than Cruz and Trump.

              • If Cruz was a threat like Trump, people would be getting attacked at Cruz rallies as at Trump rallies.

                He is closer to Trump than Rubio or Kasich, though, I’ll agree with that.

                • DrDick

                  I have to agree with TJ for once. Cruz, and the people he represents, really is much more frightening than Trump. They are dominonists who would make the Taliban look liberal.

                • I think we’re talking about two different things.

                  Cruz’s policies would be worse than Trump’s, I agree.

                  But nobody is getting punched in the face at Ted Cruz rallies. Nobody is beating up homeless Latino guys and citing Ted Cruz as their inspiration, as happened up here a few weeks ago with some Donald Trump supporters.

                  There is more to politics than policy. There is also politics as mass movement.

                • To put it another way, Donald is injecting and encouraging more, more overt, and more unconstrained violence into everyday campaigning, and at a mob level.

                  There are several deep concerns to be had about this from the immediate (people are getting hurt) to long term (how does this affect system stability).

                  Cruz injected and encouraged fairly extreme violence (or attempts to) into ordinary governing (eg shut down). This is rather different than the sort of street violence Donald is working with. It could be hugely damaging but may be more controllable (hard to say).

                  So they are clearly different kinds of threat. Donald might be Cruz dangerous at governing, but we haven’t seen him in action yet.

      • Murc

        I kind of feel like it should be possible to simultaneously hold the opinion “Trump is running the fascist playbook, it’s appalling, and we should all be ashamed and angry” as well as “when someone takes the time to book out a venue and follow all appropriate laws and regulations, that should be respected and they should be allowed to do their thing.”

        Judging by the rest of the thread, this is an unpopular opinion, but I’m gonna just come right out and say that merely being a fascist doesn’t mean the rules don’t apply to you. When Trumps brownshirts force some liberal rallies to be cancelled because they storm the place and raise a ruckus, rendering it unsafe (when, not if; that’s going to happen) we’ll all be outraged, and correctly so.

        • I’m curious as to when you think it is appropriate for citizens to stand up and resist fascist rallies?

          • Murc

            The guys outside the venue apparently managed that amazingly.

            Fascist rallies are constitutionally protected expressions of free speech, precisely the same as liberal or leftist rallies are. And they should be. It’s entirely appropriate and, indeed, a strong moral duty to protest them; it’s quite another thing to take the tack of “this speech I don’t like shouldn’t be permitted and I’m gonna take steps to make it not happen.”

            I realize you don’t give a shit about content-neutral speech rights, Erik. You’ve made that very clear. This is an ideological difference between us.

            • Well, I am going to support doing what is necessary to save this country from right-wing racial violence. I’m glad you feel good about protecting your principles. Meanwhile, people are actually doing something useful.

              • LeoFromChicago

                So you would deny their right to free speech when the issue is whether or not they can have a rally?

                Funny how the real civil rights activism (or lack thereof) comes out of the woodwork at times like this.

                Murc is completely correct to bring up the point of what if the shoe were on the other foot.

            • Jordan

              No, thats not what you said. You said “that should be respected and they should be allowed to do their thing”

              Fuck that. They should not be respected nor allowed to do their own thing when you are talking about protesters. What Trump is doing shouldn’t be illegal, but it should not be respected, nor should it be “allowed” to happen without protest.

              • Murc

                No, thats not what you said.

                It absolutely is.

                What Trump is doing shouldn’t be illegal, but it should not be respected,

                It shouldn’t be respected in the sense of “this is a socially respectable endeavor, like helping the poor or talking about genuine rights issues.”

                It should be respected in the sense of “even vile specimens should be allowed to be vile without being shouted down.” I actually do believe that.

                nor should it be “allowed” to happen without protest.

                I agree fully.

                • Jordan

                  It absolutely is.

                  No it isn’t. You said

                  ““when someone takes the time to book out a venue and follow all appropriate laws and regulations, that should be respected and they should be allowed to do their thing.”

                  That is *completely* different from “Fascist rallies are constitutionally protected expressions of free speech, precisely the same as liberal or leftist rallies are. And they should be”

                  I agree that these rallies are constitutionally protected. This has nothing to do with whether they should be respected (they shouldn’t) or they should be allowed to do their own thing (they shouldn’t).

                  It should be respected in the sense of “even vile specimens should be allowed to be vile without being shouted down.” I actually do believe that.

                  I disagree completely. This type of thing should absolutely be shouted down, over and over again. There is nothing virtuous in letting vile hatred be spewed unopposed.

                • Murc

                  I disagree completely. This type of thing should absolutely be shouted down, over and over again.

                  If it were to become a commonly held view that rights are contingent upon the ideological standpoint of those exercising them, you might at some point in the future become unpleasantly surprised at the people shouting you down and nobody giving a shit.

                • They are already doing that, by hitting and beating people at his rallies that don’t support him.

                • Jordan

                  If it were to become a commonly held view that rights are contingent upon the ideological standpoint of those exercising them, you might at some point in the future become unpleasantly surprised at the people shouting you down and nobody giving a shit.

                  What Loomis said, but also: what? I’m not talking about any legally enforceable rights, as I think we’re agreed there. So is it the “right” to say whatever you feel like no matter what without strong opposition in any situation? That is no right I want for myself, and it absolutely isn’t a right I’d extend to fucking fascists.

              • DrDick

                Exactly!

            • Alexander OConnor

              There is absolutely no 1st amendment issue here. Sit down and shut up.

            • DrDick

              They have a right to gather and to speak. The protesters have an equal right to do so. Nobody here, except maybe the protesters, had their first amendment rights challenged, as the government took no action against them. The first amendment does not shield you from criticism and vocal opposition,

          • NewHavenGuy

            What is “categorically always and forever”, Alex?

        • Jordan

          when someone takes the time to book out a venue and follow all appropriate laws and regulations, that should be respected and they should be allowed to do their thing.

          Why in the world do you think that? Because they filed the appropriate forms?

          If they are fascists, or fascist-lite, they need to be opposed. What is the possible rationale for: “ya, they followed the correct procedures, they should be allowed to do their thing without opposition”?

          When Trumps brownshirts force some liberal rallies to be cancelled because they storm the place and raise a ruckus, rendering it unsafe (when, not if; that’s going to happen) we’ll all be outraged, and correctly so.

          Yes. Because they are fascists.

        • DocAmazing

          There’s a big difference between a ruckus and assault and battery, and Trump’s fans appear to have no problem with the latter.

          I’m starting to hear echoes of people who watch riot cops busting heads and then complain about the Black Bloc.

