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Two older veterans’ remarks pointed to the late 1960s being repeated on the same ground. The forces involved may well have changed, and that may matter a great deal. What has not changed is the physical geography, apparently. We should pay attention to both the forces and the ground if we are to begin to truly understand and so have a chance at preserving our constitutional republic. This is a national problem. It is made worse by local bad governance and leadership, but there is a much larger and persistent problem of national-level entities seeking to influence politics through violence and the threat of violence.
I had just completed reviewing the books for my local veterans’ organization post. I exchanged greetings with two older veterans sitting at the bar, with the cable news showing Saturday morning’s ugly light in Minneapolis. “Protests,” said the screen. “It is not a protest if you throw rocks or Molotov cocktails,” I remarked.
The first veteran said he grew up in that city and his father had been shot as a police officer in the 1968 riots in the same area. This time, he noted, he was hearing that the people in the streets were mostly outsiders, not from the local community or state. At that, the other veteran spoke up. His father was also a police officer, and had also been shot, but survived, in Detroit in 1969.
So, there is continuity in the physical geography, as there has been for thousands of years of human habitation and movement. Look at any land or water route that has been used for centuries or millennia. Look at valleys, hills, and mountains that shape movement and provide the advantage of protection. Consider how sticking a shovel in the ground in many places yields layer after layer of settlements. If a piece of ground was fought over once, there is a fair chance it was fought over more than once.
Our cities are much younger than Europe’s. Still, a bit of digging back into an older place like New York City will turn up a history of street violence. The Bowery in 1849 turned bloody. New York City saw draft riots by working-class white men in the summer of 1863.
Thousands of white workers – mainly Irish and Irish-Americans – started by attacking military and government buildings, and became violent only toward people who tried to stop them, including the insufficient numbers of policemen and soldiers the city’s leaders initially mustered to oppose them.
So, we have a truly diverse, when it comes to ancestry, history of domestic street mob violence. Through our first 200 years as a nation, it may be that people who felt unrepresented by the results at the ballot box eventually turned to street violence. It appears, however, that the class makeup has shifted, starting with the late 1960s radical college student movement. Instead of poor and working-class men alone, it appears that there has been a shift towards people with more resources, including more ability to network, coordinate, and travel greater distances in support of street violence and threats.
We should learn how the “human terrain” has changed. We should understand the networks that have enabled apparently coordinated strikes at the national level and much more than mob action at the local and street level. The FBI, were it not so horribly compromised by its complicity in the attempted coup and then the long and continuing cover-up, with continued subversion as part of the cover-up, should have been all over Antifa’s command and control and logistics networks, starting the moment President Trump completed taking the oath of office. They clearly did not make that change in direction with the change in administrations, and that is an important factor in overwhelming the local authorities this past week.
On Saturday, Attorney General Barr weighed in. He sees clearly and has real moral courage, unlike Jeff Sessions. I believe he will drive the Department of Justice to drive all the other agencies, starting with the FBI, to go after the head(s) of the snake biting our cities. Notice the list of agencies. DEA? Look for linkage between drug gangs and cartels and radical groups that intend violence. ATF? If you fly in, you need your local illegal gun supplier to arm you up for the riot, and bomb-making can’t be far behind.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Attorney General William P. Barr’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd and Riots
“The greatness of our nation comes from our commitment to the rule of law.
The outrage of our national community about what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is real and legitimate. Accountability for his death must be addressed, and is being addressed, through the regular process of our criminal justice system, both at the state and at the federal level. That system is working and moving at exceptional speed. Already initial charges have been filed. That process continues to move forward. Justice will be served.
Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements.
Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.
In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence.
We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. The Department of Justice (including the FBI, Marshals, ATF, and DEA), and all of our 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country, will support these local efforts and take all action necessary to enforce federal law.
In that regard, it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. We will enforce these laws.”
Office of the Attorney General
Press Release Number: