The August 13th Freedom Rally in Westlake Park today went smoothly. As we've gradually come to expect, events we attend tend not to escalate to serious violence.
The Cascade Legion got a few shoutouts, first from the Stranger, which included this amusing excerpt:
The rally-goers, mostly men, came with groups called the Proud Boys and the Cascade Legion, who are unified by their support for President Trump, belief that “free speech” is under attack and displays of toxic masculinity.
KUOW also gave a remarkably simple and accurate account of the event, in which I was interviewed. A brief portion of the interview was recorded:
Chris R., who asked to use only his last initial, heads the Seattle-area group The Cascade Legion. He said organizing group Patriot Prayer stands for Christianity and free speech, and opposes white nationalism.
“Though if people were to come here and espouse white nationalist views, I think people, especially people opposed to white nationalism, have a duty to come here and listen to those arguments so they have the opportunity to debate them.”
The nuanced articulation of my statement referring to values and interests of Patriot Prayer, and not the Cascade Legion specifically, was slightly redundant, but admirable nonetheless.
The most complete account of the rally (despite the Cascade Legion's absence in their reporting) came from Komo news.
The Seattle Times gave a similarly holistic account, even bothering to preface the story with a clarification that the Patriot Prayer rally had been organized prior to the events at Charlottesville, and tacitly acknowledging a separation between the Alt-Right proper and Patriot Prayer.
It is worth taking a moment now to cover the subject of Saturday.
Charlottesville is a progressive dream-come-true, just like the Dylan Roof shooting. The progressives will make sure no one ever forgets the one person who was killed, though they will excuse, evade, or equivocate about the left-wing violence and murders which have instigated the AltRight's very existence. Despite most of our members being right-of center, the Cascade Legion does not have a political ideology, except that of supporting law and order and the legal protections that come from law and order. Nevertheless, we can expect plenty of questions about our opinions on the car-attack in Charlottesville.
The priority of law and order in the Legion's philosophy makes this article on Charlottesville the most relevant for us:
Mayor Signer illegally reneged on his legal obligation to uphold the court injunction and protect the rally. His failure to provide either police, or police barricades, caused at least one death.
A group that did everything in the proper and legal fashion was set up for violence, and acted like a caged animal. Because they were. Many reports indicate that the driver of the vehicle was under attack prior to accelerating into the crowd. This account may or may not be true, but it is both plausible and likely based on the information currently available.
The political manipulations of the mayor of Charlottesville are documented and evident. The death of the counter-protester--and possibly the deaths of the two police officers in the helicopter--could have been prevented, not by ridding ourselves of law-abiding protesters we disagree with, but by the actions of government officials neglecting their duty.
What we saw most strikingly in Charlottesville was an absence of police barricades, insufficient boots on the ground early on, and their inappropriate application throughout the protest. Compared with the stellar performance of the police departments of Seattle, Olympia, and Portland, we in the Pacific Northwest are hardly surprised that things went so poorly. Over the last year, the Cascade Legion has attended a half-dozen public events across the Northwest, and no one has been killed. Very few have been significantly injured.
This is why we exist. If the police show up to keep the line between ourselves and Antifa, then we are all safer. If the police vanish, we can be there to hold the line. The anarchist aims are foiled either way, and argumentation, not violence, becomes the required currency for political undertakings.