California Democrats who whipped up opposition to the weekend’s free speech rallies had little to say after radical leftist protesters, led by the antifa movement, attacked police and Trump supporters on Sunday in Berkeley, injuring six.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who last week denounced the Patriot Prayer gathering in San Francisco as a “white supremacist rally,” had no public comment on the leftist violence.
Neither did Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who joined other local Democrats last week at a press conference to condemn “bigotry and hate” ahead of what they called a “white nationalist rally in Berkeley.”
Those familiar with recent right-of-center rallies in the Bay Area, Boston and Portland, Oregon, say it’s a familiar pattern: Democrats play to their base by hyping fears of neo-****s while ignoring or glossing over any leftist violence.
“There has been nearly complete silence from Democrats regarding the violence of antifa in Berkeley and elsewhere,” said Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson. “This silence only emboldens and encourages those who seek to turn our streets into battlegrounds. Leading Democratic politicians need to go on record unconditionally rejecting and condemning antifa.”
Joey Gibson, leader of Patriot Prayer, who was chased and struck by masked antifa protesters in Berkeley before police rescued him, called on Mrs. Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to denounce the leftist violence.
“I’m asking Mayor [Ed] Lee and I’m asking Nancy Pelosi to speak against this violence and speak against this hatred, and be consistent with your message,” Mr. Gibson said at a press conference after canceling his event.
“Nancy Pelosi, she’s trying to further her own agenda, and she’s putting her own citizens in danger, directly in danger,” he said.
Democrats’ muted response after Berkeley is in sharp contrast to the Republican reaction following a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was killed and 19 others were injured after a car plowed into a crowd of protesters.
At its summer meeting Friday, the Republican National Committee passed unanimously a resolution denouncing the racist beliefs of “****s, the KKK, white supremacists,” and declaring the party “unified in its revulsion at the abhorrent white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.”