(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
At the State Capitol now (Saturday, July 10, 2017) at 4 pm. Antifa counterprotesters at the bottom of the hill, #marchagainstsharia protesters at the top, marshalls in between. Via twitter, Anna V Smith, High Country News.
From Unicorn Riot, (@UR_ninja) pictures of the Proud Boys and others ready to spread hate and fear today:
Proud Boys, a white supremacist, violent organization of young males , had a rally in Boulder on June 3, 2017, and plan another “Anti-Sharia March” in Denver at the Capitol from 3:30 – 6 pm on Saturday, July 10. EDIT: The Anti-Sharia Marches are organized by ACT for America, (Facebook link here) . These anti-Sharia Marches are in 19 cities nationwide. A wide coalition of racist, violent, anti-Muslim groups are attending, including ACTforamerica, the ProudBoys, the Oathkeepers, and the Threepercenters (shown below in Atlanta). The Southern Poverty Law Center is live-blogging them. You can follow the hashtag #hatewatch or #CounterActHate.
On June 3, in Boulder, a dozen or so of the “Boys” demonstrated at the Boulder courthouse, behind police barricades. They were met by about 250 counter-protesters, including some “AntiFa” (Antifascists) dressed in black, with black kerchiefs covering their faces. At some point during the counter-protest, someone threw firecrackers at the Proud Boys, and one of the counter-demonstrators was arrested.
A similar scenario will probably unfold on Saturday at the Capitol. It is the last day of Ramadan; Many local mosques are holding interfaith dinners to increase community understanding and awareness. This National March Against Sharia is an attempt to increase hate , fear of Muslims, and misunderstanding. There will be pushback.
The “Boys” are basically thugs, led by a felon (Kyle Chapman), and right wing provocateur/entertainer (Gavin McInnes).Per Will Sommer’s article on Medium.com, The “Proud Boys” have four initiation rituals: 1) they declare that they are a Proud Boy, 2) they are “beat in” to their group 3) they follow the group’s regimen, which includes “no masturbation” and getting a tattoo. Finally, 4) they must beat up or at least brawl with an anti-fascist protester.
Last April, in Berkeley at the Free Speech event , the “Boys” and the counter protesting “AntiFas” caused injuries, 20 arrests, and talk of shutting down Free Speech on campus. Anne Coulter’s planned speech was canceled, as the campus could not guarantee her safety.
From what I can tell, the “Boys” were the instigators and the most violent; many people saw the viral video of one of the Boys punching a woman in the face.
However, the arrests and public blaming all went to the counterprotesters. The news media, of course, loves a sensation. Street brawling and near-rioting makes for clicks and ad buys. Also, we have an administration which would like nothing better than to ban public assemblies, or to declare martial law, “for public safety”.
Don’t give them an excuse. Attend the counter protests to these Proud Boys demos. But keep in mind, the Proud Boys are idiots. Drunk, sexually frustrated, well-armed, ignorant idiots. Let the police protect the idiots. Don’t charge the barricades – don’t throw things at the thuglets. Let your numbers, peaceful presence, and dignity speak for itself.
And then go to an interfaith dinner, and celebrate community and tolerance in a meaningful way.
UPDATE: Hatewatch, run by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is live-blogging the anti-Sharia rallies nationwide. Some have become violent – most are peaceful.
Some locations have heavily-armed “3%” paramilitary groups in attendance. Here’s one from #hatewatch’s feed, for “At least he’s not my State Senator”, from Atlanta:
It appears that the “March Against Sharia” is over. One arrest, of a Denver Nazi with a prior record. No brawling, no fighting. The DPD did a fine job keeping the fascists and the antifascists separate. Both groups were itching for a fight, and I’m glad to see them disappointed. Some of the black-masked “Antifa” folks probably are paid provocateurs, in my opinion. I’ve been around the left for 40+years, and I know that there are professional agents whose job is to spy on and disrupt any effective progressive movement. It’s a lesson I’m afraid that these young protesters will need to learn the hard way.
At the very end, police in riot gear pushed the counter-protesters out across Broadway and into Civic Center Park, trying to make them disperse and eliminate any confrontations after the event. Per Unicorn Riot’s video.
Hopefully, many will make it to one of the many interfaith cultural events and make a connection with a Muslim person and Islamic culture.It is, in fact, a religion of peace and compassion.