Mayor and Police Do Antifa’s Bidding, Shut Down Event Showcasing Opposing Speech – JP
Here’s a scenario: Some extremists don’t like the ideas that would be expressed at an event, so they issue threats of violence via social media. The mayor and police chief of the relevant jurisdiction then shut down the event on “public safety grounds.”
If this sounds like a recipe for easily squelching speech you dislike, know that it’s also another thing:
Something that just happened, according to Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. In fact, this is the fifth time it has occurred in just the last few weeks, he says.
Carlson reported on the story Friday evening, saying:
Josh Denny is a comedian. You may have heard of him. He used to work for the Food Network. He’s also pro-life, personally, and willing to say so out loud.
Earlier this month, Denny was preparing to host a comedy show in Rutherford, New Jersey. That’s about a half hour outside of New York, but just minutes after the show was announced, Antifa, a violent, radical group, decided to shut it down.
Hundreds of Antifa-affiliated Twitter accounts started bombarding the venue called the Williams Center. They also went after the chief of police of Rutherford, a man called John Russo, and they threatened violence. Now, at that point, a chief of police who wanted to defend the Constitution, his solemn duty, would have pushed back and affirmed the sacred right of free expression of every American, but that’s not what Chief Russo did. Instead, he caved to the demands of the mob.
Just to cover all bases, know that mainstream-media outlet NorthJersey.com emphasizes that the Williams Center event was to feature “Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.” In fact, the news organ led with this information — no doubt to make the leftist radicals and the complicit Rutherford government seem sympathetic — and didn’t mention till its fourth paragraph that the show “appears to be organized by Josh Denny.” (Did it also just “appear” to involve McInnes?)
What’s more, NorthJersey.com didn’t mention Antifa at all, only stating that the police “department’s intelligence division was seeing threats made against the performer online.” So either Carlson got it wrong — or the outlet was peddling leftism-enabling propaganda.
The latter possibility “appears” likely given that NorthJersey.com did take the time to provide “information” on the Proud Boys, writing that they have a “reputation as a hate group” and were thus labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (a hate group itself), “have been accused of participating in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, and have been a focus of the congressional probe into the siege on the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021….” Yet the outlet provides no details about the online “threats” at all. Curious, huh?
As for Carlson, he continued with his presentation, stating that Chief Russo
warned the venue that the venue might face civil liability if they let free speech continue, if they allowed the show to go on. Then he said he would shut down the show on “public safety grounds.” So ultimately, the Williams Center had no choice and canceled the show. In the end, the only people who showed up at the Williams Center that night were several police officers, and they were there to make sure there was no comedy taking place, none at all.
Then, to add insult to injury, the next morning, the mayor of Rutherford, New Jersey, Frank Nunziato, bragged about what the city had done. He said it was his decision to use the power of the state to cut down comedy. “Unbeknownst to the borough,” Nunziato wrote, “an event was planned for this evening at the Williams Center, news of which quickly circulated through social media. Online intelligence led the police department to believe that the event had the potential for confrontation. Therefore,” Nunziato said, “after discussions with the owner, the event has been canceled.”
Now notice the blame shifting here, “the potential for confrontation.” It wasn’t the comedian who was going to confront or threaten anyone with violence. It was the radical left-wing group Antifa. But it was the comedian who was punished.
Not surprisingly, Russo denies any political motivation. “After doing research, yes, it’s easy to see there are people who take exception to what he [McInnes] does, which creates the security risk for me,” NorthJersey.com quotes him as saying. “I’m not going to comment on the content of this tour. And my decisions were not based on the content of his show or who he is.”
Really? If “right-wing” individuals directed via social media a large number of violent threats against a leftism-oriented event, would the government have capitulated? And where is the FBI (and local authorities, for that matter)? It’s extremely easy tracking internet posts back to their sources. So if the government doesn’t ascertain who issued the threats and act against them, there’s an obvious explanation: They don’t want to.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) still boasts about how it took a stand for free speech by defending neo-Nazis who wanted to march in Skokie, Illinois, in 1978. Talk about resting on your laurels. With the exception of comedian/commentator Bill Maher and a few others, neither the ACLU nor any other prominent left-wing individuals or entities will now defend the civil liberties of those with whom they disagree. In fact, they’re all in on the censorship.
Carlson mentioned (video below) that Denny’s shows have been canceled on four other occasions recently and that now — and he’s not alone — he can’t host a show “north of the Mason-Dixon Line.” In fact, left-wing activists needn’t even have the means to effectuate their threats; just make them, and the simpatico authorities will do the rest.
So much as with January 6, here’s the message: Liberals can express themselves and protest in conservative states. But if conservatives dare try following suit in liberal states, authorities will, via acts of omission if not commission, silence them — and, if they can’t, perhaps imprison them after the fact.
If Carlson is correct and the Rutherford government actually did shut down Denny’s event under the pretext of “public safety grounds,” it “appears” to be a First Amendment violation.
Regardless, if you’re looking for a Threat to Democracy™, there it is in flashing neon lights.