          • Murc

            I’m starting to hear echoes of people who watch riot cops busting heads and then complain about the Black Bloc.

            It’s not possible to think that the riot cops busting heads are fascist thugs and should be doing hard time, and that the black bloc are a bunch of dilletante goons who shouldn’t be smashing up shops in the name of their bullshit “anarchism?”

            • DocAmazing

              Maybe, but focusing on the lesser problem to the point of ignoring–or even making excuses for–the greater problem is definitely not helpful, however common it may be.

              • Murc

                I find nothing to disagree with in this statement.

            • JL

              and that the black bloc are a bunch of dilletante goons who shouldn’t be smashing up shops in the name of their bullshit “anarchism?”

              It’s a myth that black bloc-ers are always busting up shops. I’ve been at I don’t even know how many protests where the black bloc did no such thing. There’s such a thing as a protective black bloc that goes out front to act as a shield between police and, say, families. There’s such a thing as a black bloc that simply acts as cover for people who are afraid of being photographed and losing their jobs, afraid of police targeting them for sexual harassment because they’re women, and so on. There are also black blocs that do tactics that are escalated but not breaking windows, like cutting kettling nets or removing barricades so that protesters can get out of an area.

              I also think, like DocAmazing, that people who focus on the black bloc are focusing on the wrong problem.

              • Agreed, but this also speaks to the effectiveness of such tactics.

                Anti-black-bloc propaganda was pretty effective including amongst progressives.

                As you wrote elsewhere, effective protests often provoke a negative reaction *even from people who nominally agree with the goals of the protest*.

                It’s very frustrating!

                • JL

                  It’s very frustrating!

                  Don’t I know it.

                  The big march outside the NATO Summit in Chicago in 2012 – the one that I have talked about here before because it got smashed up at the end and left me with some psych damage – had a protective black bloc, that had advertised itself before the march as a protective black bloc. They broke zero windows. During the march they pulled a photographer who was about to be dragged off by the police, to safety, which led to a round of police shoving and baton-swinging during which I almost got hit in the face with a baton (I was medicking in that section). The march’s own marshals were hassling black bloc-ers under the assumption that they were there to break things, despite the fact that they had advertised themselves on the protest website as protective/defensive. After the protest got smashed up by the police, a bunch of media and others blamed the “clash” (police violence) on the black bloc trying to storm the convention building, even though 1) the convention building was like three blocks away, 2) the people who tried to get through the lines of police at the start of the mess had been told they were subject to arrest if they didn’t leave and were trying the only way they had to get out, and 3) those weren’t black bloc. Those people were on the east side of the intersection. And not wearing black. The black bloc was on the north side of the intersection (not even facing the direction of the convention center that they were supposedly trying to storm).

                  Er, sorry, that was a digression. This is a pet peeve for me. There are pitfalls to black blocs as a tactic, but they don’t exist only to break windows.

                • DocAmazing

                  Anti-Black Bloc propaganda is pretty effective among those who would diminish or excuse police abuses.

                • JL, you are just amazing.

                  BTW, you’re in CS grad school, right? If there’s something I can do career wise, please let me know.

                • JL

                  Bijan: Aw, thanks! And yeah, I’m still in CS grad school, I figure I have about another year left. I could go either way as far as academia vs industry goes (if I went industry I’d be looking for something in computational bio or data science or their intersections, or a corporate research job like at Microsoft Research).

                  I’m giving my first non-computer-science-audience conference talk on Monday, to physicists at the APS March Meeting. Seems like a good thing to get practice with as an interdisciplinary sort. Then I fly back that evening to start my trial on Tuesday morning. I’m still annoyed that my talk had to be moved to a less-of-a-good-fit session to accommodate the trial, and that I won’t get to be at the rest of the conference, though glad that I still have an opportunity to give the talk at all.

                • . I could go either way as far as academia vs industry goes (if I went industry I’d be looking for something in computational bio or data science or their intersections, or a corporate research job like at Microsoft Research).

                  I have some lines into IBM Watson in NY (research) and IBM Healthcare (mostly in Cambridge; lots of data science there; I worked at Siemens during my sabbatical year with a group that fled there; smart folks doing cool things). I also have a former student at a NYC cancer informatics startup, and a few other things.

                  I’m happy to read stuff and give feedback as well.

                  ETA: Good luck on the talk!

                  EATA: And on the trial!

            • DrDick

              I find it odd that you want to protect white fascists’ right to speak without hindrance, but support police oppression of free speech rights of leftists.

        • Crusty

          This isn’t people interrupting a paid performance of LaBoheme. There’s no right to a raucous rally with only one kind of raucous.

        • and they should be allowed to do their thing

          Let’s think about this. How was Donald Trump not being allowed to do his thing?

          There would be protestors interrupting his event. I don’t like Code Pink exhibitionists, but they didn’t actually shut up Barack Obama or take away his rights.

          The extra element at a Trump rally, which required he postpone the event, is violence by Trump supporters against those protestors. That is the safety concern – not there would be protestors, but that those protestors would be beaten or worse.

          That’s quite a bit different.

          • Murc

            The extra element at a Trump rally, which required he postpone the event, is violence by Trump supporters against those protestors.

            Ugh, really?

            I maybe need to get my news from other sources, because what I was reading is “protesters got inside, made it clear they’d make the event impossible to go off, and also made it clear they were gonna do shit like rush the stage or start trying to mob event security. The event was then cancelled because even Trump recognizes that’s a recipe for dead bodies on camera.”

            If that’s not actually the case I’ve been misinformed.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              I don’t get it- did you think it was just going to be the cops/security using force on the protesters?

              • Murc

                No, you misunderstand; I thought it was going to be the other way around, the protesters initiating use of force against the cops/security.

                As I said, I was misinformed.

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  mmm. I don’t think it would have mattered who started it, chances are the Trump crowd would have gleefully and bloodily finished it

            • The event was then cancelled because even Trump recognizes that’s a recipe for dead bodies on camera.

              So, exactly what I said, then: the safety concerns were about violence against the protesters by the Trump mob.

              What are you on about?

            • postmodulator

              If that’s not actually the case I’ve been misinformed.

              You actually may be. This is starting to sound as though it might have been a setup; Chicago PD is saying that they assured the Trump people that they could handle the crowd, and Trump pulled out unilaterally.

              The problem is that Chicago PD are inveterate liars, of course.

              • Ahuitzotl

                The problem is that Chicago PD are also inveterate liars, of course.

