The Left Shuts Down Free Speech In Chicago

They don’t like  him.

OK. That’s OK. Seriously? That’s OK.

Let’s say this aloud. The First Amendment reads as follows: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

But yet?

On Friday night, American citizens peaceably assembling in Chicago had their First Amendment rights shut down.  The Trump campaign issued a statement saying: “It would have been easier for Mr. Trump to have spoken, but he decided, in the interest of everyone's safety, to postpone the event.”  The campaign also said: “Commander George Devereux of the CPD was informed of everything before it happened. Likewise, Secret Service and private security firms were consulted and totally involved.” The Chicago Police Department has issued a statement that says: "Shortly before 6:30 pm, the Chicago Police Department was notified by officials that the Trump campaign had cancelled their scheduled event. We are continuing to work with our partners in the United States Secret Service and the University of Illinois at Chicago Police to protect people's First Amendment rights and ensure everyone is able to disperse the area safely.”

In other words, the decision to cancel was Trump’s - clearly out of concern there would be violence perpetrated by the many leftist protestors who had gained entrance to the rally. In fact, as CNN footage clearly showed, one leftist, an African-American man, not only took over the podium but when removed took a swing at a Trump supporter - which, if he had not been restrained in the nick of time and the punch connected, would have been an assault charge. Fox News reported the rally story here and CNN did likewise on their website -- and in the case of the CNN report we learn that two Chicago police officers were hurt. Here is a video of a bleeding Chicago cop retweeted by Ann Coulter.

Note well the jubilation from the leftist thugs who were ecstatic at having shut down a candidate’s free speech and the right of Chicago-area Americans to hear said candidate. Fox headlined: “We stopped Trump! Protestors declare victory.” CNN reported: “Supporters of Trump still inside chanted "We want Trump" after the event was canceled. Protesters, meanwhile, shouted "We shut s*** down" and "We stumped Trump.” One leftist was quoted thusly: “Maria Hernandez, a 25-year-old community organizer, broke out into dance as a Trump campaign staffer announced that the rally had been canceled. ‘I've never been more proud of my city,’ Hernandez told CNN.”   CNN also quoted Chicago Interim Police Superintendent John Escalante as saying that two officers suffered injuries, with one hit in the head with a bottle, perhaps that officer being the one in the video retweeted by Coulter.


What we have here is but the latest vivid illustration of the American Left’s contempt for free speech - and their willingness to use violence to achieve their agenda of the moment. When Occupy Wall Street was all the rage - so was violence, as seen here in this report from CBS News. Here is Senator Bernie Sanders having an event in Seattle shut down by Black Lives Matters protestors, with two of these leftist thugettes saying unless Sanders yielded the microphone at his own event to them they were going to shut down his event “right now,”  

And let’s not forget those days of yore - the leftist antiwar riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. As reported here in The Making of the President 1968 by Theodore H. White, who was on the scene and saw it unfold right in front of him:

Thus, late Tuesday night the rioters had taken shelter in Grant Park, where, under the beige cliff of the Conrad Hilton, watched by the protective eye of national television, they filled the night sky with their chanting, “Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil,” or “Stop the War, Stop the War, Stop the War,” rising in chorus until after three in the morning below the windows of Hubert Humphrey and (Humphrey’s anti-war opponent Senator) Eugene McCarthy.

….One looks down on the swaying mass: the red flags of revolution; the black flags of the anarchists; Viet Cong flags; red-and-blue banners; Omega banners; no American flags. In the immobile, tightly crowded pack, the soft flesh of those up directly against the police does not move. Toilet paper is coming down from the windows of the hotels that shape the scene; wads of documents, bundled up, are being tossed on police below from protest-sympathizers in hotel windows above; one hears the sound of bottles splintering below. The police are under attack — not from the marchers but from the dark above. And at this point, which is about 7:55 in my notes, I read that the demonstrators are now chanting: ‘F--k You, LBJ, F--k You LBJ, Fuck You LBJ.”

….Slam! Like a fist jolting, like a piston exploding from its chamber comes a hurtling column of police from off Balbo into the intersection, and all things happen too fast: first the charge as the police wedge cleaves through the mob; then screams, whistles, confusion, people running off into Grant Park, across the bridges….

There is much blood now — police blood and demonstrators’ blood. The mob is yelling “Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil.” The chant changes occasionally to “The Whole World is Watching, The Whole World is Watching, The Whole World is Watching.”

…The Whole World was indeed watching.

One can move through the history of the American Left and there is one constant decade after decade, century after century.  Contempt for the First Amendment - and provoking violence when not engaging in violence. Labor violence, anti-war violence, race riot violence - the subject can change, the methods do not change. 

One of the more notable examples of the Left’s contempt for free speech and their willingness to use violence came in 1969 when the so-called “free speech” movement (hint: it wasn’t) at the University of California - Berkeley decided to take university property and remake it as a “People’s Park.” Governor Ronald Reagan, whose election in 1966 in a million-vote landslide came about in part because he was critical of administrators at state-run universities for catering to leftist campus bullies, would have none of this behavior. He sent in the California Highway Patrol and the Berkeley police - who were promptly attacked by “protestors” with rocks, bricks and bottles. It took 

Perhaps most notable in today’s world is the repressive atmosphere on college campuses. Just last month conservative journalist Ben Shapiro had a scheduled speech at California State University Los Angeles shut down by no less than the school’s president - in the name of diversity.

Over at the Daily Caller was this gem of an Orwellian story about a Modesto Junior College student, Robert Van Tuinen. The story reads in part:

Student Robert Van Tuinen was accosted by a police officer, brought before a college official and told he was breaking school rules.

His crime? Distributing copies of the Constitution to his fellow students. In a public space. On Constitution Day.

At Modesto Junior College in California, students are welcome to exercise their First Amendment rights, but only while standing within the “free speech zone,” a small circle of concrete that fits only two people at once.”

Newsflash to the people who run Modesto Junior College. The Constitution of the United States - which includes the First Amendment - applies to the entire country, not just “a small circle of concrete that fits only two people at once.

All of this would be funny - worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit - if it weren’t so deadly serious. A blogger at Reddit identifying himself as a “ChicagoTrumpAttendee” and a “legal immigrant”  posted a firsthand account of what he witnessed at the cancelled rally, running through the details of what he saw. He concludes by saying this:

…I feel that I experienced today, for the first time in my life, true totalitarianism and authoritarianism, expressed laterally from citizen to citizen, in order to silence opinions from being shared. This enforcement was shared through sheer numbers and intimidation, and in a few cases, violence.

Worst of all, I saw the first amendment trampled, spit on, and discarded like trash.

….This cannot go on. As I finish this, I feel a sense of utter dread and hopelessness for what is becoming of the youth in this country, particularly those of the regressive left. So polarized has political opinion become, that dissenting thoughts on college campuses are now seen as hateful. These people deal in absolutes. They are right, and whatever means they must take to achieve their ends, they will do it. They will not stop themselves from violence or censorship. They will do it, and they will call hell down upon you if anyone dare does upon them the same.

It’s hard to say it any better than that.

Jeffrey Lord
Jeffrey Lord
Jeffrey Lord is a contributing writer for NewsBusters