Rally events are important for a number of reasons, but the first and perhaps most important is demonstrating beyond any doubt who our enemy is, and what they are really like. Signs like those in the picture gallery ("I'd rather bleed out than propagate this race" and "We will tread") are hard for any sane person to stomach.
Meanwhile, I had the privilege -- white or otherwise -- of standing next to an extremely fit and good-natured Mexican guy incredulously yelling across the road towards the Antifa asking if he was, in their opinion, the first Mexican Nazi. Antifa, to their credit, seemed undecided on the question, except for a few of the black-clad ladies, who smiled at him and blushed despite themselves, when he made some pleasant overtures in their general direction.
Perhaps that brings us to the second reason why these events are important, which is that they are incredibly fun. Yelling our own stupid slogans at Antifa doesn't convert them anymore than their own fatuous and repetitive slogans convert us, but if you can let go and simply embrace your surroundings, it is an intrinsically enjoyable experience. If cognitive justification is something you simply need to have fun, just whisper something to yourself about Aristotle and catharsis, and carry on.
Winston Churchill once said that there is nothing quite so exhilarating as being shot at without effect. While we all hope there is no violence, and attend with the intention of preempting and dissuading violence, the potential for violence is nonetheless palpable in the air. This too is exciting and intrinsically enjoyable, especially when you have a team around you who are physically and mentally prepared to defend you.
Not insignificantly, it is also fun to meet people. The interesting and fun people certainly were not limited to the better-known members of the dissident right, but seeing Brittany Pettibone, Kyle Chapman, and Tim Pool in the flesh gave a surreal feeling to the experience... aside from the surreal feeling of being surrounded by people in gas-masks, shin-guards, and baseball helmets, while similarly equipped yourself.
Does the enjoyment of watching Antifa get arrested, tear-gassed, and chased out of the park, really need any further explanation?
Overall, 14 people were arrested. If you believe in physiognomy, you can simply look at the pictures of those arrested and no further questions need be asked. I'm sure we'll learn more details as to their identity and partisan allegiance, but given the nature and location of the preponderance of weapons confiscated, any objective viewer will deduce what could otherwise be inferred by looking at the mugshots.
If that isn't enough to persuade, the fact that all reports indicate that antifa threw bricks at police prior to the stun-grenade and chemical dispersion probably won't be sufficient either. The video evidence of actual attempts to instigate violence (like this, or this) are converging guilt upon one group.
Finally, it gives us a chance to take stock of our own actions, and strategize to improve our organization, and state of the civic dialogue, which our organization is honor bound to preserve and protect. Fence-sitters should probably spend their time thinking hard about which side is really in the right. Outsiders may do better contemplating whether the superiority of non-participation is better than the enjoyment of participation. Members and participants, however, need to be thinking forward.
All of these events that we attend are put on by other organizations, predominantly Christian ones. This puts us in a reactive position. Our organization is fundamentally a reaction to the left, so this is not an intrinsically bad position for us to hold. That is, until the nature of the event itself begins to fundamentally oppose our reason for attending.
Allow me to explain: Joey Gibson was among the organizers of the Free Speech rally. He delivered a speech which summarily granted the premises of Antifa and attempted to pull a William F. Buckley on behalf of the dissident right. He claimed that there was no room in his movement for hate or for racism, then presumptuously dismissed all racial nationalists and haters from the group.
This is of course a valid political position to hold, and a pragmatic one as well, especially on the back of Jeremy Christian's attack. However, it has nothing whatsoever to do with free speech, nor with protecting those whose freedom to exercise that right is most under threat, including those who advocate right-wing, nationalist, or racialist political positions.
It may be time for the Cascade Legion to begin taking a proactive role in arranging events and inviting speakers. As we move forward, we should bear in mind that the battle for freedom of speech won't always be the streets, and the capabilities and operations of the Cascade Legion should adapt to the circumstances as required.
In summary, it was a powerful weekend of truth, fun, and improvement. Our name is getting out there. With patience and some creativity, we will inevitably become a powerful force for good in the PNW, and that is something we all ought to be excited for and proud of.