        • ThrottleJockey

          You make a fair point, Murc. Its more than legitimate. Everyone is entitled to Freedom of Speech. (Note: Legal practitioners I’m not making a 1st Amendment argument here). But there’s also Civil Disobedience. And while Civil Disobedience is frequently uncivil, as a feature not a bug, the proper way to handle peaceful demonstrators is to politely escort them out of the building…But Trump himself has sown the wind at all his rallies, and tonight he’s reaping his return.

          • JL

            Was there civil disobedience happening here? Civil disobedience means breaking a law. Unless they violated a lawful order to leave, or broke some other law, they were lawfully demonstrating.

            You’re right about the feature not a bug thing.

        • PatrickG

          When Trumps brownshirts force some liberal rallies to be cancelled because they storm the place and raise a ruckus, rendering it unsafe violently assaulting people (when, not if; that’s going to happen) we’ll all be outraged, and correctly so.

          Why yes, yes, we will be outraged. And correctly so.

          Edited: Basically, what JFL said. The hill to die on here is not whether violent thugs were inappropriately prevented from becoming violent because free speech.

          Safety concerns were REAL, and rather one-sided.

          • JL

            According to the NLG of Chicago (the NLG is a legal organization that monitors and documents police behavior at protests around the US), there were protesters hospitalized because of police-inflicted injuries, and yet I keep hearing shit about how protesters made the situation unsafe.

            • Warren Terra

              One datum doesn’t tell the whole story, but a CBS reporter who’s been covering Trump for about a year was attacked by a cop from behind, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and falsely charged with resisting arrest – all while recording video. While we don’t see the cop’s assault on him (it was from behind), he was clearly doing nothing much at the time, and the crowd around him wasn’t violent or even that exercised.

              My guess would be there will be a lot like this. There are apparently a lot of protesters getting medical attention. I don’t know how many stormtrumpers are similarly injured; I’m guessing not a lot, and likely no or nearly no cops.

              • JL

                Yeah, and if you look at the CBS footage from inside the building, from the video at your link, there’s no rioting, there’s no rushing the stage, there’s no whatever it is that people are claiming, there’s just a bunch of people milling around and sometimes being loud.

              • Ahuitzotl

                Consider the general character of cops, then consider the general character of trump supporters. Overlap seems pretty much a given.

        • LeeEsq

          It’s kind of complicated. Trumo’s messasge is horrible and it appeals to no good instincts in his potential voters. His voters still have a right to listen to him speak at rallies though. Freedom of speech and assembly apply the horrible to. People also have a right to protest a Trump rally but when you get to diametrically opposed groups with the same but conflicting rights than a explosion is bound to occur.

        • Brett

          I’ll second this.

        • Alexander OConnor

          respecting the right to hold an opinion and respecting the opinion held are not mutual

        • DrDick

          No. Just fuck no! We the people have an absolute morel obligation to stand up against this kind of thing. There is no room for “good Germans” here, unless you are looking forward to the Fourth Reich.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Not at all. Il Duce and his blackshirts were firmly shown the door without anybody getting hurt. I call that a damned good day’s work.

  • dmsilev

    Have any conservatives blamed William Ayers yet?

    (I think he’s retired now, but he was on the faculty at UIC for many years)

    • H. Rumbold, Master Barber

      “Breaking: Terrorist Bill Ayers Protests Donald Trump in Chicago”. No link because Gateway Pundit/SMOTI.

  • royko

    Politicians sit yourself down
    There’s nothing for you here
    Won’t you please come to Chicago
    For a ride

  • Pseudonym

    Is anyone here opposed to the use of the heckler’s veto?

    • Murc

      I kinda am.

      • Ken

        Yeah, it’s wasteful of food. Though if you’ve got a tomato that’s gone moldy, you might as well use it for that.

        • Warren Terra

          If you don’t want to waste food, you could do worse than to fill some water balloons with Vidal Sassoon products.

        • Do eggs go rotten anymore?

      • Brian Schmidt

        Agree with Murc – hecklers shouldn’t have the right to control what hundreds of other people are going to talk about or hear.

        That said, a single heckler who’s peacefully removed is one thing, while shutting down someone else from speaking entirely is another.

    • DocAmazing

      Better than the Heckler & Koch veto.

      • jeer9

        :>)

    • Steve LaBonne

      When used against a dangerous fascist who encorages his sycophants to beat up anyone who disagrees with him? Fuck no. As the saying goes, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

      • Origami Isopod

        This.

    • As a general, almost universal, rule, yes. Almost always.

      Trump’s promotion of violence has resulted in actual violence on a regular basis. This is a special case.

      And, yeah, it actually is a special case. Can the lame posts about Donald Trump and his movement being no different from other Republicans fucking stop already? Nobody is getting punched at Marco Rubio events, even if he said horrible things about Guantanamo.

      • Right.

        I wouldn’t necessarily support this kind of protest against Cruz. But Trump is a different matter because he is openly calling for violence. This MUST be resisted by direct action.

        • jsba

          Trump is a different matter because he is openly calling for violence. This MUST be resisted by direct action.

          Yes. Thank you for providing a voice of reason.

          Also, I am FAR more comfortable with such tactics being used more regularly. A tut-tut-ing discourse against “heckling” outright in the name of capital-R “Reason” is, for me, something that underlies the serious problems in this country’s political culture since WWII.

          • Jordan

            Also, I am FAR more comfortable with such tactics being used more regularly. A tut-tut-ing discourse against “heckling” outright in the name of capital-R “Reason” is, for me, something that underlies the serious problems in this country’s political culture since WWII.

            Agreed. “Polite” political discourse has nothing on Seattle or Occupy or Black Lives Matter in terms of actually changing things, messy as it can be.

            • jsba

              And beyond this, to suggest that tonight’s actions are somehow a “dangerous” precedent that threatens the exercise of unpopular political speech is absurd. This is a guy who owes his existence as a presidential candidate to the fact that corporate media has basically handed him a microphone with which to communicate his message directly to a mass public. What, exactly, was he “prevented” from communicating tonight? The same stump speech he’s given a hundred times before, and that has been directly conveyed AND amplified on television, in newspapers, and online? Including the one he gave earlier today in St. Louis?

              C’mon. Is this, like, Habermasian pearl-clutching by people who haven’t actually read Habermas?

              • Origami Isopod

                After all the tone trolling in the threads about Kevin Drum/Flint and HRC/Nancy Reagan, I really can’t say I’m surprised to see chin stroking in here about whether or not it’s “wrong” to shout down a fucking fascist who’s attracted actualfax brownshirts.

