Arson,looting and street protests are a volatile enough combination in themselves. But what made the runrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and other US cities even more incendiary is the growing presence of armed vigilantes.
These self-styled militia, or “civilian patrols”, claim to be helping keep the peace, yet their arrival simply makes violence more likely. Witness the killing of two men in Kenosha, allegedly by a 17-year-old vigilante. That Kyle Rittenhouse was able to walk down the street with a semi-automatic rifle on his shoulder was bad enough. But according to news reports, the police didn’t even stop him when protesters shouted that he’d shot someone. Video footage from before the shooting shows an officer tossing water bottles to Rittenhouse and other armed men. “We appreciate you guys,” says the cop. “We really do.”
It always spells trouble when people start taking the law into their own hands. But this is what happens when elected leaders turn a blind eye to lawlessness. Officials have allowed a form of mob rule to take root over the summer in several cities. In the case of Seattle, they allowed rioters to claim control over part of the city for nearly an entire month. The city’s Democratic mayor dismissed it as a “block party”. When leaders fail to keep people safe and prevent property damage, vigilantism is the inevitable result.
The militia-style groups – some of whom are affiliated with the “boogaloo” movement, which wants to foment a civil war – are not out to protect; they’re out to intimidate. Increasingly they’re making their presence felt at events unlinked to any pretence of restoring order. They’ve demonstrated against the removal of Confederate statues; in May, they sought to enter the legislative chamber in Michigan’s state capitol to protest against lockdown measures. This isn’t like the vigilantism America saw during the LA riots of 1992, when some shop owners brandished pistols to protect their businesses. These are partisan groups armed with military-grade weapons, looking for trouble. If President Trump and his allies “don’t turn the temperature down” by regulating their rhetoric, the violence could get a whole lot worse.
(Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, Los Angeles Times and The Week).
My comment: Fascist groups and so-called “strong men” have reappeared. My father and two uncles spent 6 years of their lives putting vicious fascist thugs back in their boxes (also known as coffins). Had governments had the conviction and courage they would never have had to risk their lives. I fear this type of politics,lying and violence, has returned. Young people, read your history! This is not a B movie. Epicurus sought peace of mind and a pleasant, rewarding life – and so should we.