The February 10th rally for free speech went well.
Five members of Antifa got arrested, which is always nice.
Ordinarily, this event would be a simple and straightforward victory. Like May Day of last year, we have been gradually building a record: when we show up to events, things tend to go more smoothly, and less violently. While the majority of the credit goes to Seattle Police Department, we recognize that the police cannot be everywhere, and are often times even barred from doing their job, particularly at college campuses with ideological or administrative opposition to free speech.
The University of Washington appears to be one of these schools, having a "yellow" rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. After unsuccessfully attempting to require a prohibitive $17,000 security charge from the College Republicans to host the event, the University then tried to blame the Seattle PD for not cancelling the event. This, however, is not likely to be ideologically motivated, because prior to the event, the University of Washington Police found credible information predicting outside organizations attempting to instigate violence.
The Stranger must have missed that memo:
It is a shame that it was not officially reported who the outside instigating violent forces were. Any reasonable observer knows without needing to be told, but the plausible deniability allows administrators to find blame by association, rather than by responsibility. Just as a woman does not cause rape by merely by wearing skimpy clothing, a group does not cause violence because another group initiates violence against them.
While garbage tabloids like The Stranger preach to their own choir (even after co-writer Steven Hsieh was assisted by one of our members after he had been hit with pepper spray), more mainstream outlets like KUOW, Patch, and the Seattle PI delivered sober and reasonable accounts of the events. Throughout all of these pieces, the common pattern is the conservative insistence on freedom of speech and debate, contrasted with the equally insistent opposition claim that the conservative rally-goers are racists, fascists, and Nazis.
That they themselves carried totalitarian and National Socialist flags didn't seem to cause any serious introspection. Nor did their chant "gas the rich."
The National Flag of Syria, currently run under the Ba'ath party (to which Saddam Hussein also belonged).
It is a pan-Arab National Socialist platform.
If the validity of a theory has to do with its predictive value, the Cascade Legion may be on to something.
Peculiarly absent from the event were the brigades of green hat "legal observers," who compile accounts of events for legal ammunition in the pursuit of their own left-wing political goals. Whether this had anything to do with the smooth flow of the event is an open question, but in conjunction with the success of the College Republicans in fighting off the school's security fee, it may be evidence that the greatest threat to freedom of assembly may not be violence, but weaponized liability.
Then again, if the fee was prompted by the police presence, and the police presence was necessitated by a credible threat of violence, there may not be much difference.
Perhaps the College Republicans should file a Freedom of Information Act request and sue all socialist, communist, and Anti-Fascist organizations responsible for the anticipation of violence, and bill them for the college's security costs, and damages.
Why the College Republicans should be the ones left to do it, and not the University, is anyone's guess.