                • Uh, yeah, “tone.” That was what was wrong with Hillary Clinton lauding the Reagan administration’s handling of AIDS – her tone while she said it.

                  Uh huh.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Uh, Joe? I was criticizing HRC in that thread for what she said, which was entirely wrong. It’s entirely possible to criticize person A for what they said or did, and also to criticize person B for using oppressive language to criticize person A.

                  Also, fwiw, I voted for Bernie in my state’s primary.

                • OK, I’m clearly confused, then. What tone policing were you talking about?

                • Origami Isopod

                  The whole “Lay off Hillary Clinton, she just made an honest mistake, why isn’t her apology good enough for you” b.s.

            • twbb

              What exactly did Occupy change?

              • DocAmazing

                The terms of the debate, for one thing. No Occupy, and Hillary’s speeches to banksters get no attention whatever.

                • twbb

                  Changing terms of a debate is precisely what I’m not asking about. Changing debates, introducing new narratives, giving voice to the downtrodden, etc. etc. all good and fine but I am looking for oligarchs prosecuted, laws changed, elections won — concrete things.

        • brewmn

          I, for one, would much refer that the protesters actually take the time and effort to get out the mid-term vote. But I guess political spectacle is better than nothing.

          • sonamib

            And I would bet that people that go to protests are more likely to vote than politically apathetic people who always stay home. What makes you think that these are the people who don’t vote? They were protesting a goddamn political rally!

            • brewmn

              I’d be very surprised if most of the activists here are engaged with organized politics in any meaningful way; most activists of this type proudly express their disdain for organized politics.

              And I still think not giving back the political gains every two years after they’ve been made is a better recipe for long-term political success. Neither is engaging in street brawls with a movement likely to prove as ephemeral as Trump’s commitment to preserving Social Security.

    • Warren Terra

      Do we know that a “Heckler’s Veto” is what happened? We know a lot of people planned to protest, we know things got ugly. We don’t know how it got ugly, really, but:
      1) Trump supporters almost certainly outnumbered protesters within the venue.
      2) To date, Trump supporters have been far, far more belligerent (not to say violent!) than protesters.
      3) It’s not at all clear to me that there was significant unrest (read: violence) until after Trump cancelled
      4) Reportedly the counter-demonstrators who showed up outside and didn’t infiltrate the rally were peaceful, until after things got hairy inside the venue.

      You can call it a “heckler’s veto” if the protesters disrupt the speech, or the event, and can’t be stopped from doing so in a reasonable amount of time. I’m not at all sure you can do so if they’re just present, and the event doesn’t even start, and they’re far more probably the victims in the emerging unrest than the direct perpetrators.

      • Harrumph harrumph!

      • JL

        We don’t know how it got ugly

        Well, we know, from the reports of the National Lawyers Guild of Chicago, that there were anti-Trump protesters taken to the hospital for police-inflicted injuries. We know, because there’s video, that the cops arrested a CBS reporter without warning, putting a boot on his neck. We know from the Chicago Reader that Muslim protesters with anti-Trump t-shirts had been forcibly removed. And that “A couple of fights between protesters and Trump supporters broke out” after the rally was postponed – the same day where Trump had said, earlier that day, that he’d like to see more of his supporters punching protesters.

        I agree with your comment, just wanted to add to it.

  • Warren Terra
    • That little “taking a pledge” stunt was so transparent. He didn’t even have anything to say, or for them to actually pledge. He just held his right arm up with the fingers stiff together long enough for the cameras to get the shot, as a shoutout to a fascist audience.

      • postmodulator

        I feel like Trump just wanted to see if he could get the audience to do that. Maybe he bet a toady twenty bucks before he went out onstage.

        • DocAmazing

          I have to admit that I often feel that Trump’s entire campaign has been one extended troll that he can’t quite figure out how to tie off.

          • brewmn

            Me too. But I wish he’d stop doubling down on it at this point.

    • Ken

      Hmm. Has anyone considered that the Trump campaign might be an FBI sting operation, designed to lure certain groups of domestic terrorists out from under their rocks?

      I know there was speculation Bill Clinton prodded Trump to run as a way to destroy the Republican party, but you might as well kill two birds with one stone.

    • Her cigarette is the finishing touch.

      • DocAmazing

        Cig heil?

        • Cheap Wino

          Lol, brilliant. Internets won at 12:58 am.

    • CrunchyFrog

      The tone of that photo is so reminiscent of a photo from 1983 during the mayoral election. Harold Washington won the Democratic primary, which usually ended the discussion and the general election is a mere formality in Chicago. But Washington was black, so suddenly the white Republican was competitive. The photo I’m thinking of was of a woman of similar age (at the time), and similar defiant expression towards some black people, but opening her button shirt to reveal a t-shirt underneath that said “WHITE IS RIGHT”.

      But, no, it’s the blacks who are the real racists.

  • Murc,

    If the fascist politician was just giving a speech about his fascist politics, with no exhortations and demonstrations of violence, like a normal politician except with different ideological content, your arguments would all be quite appropriate.

    But he’s not. He’s urging people to violence, in the here and now, and they’re taking him up on it, and he keeps doing it. That’s pretty much what fascism is, what fascist rallies are. So talking about this as if it’s a normal political speech with some different ideological content is missing a lot.

  • AMK

    Not making an argument against protesting, but this plays right into Trump’s hands. If your campaign is based on riding the wave of the cracker apocalypse (dangerous Others under the sway of the Kenyan Muslim Usurper taking our freedom with political correctness etc..) then these headlines and photos do your job for you.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      I dunno. People are supposed to wait til November to stand up against Trump?

      • AMK

        A lot of the coverage I’ve seen talks about protesters doing things like “infiltrating” the rallies dressed as supporters before jumping out, or trying to bait the Trump people into confrontations on the street. There’s a difference between protesting Trump’s platform and making a spectacle….especially when the spectacle always favors Trump.

        The real culprit here (besidesTrump) is of course the media. It’s one thing for the cranks at Daily Caller or Brietbart or Stormfront to cover these rallies in real time all the time. But for “responsible” national news outlets to be running these things on a loop when Trump is so clearly using them as a platform to incite violence is beyond shameful.

        • shah8

          The sheer, and obscene generosity that cable news networks shower Trump with is not going to be quickly forgotten, I think.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          I wonder if those news accounts will hold up in a few days, though- especially about trying to bait people. Being dressed as a supporter only makes sense- especially if you were trying to get in without being a white guy

          I would like to fully agree with Murc but in the end if no one else can effectively stand up to Trump then the public has to

    • Not making an argument against protesting, but this plays right into Trump’s hands

      Even if true, who cares? Sure, it plays to his fascist supporters. It doesn’t play to anyone else in the country. He’s already going to win the Republican nomination, even though 2/3 of the country despises him.

