What happened in Brooklyn last weekend when concerned citizens gathered to make their views known was nothing short of shameful and cast a foreboding shadow over the course of current events.
More than 1,000 people assembled on Fourth Ave. in Bay Ridge to march to show their appreciation for the NYPD. It was also a chance to let Mayor Bill de Blasio know they do not support defunding the NYPD. They carried signs that read, “We Love the NYPD,” “Back the Blue,” and “Defund the City Council.”
Several blocks away, hundreds of other protesters, mostly from outside the community, were meeting up to oppose those who support the police. The pro-police march went smoothly, as rallygoers stopped near the 68th Precinct and chanted patriotic slogans. But a few minutes into the rally, the counter-protesters approached and tried to infiltrate the crowd. Only a line of police officers separated the two groups. Shouting “Black Lives Matter,” the second group tried to provoke those who had already gathered. Several tried to crash the police line and resorted to screaming nasty words and making obscene gestures to taunt the police and their supporters.
Some dared to come face-to-face with police who showed great restraint. Several times, police had to physically restrain those on the outside as they tried to push their way through the lines. An American flag was set afire. Water bottles were thrown. Eggs were tossed. Obscene gestures took the place of any meaningful dialogue. A tense standoff began to develop with neither side willing to back down.
Eventually, the police were able to move the agitators. Later that evening, the group made its way back up to Fifth Ave., and began setting fire to trash cans and hurling them into the street. One unruly young man was tased when he resisted police (this made all the headlines the next day). The day before, another peaceful rally in support of the police was conducted about a mile away in Dyker Heights.
At the start of the march, there was a minor scuffle that most people did not even notice. On the same day, a group of 5,000 pro-police marchers walked along the Rockaway boardwalk. Similar peaceful neighborhood marches have pledged solidarity with police but very little press was afforded those rallies.
Without the presence of the police, these incidents could have become much worse. The vast majority of cops serve the community with courage and dignity and deserve to be defended. Whenever we are on the brink of chaos, only the police are offering a sense of order.
Violence is never the answer to legitimate societal problems. We have watched for more than a month as city streets have been taken over by mindless hooligans and rabble-rousers, mostly young, but the American people are waking up to the fact that a lot more is going on here than a protest about racial equality. The justice movement has been co-opted by a violent mob of well-trained and well-supported anarchists who want nothing less than the downfall of the government and the establishment of a far-left socialist state.
The nation as a whole does not agree that such a radical overthrow is necessary. The American Constitution provides the proper channels to achieve the equality and freedom that we all seek. That’s the genius of America. It should be celebrated, not destroyed.