It looks like author and speaker Ben Shapiro and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have something in common: they have both met members of Antifa.
Of course, it’s clear that Antifa holds a more favorable view towards Clinton than Shapiro. The Gateway Pundit reported that Sarah Roark — a leftist protester who was arrested for allegedly carrying a “banned weapon,” met Hillary Clinton.
On Thursday, September 14, Ben Shapiro gave a speech at UC Berkeley. Predictably, hard left activists arrived to disrupt the event using violence. However, things didn’t go as planned for the left, because Berkeley’s police department was out in full force to ensure that violence did not break out.
Before the event, the city of Berkeley warned protesters that masks and weapons would not be allowed near the event. Law enforcement occupied the perimeter of the area and confiscated both masks and weapons. Roark, 44, was one of nine people that were arrested for attempting to bring “banned weapons” into the area. The police spent almost $600,000 to protect Shapiro and attendees from physical assaults at the hand of the “tolerant left.”
According to The Daily Wire, Antifa did not show up in its full numbers. It is likely that the massive police presence discouraged members of the leftist organization from attempting to start one of their riots. The remaining protesters protested peacefully.
After the event concluded, students continued their protests as they marched through campus and down Berkeley’s streets in an effort to express their opposition to “white supremacy.” As a matter of fact, leftists at the event and on social media were accusing Shapiro of being a white supremacist — apparently they don’t understand why it is nonsensical to apply the label of “white supremacist” to an orthodox Jew.
Other student protesters engaged in a sit-in that they called an “occupation.” They resisted the efforts of police to remove them from the area.
Law enforcement showed up in droves, likely anticipating a violent confrontation with Antifa that, thankfully, never materialized. As Ben said this morning, when law enforcement does its job, Antifa is powerless to disrupt.
The march was led by leftist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). BAMN founder Yvette Felarca spearheaded the march, chanting “Nazi scum off our streets.” The Daily Wire points out the fact that Felarca had been arrested for assaulting an actual neo-Nazi at an event in Sacramento.
When addressing the court, she stated that she does not have specific guidelines that help her define what a “Nazi” or “fascist” is — but she does feel that physical violence is justifiable even if the other person does not attack first.
In the end, the First Amendment won. It was a clear victory for conservatives who value free speech. It shows us that we do not have to be subject to the whims of hard left groups like Antifa. When the police are allowed to do their jobs, these violent organizations are unable to stifle the voice of those with whom they disagree.
While it is unfortunate that Berkeley needed to spend half a million dollars to prevent the hard left from getting their way, it is worth it if it means thugs and bullies are prevented from violating people’s First Amendment rights. Hopefully, other cities will follow Berkeley’s example.