      • twbb

        Up until this point the non-Trump-affiliated RWNJ was siding with the liberal protestors as hard as it is to believe. That has noticeably changed with this latest thing.

    • Ken

      Thus increasing the odds Trump gets the nomination – but what if that’s also what the left wants? How is a Republican supposed to know what to do, if you can’t tell what the left doesn’t want you to do?

      Semi-related: The Washington Monthly passed along a claim by Erick Erickson that Cruz, Kasich, and Rubio are cooperating to deny Trump the nomination, by not competing in the next few primaries. If Erickson is to be believed (I know, but bear with me) Rubio gets Florida, Kasich gets Ohio, Cruz gets the rest, and viola! brokered convention.

      • Jordan

        Tweet from AP reporter:

        Kasich spox Rob Nichols on Rubio news: “We were going to win in OH without his help, just as he’s going to lose in FL w/o ours”

        • Warren Terra

          Note that Kasich “stopping Trump” presumably means giving the nomination to Cruz, which might not fit either Kasich’s personal ambitions or his hopes for the future shape of the Republican party. On the other hand, if the long-delayed reaction occurs and the Republican party goes looking for someone moderate in demeanour (though still extreme in policy) who claims to care about competence, Kasich has set himself up for a coronation in four years, if Trump wins the nomination and does more to discredit the Crazy. So he’s got little incentive to rescue Rubio’s flailing claims to a political future, especially if doing so hurts Trump.

          • Jordan

            Oh, for sure (and I hadn’t even though of Kasich positioning himself for 2020)! Just thought the campaign manager’s line was funny w/r/t a coordinated thing.

    • Jordan

      I dunno. People at my workplace never talk about politics, ever. Except for Trump*, who lots of them think is an insane crazy hateful person. Not all of them can vote, necessarily, but for the ones who can stuff like this just makes them *more* likely to vote when the time comes.

      *there was also one other conversation about politics this year, where a guy asserted that Ted Cruz had an incredibly punchable face.

      • joel hanes

        Ted Cruz had an incredibly punchable face.

        I’ve long been troubled by a niggling sense of recognition when I see photos of Cruz, some “I’ve seen this face before” thing, but I could never place the connection.

        Last week it came to me: Ted Cruz and Red Skelton.
        Now I can’t un-see it.

        • Jordan

          hmmm

          Ya, I can’t unsee it either now.

          • joel hanes

            I think it’s the nose.
            No, the awful smile.
            Or the ears …

            god help me

            • Jordan

              You are going to make me punch my computer at this point, and I can’t afford to buy a new one.

          • los

            looking at that pic… noses are very different. eyes. Skelton has deep cheek dimples.

            • Ken

              Skelton smiled a lot. Does Cruz look like someone who has ever smiled? (In fairness, with that upbringing he probably doesn’t realize it’s possible to enjoy life.)

              • When he tries to smile, he looks like a lizard who knows how it is supposed to look, but can’t quite figure out which muscles to flex to make it happen….

      • Science has the answer to Ted’s face.

        • DocAmazing

          Puts the “douche” back in Duchenne.

          • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

            But the weird part is that, according to the article, Cruz is incapable of making a“Duchenne smile.”

        • N__B

          I am shocked that the link does not lead to an explanation of the properties and uses of hydrofluoric acid.

    • DocAmazing

      I disagree. It’s like that speech at the beginning of Patton: ‘Murkins hate a loser. It’s all fun & games when rednecks can take a swing at a darkly-hued demonstrator and know that the cops have their backs, but when actual resistance is met, and The Boss says “whoa! fall back, boys”, then the fun goes right out of it.

  • moops

    This is not some black flag op to lock the nomination for Trump. Just stop that dumb crap. Nobody there from either side is taking bribes or a paid agent.

    This was a political rally, and by the very definition of a public political rally it is also the appropriate time and place to hold a protest.

    It is, in fact, the most appropriate place imaginable. Ignoring this kind of public rally for fascism is inviting it to continue happening.

    • Thom

      I see your point, but at the same time the protests feed the (unjustified, of course) anger and add to the spectacle, which gets the media to focus, which leads to more support for flirting with fascism. It is not easy to know the best method to oppose this, other than of course voting against it.

  • humanoid.panda

    Both Cruz and Trump issued rather strong statements pointing out that Trump is responsible for this madness. I am also seeing that a lot conservatives on twitter most resolutely are not flocking to him. This is an unpopular opinion here, but I think those guys are smart enough (or, perhaps, have enough residual awareness that civil wars are not a good idea..) to not hitch themselves to Trump, even if he wins nomination.

    Rubio, of course said the protesters are paid provocateurs who are violating Trump’s 1st Amendment rights. The guy make W look like Thomas Jefferson..

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      you mean Cruz and *Kasich*, yes?

      • humanoid.panda

        Right Kasich. Stupid mild dyslexia.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          in a weird way it doesn’t make much difference one is as good or as bad as the others. I suspect you’re right about the lack of enthusiasm a lot of republicans are going to have for Trump as their nominee- they’ll stand behind him, but as *far* behind him as possible

          • humanoid.panda

            Right. My guess is that the best he can expect is the Goldwater treatment.

            • DocAmazing

              In your heart you know he’s white.

              • Fats Durston

                +88

  • shah8

    I did read, with a perhaps undue satisfaction, Murc catching a few more rhetorical antagonists about his “free speech” advocacy.

    • LeeEsq

      I see this situation as more complicated than Murc but still think that allowing the most speech even if it is really vile is a lot better than trying to ban hate speech or speech deemed problematic. Your going to have to define what constitutes hate speech. Sometimes this is really easy but not always. How does a person distinguish between hate speech and just really vigorous criticism when no slurs are used and the language is firm but polite? Some people would interpret the speech as hate speech and others as harsh criticism of a particular group. Who gets to define what is allowed and is not allowed? The people who censor whether they be socially conservative busybodies or more enlightened tend to be self-appointed and answerable to know one. I really don’t want a Progressive Anthony Comstock determining what is acceptable speech anymore than an actual Anthony Comstock.

      • Jordan

        But no one – no one – is advocating for speech bans here. The question is whether people should vigorously protest and disrupt hate speech. I and others think we should. Murc thinks not, apparently.

        • shah8

          My advocacy was always that certain behavior, like certain sort of speech that promotes violence, do have to be regulated. They have to be regulated because such speech does harm people, particularly in the sense of the “public dignity” of their targets, where consequentially, they have a hard time existing in society at large, ironically impairing *their* right to speech, too. No one is being “even-handed” when they are being free speech absolutist, but asserting their social advantage, in a sense because they don’t have to fear(or have avenues for recompense) the consequences of toxic speech.

          In France, now, nominally a state of emergency–but few white French feel it. It’s just the Muslims that have lost their right to feel secure in their homes or assemble, or even complain. But please, do go on, draw more Mohammeds, and pretend that Muslims can’t handle modern society because they just go violently cra-cra at the sight of blasphemy.

          • Jordan

            Ok, fair enough, I hadn’t seen anything you’d said about this here before.

            And, to be honest, I sympathize (I’ve said so here before). I personally think there is still enough of an enforced norm in the US that protecting hate speech legally is worth it for the extreme non-hate speech that the norm also protects. And as an ideal, its absolutely worth pursuing. And yet, and yet.

            • shah8

              I had really gotten into it with Murc and Malaclypse on the Charlie Hebdo thread.

              • Murc

                … really?

                I’m not saying you’re wrong, because I’m a giant goddamn loudmouth and this sounds like the sort of argument I’d get into, but… I don’t remember this. And going back and looking at the Charlie Hebdo thread, which is an impressive 300+ comments, I have only one in there, which about a tangential issue.

          • Murc

            In France, now, nominally a state of emergency

            Wait, what?

            Is France still in a state of emergency?

            It’s been bloody months!

            Jesus fuck. Didn’t Europe manage to make it through the Cold War, when bombs were actually going off regularly, without resorting to this sort of bullshit? Or is it I’m just completely unaware of what was going on then?

            • humanoid.panda

              Germany pretty much suspended civil liberties in the 1970s, during the Red Brigades panic, and the shit all sorts of Italian secret services did during the Cold War will never be known..

              • Murc

                This is something I freely admit I don’t know much about. I have a decent grasp of European history for an American layman but that’s all it is, decent.

            • sonamib

              Yep. They voted 212-31 to extend the state of emergency until May 26th. And there’s nothing nominal about it. The police is taking advantage of it to investigate stuff that’s got nothing to do with terrorism (like drug related offenses). It’s convenient to not have to worry about those pesky civil liberties.

          • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

            But please, do go on, draw more Mohammeds, and pretend that Muslims can’t handle modern society because they just go violently cra-cra at the sight of blasphemy.

            Are you suggesting that pictures of Mohamed should be banned in France?

          • LeeEsq

            It is more than the Muslims that do not feel secure in France:

            http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/198147/how-to-be-a-jew-in-france

          • twbb

            So BLM’s speech should be regulated because it attacks the dignity of the police?

        • Murc

          The question is whether people should vigorously protest and disrupt hate speech. I and others think we should. Murc thinks not, apparently.

          I think we should protest. I do not think we should disrupt. If it’s okay for us to disrupt the speech of others we don’t have any cause to complain when others disrupt our own, and I can’t speak for others, but if anyone tries to disrupt my own speech I intend to go at them hard and fast.

          • Jordan

            I’m not sure at what level your ‘okay’ is operating at. We can absolutely have a cause to complain if the people disrupting us are racists, or facists, or sexists, or homophobes, or capitalists, or in any other way assholes. The entire reason we oppose them is because they are racists, or fascists, or sexists, or homophobes, or capitalists.

            Of course people are going to come at you “hard and fast” if you disrupt them. Thats protesting. I continue to fail to see the argument against. We both agree its not a legal one. So what is it?

            I maintain that it is not a normative one as well. First, the other side doesn’t adhere to that norm, so its essentially self-limiting. Second, what good comes from adhering to that norm? Why do it?

            I agree in some Better Future we can all have rallies and arguments that aren’t disrupted by different sides and etc. That would be better! But its not the world we live in.

            • Murc

              Of course people are going to come at you “hard and fast” if you disrupt them. Thats protesting.

              It’s protesting with the goal of “you should be afraid to open your mouth and we’re going to make it hard for you to do so,” though, isn’t it? As opposed to protesting with the goal of “making sure everyone knows that what this chucklefuck is saying is so wrong that hundreds or thousands of people gave up their evening to come make that known, and they’re organized, and they’re not gonna give up until they’ve defeated this movement politically and socially.”

              I also suspect we might be using different definitions of disrupt here. To me, that means things like “every time the dude opens his mouth we set off some air horns or shriek in unison until he closes it again. We sabotage the sound system. We physically block access to the stage. We form human chains around the security guards while other people rush him. We make it impossible for him to speak and if he tries we make it impossible for him to be heard.”

              This is a lot different than “has to speak while staring at an enormous mob of people he knows hate his guts being held back by police barriers and get shouted at before and after.” To me, that’s just not disruptive at all, that’s the price of opening your mouth in a free society.

              • DocAmazing

                Earlier I referenced the old Jeane Kirkpatrick free-speech whine; it’s true again with Trump. You simply cannot abridge the free speech of a guy who can pick up a phone and be on national television in a couple of hours. Shouting him down is not keeping him from getting his message across in any real way, but it does deliver a statement.

                • Nick056

                  Yes, but that statement … Gets delivered by Trump.

                  Disruption is dumb politics. No one likes hearing that. It’s not feel-good, rah-rah stuff. But it’s dumb politics. If you actually take the time to read Cruz and Rubio’s statements on tonight, they effectively sympathize with Trump, and season it with some light admonishing.

                  What this is going to do, is help Trump unify the party.

                • kayden

                  So what? Protesters have the right to protest. Period. Trump isn’t going to get any free passes or to spew his bike without any disruptions.

                • twbb

                  Absolutely. There is an unfortunate tendency on the left to believe that an angry and earnest leftist vigorously taking action is always going to produce a positive result, which is insane. Trump was losing the PR war until this.

                • DocAmazing

                  Nah. Trump attract bullies because he’s tough and a winner. Now he ran away. That’s going to have an impact.

              • JL

                I also suspect we might be using different definitions of disrupt here. To me, that means things like “every time the dude opens his mouth we set off some air horns or shriek in unison until he closes it again. We sabotage the sound system. We physically block access to the stage. We form human chains around the security guards while other people rush him. We make it impossible for him to speak and if he tries we make it impossible for him to be heard.”

