(Updated) Just in case the horrifying events in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend weren’t enough of a warning about the dangers of political extremism, it looks like we’re gearing up for an idealogic civil war across the country, complete with violence and death. This weekend, massive Alt-Right rallies are scheduled across the nation and we can be guaranteed they’ll be met with counter-rallies.
If you called out the people rioting after Trump was elected, or the people rioting after police shootings, you should just as forcefully denounce the people rioting in Charlottesville, where a woman died in the violence. None of this is okay. It’s not “taking sides” to denounce groups like the KKK or white supremacists. It’s being a rational human being who isn’t a hypocrite. What occurred in all of these events is beyond justification.
I said then that violence and vandalism in the name of political dissent was wrong. I stand by the same opinion now.
This weekend, more Alt-Right rallies are scheduled across the nation.
Zero Hedge reports that some of the rallies have been postponed, including the one in Mountain View, CA, according to organizers.
As the Mercury News reports, the “Peaceful March on Google” has been postponed “due to credible Alt Left terrorist threats for the safety of our citizen participants,” the group wrote in a blog post. The group is protesting against the recent termination of engineer James Damore over a memo claiming which slammed the search giant for its “anti-conservative” bias and claimed a biological basis for the gender gap in tech.
From the blog:
Despite our clear and straightforward statements denouncing bigotry and hatred, CNN and other mainstream media made malicious and false statements that our peaceful march was being organized by Nazi sympathizers. Following the articles, credible threats from known Alt Left terrorist groups have been reported to and relevant authorities have been notified.
In one instance, an Alt Left threat was made to use an automobile to drive into our peaceful march. (source)
If the official event is cancelled, does that mean people will stay home? Let’s hope that cool heads prevail.
Here’s where the rallies will be held.
After the rage was stoked last weekend, it’s doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that things will get ugly.
The first of the batch will be protesting Google’s firing of James Damore for his criticism of their diversity policy. The March on Google is to protest “anti-white-male diversity policies.” These will be held in:
- Los Angeles
- Mountain View, California
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
The organizers of these events are trying to distance themselves from the event in Charlottesville.
“We, the organizers of the March on Google, join the President in condemning the actions in Charlottesville on August 12th. Despite many false rumors from those seeking to discredit us we are in no way associated with any group who organized there.” (source)
But, reading the tweets of people planning to attend, it seems that the potential attendees share similar philosophies with the people in Charlottesville. This means, regardless of the intentions of the organizers, things are likely to get ugly.
These may not be the only upcoming events.
According to CNN, two other events will be upcoming:
- Boston is preparing for a rally from alt-right group Boston Free Speech on Saturday. The city mayor has said the city won’t tolerate racism, bigotry, and violence.
- San Francisco is preparing for two rallies August 26 and August 27. Mayor Edwin Lee said the city can’t condone a rally that incites hate. “I ask that when they chant of hate, San Francisco chants of love. When they talk of despair, San Francisco talks about hope.”
Not only these events will occur, but there is talk of widespread removal of civil war monuments, renaming of streets and buildings, and other incendiary actions that will almost certainly result in further rage.
Another rally is being planned for September 16 in Richmond, Virginia, around a monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee to protest the removal of similar statues from public spaces in Civil War–era Southern states. White supremacist Richard Spencer is also seeking permission to speak next month at the University of Florida. (source)
Counterprotests are being planned in response to the rally in Boston as well, with the Black Lives Matter civil rights group saying they will march against the alt-right. (source)
All of these events have the potential to be tinder boxes.
If you think these Alt-Right rallies will be “peaceful” you are delusional.
Just like in Charlottesville, there will be counter-protestors, and it would be naive to expect that these events will occur without violence.
Incidentally, has anyone else wondered whether both of these groups are being funded and encouraged equally in order to destabilize the country? After all, the biggest culprits in Charlottesville were not Virginians. They were from out of state. Someone needs to ask how this is happening.
But I digress.
We should not allow ourselves to be so easily divided. Every person who was a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporter is not a black-mask-wearing, vandalous, violent member of Antifa. Every person who was a Trump voter or is a right-wing conservative is not a hooded member of the KKK or the Alt-Right. Most of us are peaceful people who love our neighbors.
We have reached a point in our country of pure action-reaction. I personally find both extremes to be equally despicable, but they are an extraordinarily vocal minority. These are all hate groups and I’d like to think our country is better than to let those people speak for us.
Be prepared to stay away from these gatherings.
Events like this can turn into riots very quickly, and in that instance, you’re going to want to get home and stay home until it’s over. Make sure you are prepared for this possibility.
Here is a general list of supplies to have on hand. Remember that sometimes power supplies are lost during situations like this. Occasionally officials do this to gain more control over the populace and sometimes it happens as a side-effect of the wholesale destruction by the rioters. Keep the potential for a down-grid situation in mind when preparing.
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Necessary prescription medications
- A well-stocked pantry – you need at least a one-month supply of food for the entire family, including pets. If you need to put this together quickly, read this article. Here are some buckets of emergency food you can purchase.
- An off grid cooking method (We have a Bobcat emergency stove, which is safe to use indoors. Don’t forget extra fuel.)
- Or food that requires no cooking
- A tactical quality first aid kit
- Lighting in the event of a power outage
- Sanitation supplies (in the event that the municipal water system is unusable, this would include cleaning supplies and toilet supplies – here’s a quick, makeshift toilet solution.)
- Over-the-counter medications and/or herbal remedies to treat illnesses at home
- A diverse survival guide and first aid manual (hard copies in case the internet and power grid are down)
- Alternative communications devices (such as a hand-crank radio) so that you can get updates about the outside world
- Off-grid entertainment: arts and craft supplies, puzzles, games, books, crossword or word search puzzles, needlework, journals (Here are some ideas)
This article goes into more detail about preparing for a civil unrest event.
The most important thing is to stay home and avoid the areas where violence is more likely to occur.
This is a vocal minority. This is not the heart of America.
Despite these rallies, riots, and protests, I still believe that most people are inherently good. Out of the population of our country, only a minuscule percentage is attending rallies in riot gear hoping to hurt “the other side.” Most of us get along just fine with people of different races or who have different political or religious beliefs. We don’t believe that everyone has to see the world through our lens.
But somehow, these extremists have become louder than us. Somehow, they are representing who Americans are to the rest of the world.
Whether you’re talking about Alt-Right rallies, Black Lives Matter marches, Neo-Nazi gatherings, or Antifa protests, they aren’t about unity. They’re about division. Us vs. Them. Same protests, different t-shirts.
This could lead to civil war across our country. Not since the 1800s have we been so utterly divided.
This can go nowhere good.