Why Are Lancaster Leaders Being So Soft in Condemning Antifa Agitators?
While the bulk of those protesting the death of George Floyd this week in Lancaster are earnest, peaceful people opposed to police brutality, there are those among them fomenting more violent confrontations with Lancaster Police and goading them to destructive behavior.
This played out in the events at the large protest on Sunday that ended with half a dozen arrests and the police pepper spraying the crowd three times as tensions rose and protesters menaced officers.
Everyone should be thankful that the ongoing protests in Lancaster haven’t remotely reached the wonton violence and destruction that is ravaging larger cities.
But it’s not because local Antifa agitators aren’t trying.
The real question is, why are people like Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace and Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser soft peddling Antifa’s involvement in stoking violence here?
The mayor, city council and police chief in Lancaster have studiously avoided calling out Antifa in Lancaster, despite the overwhelming evidence that this largely white, radically left militia nationwide is trying to take advantage of black protesters and smear their protests with violence, arson and looting.
As American cities burn and people are murdered in the street with impunity by groups protesting the death of George Floyd, very little reporting has been done on who exactly is responsible beyond tweets from President Donald Trump about the mobs being led by Antifa.
Let’s take a step back and talk about what Antifa is.
Antifa is an umbrella term that far left, Marxist and anarchist organizations use as propaganda when trying to win liberal support for paramilitary attacks they conduct on nationalist protesters and Trump supporters.
The mainstream press has played its role in intentionally obfuscating who exactly the groups inciting the rioting and killing are by claiming Antifa is not a group, which is a disingenuous half-truth.
Various other law enforcement sources, journalist Andy Ngo, and Fox News have identified two organizations as playing an active role in the carnage: The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement and The Base.
These two groups are interlinked, and currently encouraging and organizing the violence in the New York City area.
But there are plenty of others, and very good evidence they are networked and working from a playbook to take advantage of these BLM protests to sew anarchy and violence as part of their revolutionary agenda.
On Tuesday, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo the FBI has evidence that shows Antifa’s involvement.
“This is an organized effort. I don’t say it’s a strictly organized effort, but it’s organized,” Giuliani said. “They’re communicating with each other, you know the FBI has a lot of the texts that show Antifa’s involvement. They’re anarchists, they’re people who want to drive this government down.”
In a pair of statements over the weekend, Attorney General William Barr described “Antifa-like tactics” by out-of-state agitators and said Antifa was instigating violence and engaging in “domestic terrorism” and would be dealt with accordingly.
In New York City, a senior police official said anarchists had planned to start mayhem in the city even before the protests started, using encrypted communication to raise bail money and to recruit medics.
During the demonstrations, they maintained supply routes to distribute gasoline, rocks and bottles, and also dispatched scouts to find areas devoid of police officers, said John Miller, the deputy commissioner in charge of the Police Department’s counter-terrorism and intelligence efforts.
“They prepared to commit property damage and directed people who were following them that this should be done selectively and only in wealthier areas or at high-end stores run by corporate entities,” he said in a telephone briefing.
Such activity was still under investigation, Miller said, but many participants, he said, were from outside New York.
“They instructed group leaders to tell the people following them that this was not meant to be orderly activity,” he said.
Here in Lancaster, Antifa has a large following and many cells, and just as in other cities, people have been finding evidence of staging to goad protesters into violence, including suspiciously placed piles of bricks.
Is the silence of Lancaster’s political leadership because they don’t want to provoke these radical leftists and white anarchists? Or is it because as extreme leftists themselves, they are sympathetic to the Antifa cause?
Lancaster residents deserve answers, and leadership that is willing to take on violent provocateurs rather than coddle them.