More than 1,000 Antifa activists besieged a building at U.C. Berkeley during a speech by conservative author Ann Coulter. The communists prevented ticket holders from entering, and half a dozen of them were arrested after using violence.
The police had to create a protective path through the crowd so the paying attendants could safely enter the premises. Holding signs saying, “it’s not about free speech; it’s about bigots trying to normalize hate,” the activists hatefully chanted “f**k Ann Coulter” and “go home!”
— Amber Tang (@ambertang_dc) November 21, 2019
The reason such large numbers of leftist extremists could gather at a rally against the conservative speaker is that the school chancellor, Carol Christ, sent out an email encouraging students to participate in the annual “United Against Hate” week. Coulter’s speech was listed among the events, according to Campus Reform.
The email read: “We must defend our commitment to diversity and inclusion by remaining united in our condemnation of abhorrent ideologies that promote hatred on the basis of an individual’s origins or identity.”
That should not come as a surprise. Berkeley has been a hotbed of communism and far-left ideas for decades. The ongoing protests against free speech are often juxtaposed with the Free Speech Movement at the university in 1964 and framed as paradoxical and ironic.
There is no contradiction. Both movements were leftist radicals, both used violence and intimidation to bully their will onto others, and both opportunistically used any semblance of an argument to justify their actions. In 1964, it was in their interest to push free speech so that their voices be heard. Today, it is in their interest to choke any voice of opposition. The goal remains the same: socialist utopia.
While students in American universities are promoting communist activism, those who live under the ideology in Hong Kong are protesting it. It shows how successful institutions like Berkeley have been at hiding the truth from the young.
In 1979, two families put a human face on the horrors of communism when they managed to escape East Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. When they landed and were found by two Bavarian police officers, the first thing the refugees asked was, “are we in the West?”
Today, one of the escapees, Günter Wetzel, travels Europe, holding speeches to tell school children about the breathtaking escape and the reason they risked their lives to get to West Germany. In a recent interview, Wetzel said that he needs to tell the truth about communism to the younger generation to make sure that no-one else is forced to suffer under that kind of regime ever again.
Only in a free capitalist country can large groups of people be enthusiastic about communism. Those who lived under the red boot in Eastern Europe know the truth and are immune to the neo-Marxist identity politics pushed by the modern left because they know where it leads. They have seen the concentration camps, the secret police, the neighbors suddenly disappearing in the night – and they never want to go back.
Read more from Onar Åm.