                Yeah, you are working with a way different idea of “disrupt” than most people who attempt disruptive protest of Trump rallies (or other kinds of rallies). Most of them are talking about, at most, heckling. If there’s enough of them, that could amount to making it hard to hear him until you get removed by security, but it’s not quite scenario you’re describing. When protesters around here, by their own account, disrupted a Trump rally, it meant that three different waves of perhaps a dozen people apiece stood up and shouted until escorted out of the building.

          • royko

            I have to say that I agree with this, and I’ve gotten where you’re coming from in this thread. Vile political rallies should be protested vigorously, but they shouldn’t be forced to shut down. Freedoms of speech and assembly are too important in a democracy to toss aside. Frankly, if Trump rallies are too dangerous to be allowed to continue, why isn’t it OK to use violence to stop them. Where do you draw the line?

            But there are a few mitigating factors for me in this case:

            1) Trump has advocated violence against protesters

            2) I don’t know exactly what went down, but it sounds as if the rally was stopped as much (if not more) over concerns of supporter violence as protester violence.

            3) Disrupting one Trump rally doesn’t practically diminish the ability of Trump and his followers to spread their political message. They’ve had tons of rallies, they’ll have tons more, but gumming up this one got a lot of media attention. I cut protest movements some slack when they’re trying to raise attention, as long as no real harm is done.

            • Murc

              2) I don’t know exactly what went down, but it sounds as if the rally was stopped as much (if not more) over concerns of supporter violence as protester violence.

              This is what tripped me up, because initial reports, at least the ones I read, made it sound like it was both completely different than what actually went down and much, much worse.

              I guarantee the spin by Monday will be that the guys inside were about to burn the place down while the guys outside chanted “Burn motherfucker, burn!”, which would be awful were it the case but will, in fact, not be the case.

              • Lee Rudolph

                I guarantee the spin by Monday will be that the guys inside were about to burn the place down while the guys outside chanted “Burn motherfucker, burn!”, which would be awful were it the case but will, in fact, not be the case.

                Who, oh, who will be Trump’s Horst Wessel?

                • Warren Terra

                  Well, apparently Lee Greenwood is a Marco Rubio fan, so after Rubio collapses in on his own vacuity Tuesday night that’s a possibility

                • N__B

                  I nominate James O’Keefe.

                • AB

                  O’Keefe could be Trump’s Leni Riefenstahl now and his G. Gordon Liddy later on.

              • JL

                By any chance, were you watching Don Lemon babble on CNN?

                I’m not sure that dude has ever seen a left-wing protest he didn’t want to smear. I don’t know what his deal is, but like everyone else who was playing the home game the night of the Ferguson grand jury verdict, I remember him on TV going on about how he could smell marijuana and implying that that was responsible for the violence, while around him there were tear gas canisters flying and protesters fleeing down the sidewalk. And that’s only one example.

                Also, while the Chicago Police lie a lot, it’s at least worth noting that they’re saying Trump didn’t consult with them before canceling and that they didn’t think there was a need to cancel.

          • kayden

            Go at them hard and fast all you want. You have no right to give a speech without any interruptions. What a ridiculous claim. There have been Rightwing hecklers at Clinton rallies. I didn’t hear her encouraging violence against them.

      • Resisting fascist rallies = Anthony Comstock.

        OK….

        • LeeEsq

          You know that wasn’t what I said an you mean it. shah8 has explicitly advocated bans on hate speech in the past. If certain types of speech are banned than somebody is going to be the one coming up with the what to ban. Too many people are over confident that it will be they who get to decide what is permissible or that the laws regulating speech will be applied in the way they want or never against them.

          • kayden

            Who exactly banned Trump’s speech? Protesters exercised their rights. You are arguing about a strawman that you created.

      • JL

        What does banning hate speech have to do with what happened at the Trump rally? It was a bunch of private citizens, nobody was banning anything.

        You can absolutely make an argument that there are principles around speech and access to giving or receiving speech, that go beyond the First Amendment and that private citizens (or corporations) should adhere to. Barry Deutsch over at Alas, A Blog makes those arguments all the time from a left-liberal perspective. But that’s not the same issue as the speech ban issue.

        • I’m amazed at how few people seem to understand that the 1st Amendment applies only to government actions around speech.

      • kayden

        Lol! Protesting speech is not banning speech.

  • efgoldman

    Hey folks, before this devolves further into a 500 comment “who’s the real Fascist” post, take a look at the actual report from Chicago PD.
    Also here.
    It appears that Trump and the opossum on his head never actually went near the hall, and the entire mess might have been a setup.

    • Jordan

      What do you mean by “setup”? Its been clear from pretty much the start that Trump never was that close to being there …

      • efgoldman

        What do you mean by “setup”?

        Bait a large crowd of protesters (or the supporters – doesn’t matter for propaganda purposes) so whatever happened could be blamed on the kids.

        • Jordan

          I suppose I could see that, but that has been the opposite of what Trump has done so far, I think.

          • Ken

            Oh my God, it’s learning

    • efgoldman

      Here’s one local paper’s version (Not being from Chicago, I don’t know if the Trib slants its news coverage).
      And another. Same caveat.
      And the local CBS affiliate, and I’m out of links.

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

      Late to this thread, but see my post above.

    • twbb

      Interesting but might not end up relevant:

      1. Trump supporters don’t care about the truth.
      2. Non-Trump RWNJs are using this as an opportunity to attack the left.
      3. The ADHD-afflicted media wants to show exciting protestor footage without context.
      4. While an effective Democratic message machine could distill it into a short, effective response that could be used as a defense and a counterattack if distributed in campaign speeches, by allied politicians, and by friendly media, the Democrats are profoundly incompetent at that so it won’t happen.

  • Whidby

    Okay, I’m not proud of this – but I watched hours of Fox news tonight. Inside, I saw footage showing the same 3 or 4 scuffles over and over again. Outside, it looked like there were 3-400 people standing around – couldn’t tell whether they were Trump supporters or protesters. Huge police presence and external crowds was clearly “under control.”

    So why do I keep hearing people jabber on about these “violent protests”? I’ve seen more, and more violent fights in a bar on a single Saturday night than I saw at this rally.

    • Murc

      I read a lot of initial reports that were, apparently, total bullshit re: what was actually going on. It made it sound like there was a big old mob inside that was getting ready to rush the stage, swarm security guards, etc. And that’s evidently straight-up not the case.

      • efgoldman

        It made it sound like there was a big old mob inside that was getting ready to rush the stage, swarm security guards, etc.

        Some of the early reports said Trump’s [private] security force bugged out.

