The last week was just another week in Jim Kenney's New Philadelphia. We saw vandals attacking the Rizzo statue and mural. This action included a Philadelphia public school teacher arrested, charged with making terroristic threats against the police. Black Lives Matter crossed another line when it used bullhorns to stage a profanity-laced protest on the block of Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pow, who is being investigated in the shooting death of David Jones.
However, news about Philadelphia Antifa achieved national prominence when Ian Miles Cheong, writing at the Daily Caller, reported that an armed Antifa group is rolling out a new cell in Philadelphia. He says that on their website, their "Political Foundation" page has several alarming points, including the "Abolition of Gender," and the "Expropriation and the Cooperative Economy."
He observes, "The latter calls on members to 'expropriate' or 'take away' goods, lands, and tools to 'begin the revolutionary process.' " Expropriation is another way of saying "seize" or "steal." I think these news releases capture the heart of what Antifa is all about in Philadelphia and across the country. It is not just a force opposing Nazi losers at places like Charlottesville, Va. Its members are masked shock troops who routinely try to shut down speech and ideas that they despise. They are not heroes fighting the forces of evil. They are people romanticizing anarchy, destruction of property, and shutting down free speech.
I think that the actions of Antifa and Black Lives Matter are starting to foment more and more awareness and pressure to unite against these out-of-control groups. In the wake of Black Lives Matter's illegal protest at the home of a Philadelphia police officer, Thursday at 6 p.m., the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police is holding an emergency rally at FOP headquarters at 11630 Caroline Road in Northeast Philadelphia. FOP president John McNesby said, "This is due to the events of last night in which urban terrorists showed up at an officer's residence. These anarchists could threaten the officer, his family and an entire city neighborhood."
This new BLM tactic also triggered a blistering response from Pennsylvania Rep. Martina White, who is the sponsor of House Bill 27, which would delay releasing the names of officers involved in shootings until 30 days have passed. This latest BLM tactic served to heat up the need to get her bill passed. Her news release said, "It is shocking to me that Police Commissioner Richard Ross and Mayor Jim Kenney allowed this illegal occupation to go on for hours without taking any action to enforce the law, and I question whether the police department has been ordered to stand down when it comes to addressing this Black Lives Matter action."
This is exactly right. I believe there is a standing order to allow BLM to disrupt any event they choose for an extended time in Philadelphia. I witnessed this firsthand, and I wrote about BLM blocking traffic at 4th and Market to get news coverage from Fox 29. During this illegal protest, BLM protesters surrounded a new arrival to Philadelphia and held her captive in her vehicle for over 90 minutes. Police on the scene did nothing to free her. The woman who told me before this incident she was a proponent for equal rights for all has since become an engaged person pushing back against the tactics of groups such as BLM.
It's time to turn up the heat on public officials to demand an end to Philadelphia as a haven for those who are allowed to believe that their First Amendment rights mean they can shut down yours. A good place to start is your vote in the upcoming district attorney's race. Larry Krasner, the Democratic candidate, is a major defender of BLM and someone who is not a supporter of law enforcement. Beth Grossman, the Republican candidate, will be a much surer choice to restore the rule of law for everyone in Philadelphia.