      • Whidby

        And, keep in mind, that this was Fox so I am sure that they were selecting the most incendiary footage they could find. In real time, I wouldn’t be surprised if those handful of scuffles were spread out over an hour or two.

        Just a huge nothing burger.

      • Alexander OConnor

        Yeah, so why don’t you retract all of your above nonsense and once again sit down and stfu

        • Murc

          Seems unlikely.

      • JL

        I’ve learned to be skeptical of initial mainstream coverage of protests, because there’s been too many times where I read the reports of something where I was there and the stories sound like they’re talking about an entirely different event.

        For this one, I looked at some stories, both mainstream-national and local, but I also read Twitter, read the National Lawyers Guild of Chicago’s reports (which focused on police behavior, since that’s their balliwick), sought out accounts from people who were there, and looked at the videos and photos.

        • DocAmazing

          You’re too kind. I’ve never been to a protest where the subsequent media coverage (if any) even vaguely resembled what had gone on.

    • Alexander OConnor

      Because it’s Chicago, the Chicago way, and it’s Chicago and Chicago style and Chicago and Obama is from Chicago ,Chicago way ,Chicago and anchor baby Chicago, Chicago style, Chicago way, Obama’s Chicago, and Chicago

      • Hogan

        You forgot to carry the thug.

  • So, for me the interesting question is whether there’s a tipping point where violence against Trump or a Trump regime becomes justifiable or inevitable (well, obviously, there are tipping points, e.g., he explicitly does a coup and declares himself king after attacking congress with troops; but I mean one that’s likely to happen in less extreme course of things). I mean, if we are going to say that he’s fascist or likely to usher in a regime with significant fascist elements, what are the constraints on opposing that?

    I’m extremely uncomfortable with the idea of escalating the amount of political violence in our system. It’s already pretty bad, though generally diffused (e.g., country wide, lots of actors, lots of pretexts) yet concentrated (e.g., targeting minorities whether it’s by policing or by voter suppression). Of course, there’s various bits of violent political action (the Wildlife reserve, anti-abortion murders, some property damage by environmentalists, the Brooks Brothers riots, other riots), but it has typically been rather outlierly. It does seem like Trump is poised to change that. What are the range of responses and when do we deploy them?

    (I hope that Trump just quietly loses the general and it all de-escalates.)

    • Warren Terra

      Trump doesn’t really do “quietly”, and it’s not clear he does de-escalation either … though he did disappear for a while after Obama got the whole country to point at him and laugh, at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

      • Trump doesn’t really do “quietly”, and it’s not clear he does de-escalation either

        Well, it’s a hope, not a prediction.

        But I think it might *happen* quietly, regardless of Trump’s intentions. If he loses clearly, it seems likely that he’ll try one of these “dignified for Trump” moves (e.g., the debate, losing Iowa). Once he does that, I think the press will lose interest and that will make it hard for him to fight back. Everyone will start characterising him as a loser and there’ll be a lot of finger pointing.

        If it’s close or close in a lot of states…that could be bad.

        But a 55-45 national split and strong showing in the EC for the Democrat and yeah I think the likely outcome is that he fades away.

        • But again, there remains the political science question of whether our system is stable under current conditions.

          There are two variants of the question:

          1) empirical: the system will fall apart regardless of whether the precipitating or enacting actions are justified; so, high veto point system, ideologically coherent split of party and populace, plus radicalisation of one side coupled with their deep delegimisation of their opponents on multiple fronts might just break; maybe it needs a focus point (a la slavery) and we don’t have one; but maybe not!

          2) normative: the system should fall apart and reasonable people are justified in attempting that by a range of methods up through revolution.

          Obviously, in 1, everyone will claim 2, so that’s an issue. But I think we can separate them somewhat.

          Democrats didn’t make any big moves after Bush v. Gore other than to stabilise the system. What if there is a Trump v. Sanders where the state government lawlessly goes Trump, Sanders appeals to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court lawlessly splits 4-4 (thus leaving the lawless lower court ruling intact). I.e., Bush v. Gore II?

          Of course, one possibility is that Republicans would try to sabotage such court cases, succeed, and it all goes on normally.

          Another would be that they go all in and we have a few Brooks Brothers riots to prevent recounts etc. etc. What should the Democrats do?

          (Or imagine it goes to the House with Bernie having a 51-49 lead but there’s some EC nonsense and the House Republicans give it to Trump?)

          I don’t think these are high probability, but they would be a big strain on the system and I don’t know what I would feel morally compelled to do.

    • Drexciya

      I just want to cosign this line of questioning and the need to actually and honestly explore them.

      • Ronan

        Any thoughts yourself ? No expectation on you too have any, though interested to see if you do ….

  • N__B

    I’m thinking we’re going to see some semi-organized right-wing protesters at Sanders and Clinton events in the near future.

    • Warren Terra

      Left wing protesters go to Trump rallies and bravely get abused, sometimes beaten up. Right-wing protesters are liable to be a lot more violent, and possibly armed.

      • N__B

        I know. That’s why I’m not laughing.

    • kayden

      I can guarantee you that they won’t be physically assaulted by Clinton or Sanders’ supporters.

  • Casey

    Will this kind of civil disobedience actually lessen the Trump phenomenon? It’s certainly a valid response to an outrageous situation. It’s a way to evoke a human response and get the media to pay attention to something that isn’t being covered. But everybody already knows this is messed up, right? It’s not as if the situation isn’t being covered by the media enough.

    Having actual conservatives doing the protesting would be a bajillion times more beneficial. A protest is effective if people on the sidelines see themselves in the protestors and have a moment where they go, “this Trump thing is super messed up.”

    Whether we like them or not, they have a right to freedom of assembly, and to petition the government for redress of grievances. Are they ever aggrieved! And they have a right to be. And they have a right to get together and yell and scream about it. It’s hard for me to see the solution to America being less America.

    But maybe I’m just making excuses for why I’m not out there protesting. A rich white guy in a fancy suit is a more effective symbol of protest than the people who would be most negatively affected by a Trump presidency.

    • kayden

      Or maybe you have no reason to protest.
      Blacks seeing their peers being attacked at Trump rallies do.

  • kayden

    Good on Chicago protestors for shutting Trump down. I don’t give a damn about his rallies where Black people are literally beaten up. They need to be shut down since he is on record encouraging anti – protester violence.
    And by the way, since so many of you are cofused, the government cannot shut down Trump rallies. There is nothing in the Constitution forbidding protesters from doing the same. Protesters have a right to voice their opposition to a fascist like Trump.

    • Origami Isopod

      Thank you.

      This thread was a shitshow of clueless white privilege and handwringing.

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