Political violence on the rise


This description of what happened at a Donald Trump rally in San Jose yesterday that was attacked by protestors is really disturbing.

Protesters jumped on cars, pelted Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, snatched signs and stole “Make America Great” hats off supporters’ heads before burning the hats and snapping selfies with the charred remains.

Several people were caught on camera punching Trump supporters. At least one attacker was arrested, according to CNN, although police did not release much information.

In one video circulating widely on social media, two protesters tried to protect a Trump supporter as other protesters attacked him and called him names.

Another video captured a female Trump supporter taunting protesters before being surrounded and struck in the face with an egg and water balloons.

Trump supporters were surrounded and, in several cases, attacked as they left the rally.

In one incident captured on camera, a Trump supporter was struck hard over the side of the head as he was walking away from a group of protesters. The attack left him with blood streaming down his head and onto his shirt.

Another Trump supporter was also bloodied after being attacked, his shirt torn almost completely off his body. Videos circulating on social media showed swirling, furious fights spilling from street corner to street corner, often with no police in sight.

The article links to several videos but here is one.

It seems to me that this election is seeing an increase in actual physical violence at political rallies. The US is no stranger to political violence with the events that took place at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago being the stuff of legend. But that was largely a conflict between the authorities and demonstrators. I do not recall violence involving political partisans among the citizenry reaching this level in the recent past.

Comments

  1. doublereed says

    “Finally!” the media says. “Left-wingers acting violent! Quick plaster this everywhere as soon as possible! Have all the pundits talk about how horrible the left really is. False equivalences at the ready!!! Move move move!!!”

  2. says

    This isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s merely the physical form of verbal assaults. US politics have been degrading for nearly forty years, getting uglier, cheaper and more personal. The media and parties engage in dog whistle politics, and then act surprised that packs formed because of their actions.

  3. says

    leftover1under:
    US politics have been degrading for nearly forty years, getting uglier, cheaper and more personal

    You need to review your US history. US politics have always been nasty, ugly, and personal. Things came to quite a head back in 1861 when US politics got so divisive they resulted in 750,000-900,000 dead.

  4. doublereed says

    This isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s merely the physical form of verbal assaults.

    This will probably be the strangest phrase I’ll read today. The “physical form of verbal assaults”? You mean… violence?

    It’s like describing jail as “the physical form of telling someone to shut up.”

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Perhaps this all happened spontaneously, but a little voice in the back of my mind asks how much Trump henchpersons paid the provocateurs who riled up the actual attackers.

    Please remember a year ago we had 17 obnoxious racist sexist GOP candidates running loose, and not even the most aggressive progressive raised a finger against any of their dupes.

  6. deepak shetty says

    but a little voice in the back of my mind asks how much Trump henchpersons paid the provocateurs who riled up the actual attackers.

    Even if true , in what way does it matter ? People who can be “provoked” to violence are the problem.

  7. tkreacher says

    I’m actually surprised when anyone is surprised by this.

    Donald Trump, and many of his followers even more so, have been saying that an entire race of people are almost exclusively rapists, murderers and drug dealers. And that millions upon millions of this race need to be rounded up, separated from their family, and sent from the country. They have been saying that an entire religion – every person that follows it – are dangerous and must be kept out of the country, and those that are here should be put into “databases”. It goes on and on.

    Not only this, but the figure head of this racist, neo-fascist movement is polling at a near coin-flip of taking over this country.

    Of… of COURSE… there is going to be violence. Really, I’m shocked it has gone this long without violence coming from the groups being punched and threatened by the fascist element on the rise. This is only going to get worse.

  8. jws1 says

    Fascist bullies usually don’t like getting intimidated or bullied. I say, Fuck ’em. They got what they deserved for supporting an un-American candidate, for supporting fascism. It’s they, the Trump fascists, who should be rounded up and dumped in the desert.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    deepak shetty @ # 6: … in what way does it matter ? People who can be “provoked” to violence are the problem.

    Not nearly so much if nobody goes out and “provokes” them.

  10. sonofrojblake says

    @tkreacher, 7:

    Donald Trump, and many of his followers even more so, have been saying that an entire race of people are almost exclusively rapists, murderers and drug dealers

    Trump didn’t say that. Just false. Next.

    And that millions upon millions of this race need to be rounded up, separated from their family, and sent from the country.

    He’s said that people who have broken the law and are in the country illegally should be removed. And you’re trying to spin this as a bad thing for him to recommend? What’s the point of having immigration law if you don’t enforce it? And you DO have immigration law, presumably for good reasons. Obama hasn’t repealed it or anything.

    They have been saying that an entire religion – every person that follows it – are dangerous

    Are potentially dangerous. You’ve heard of Schrodinger’s rapist? (If not, google it.) Every Muslim is Schrodinger’s suicide bomber. They’re not dangerous… but they might be. If it’s fine for women to exercise caution because every man might be a rapist, then surely it’s fine to exercise caution because every Muslim might be a jihadi. Right?

    Not only this, but the figure head of this racist, neo-fascist movement is polling at a near coin-flip of taking over this country.

    When you say “coin flip” you mean “election”, and when you say “taking over this country” you mean “winning a fair democratic election in a modern technologically advanced rich democracy”. You make it sound like the US is some kind of corrupt banana republic where someone in a uniform covered in medals is about to start filling the streets with statues of themself. Hyperbole, much?

    Of… of COURSE… there is going to be violence.[…] This is only going to get worse.

    You mean… when Trump said those people are dangerous, he was right?! Because that is pretty much what you’ve successfully implied there. Well done. Vote Trump if you agree we need protecting from those dangerous, dangerous people whose violence you view as inevitable…

    @Pierce R. Butler:

    Not nearly so much if nobody goes out and “provokes” them.

    Wow – that is some textbook victim-blaming bullshit right there. When you hear a woman’s been raped, is your first thought “what was she wearing?”?

  11. jws1 says

    @10 – You are a liar. And not even a good one. In addition, you are also supporting a fascist, which makes you a fascist. Get out of my liberal democracy, you traitor.

  12. MMark says

    We are truly living in some interesting times. Violence can be described in passive terms – “a rally” was attacked by “protestors”. No sense of who initiated the violence or who was the victim, just that the violence “happened” and that it involves “political partisans.”

    Let’s answer a couple of the W’s –
    Who: Political activists
    What: Physically attacked peaceful supporters of a political candidate for President
    Where: At a political rally for that candidate
    Why: Because they don’t like his policy proposals

    Any other presentation of the facts is a lie. Mano and most of the commenters here are perpetuating that lie. I just got done listening to a podcast describing how an African American lawyer defended a KKK member in court for burning a cross. When the interviewer asked if that was hard for him to do, he said “Not at all. I’m defending the Constitution, not the KKK.”

    Have we, as a country, forgotten lessons like this? I mean I learned stuff like this in middle school. Having freedom of speech means that you have to tolerate idiots. Jws1 – are you listening? The fascists in this equation are the ones trying to stifle or silence political speech and political candidates they don’t like.

    Seriously – do you want Trump to shut up? Don’t you want everyone in the nation to hear his idiotic proposals loud and clear? And if you think I’m defending him you’re wrong – I’m defending our rights as Americans.

  13. tkreacher says

    sonofrojblake #10

    You are a liar, or you don’t understand how words work. This is not a false dichotomy.

  14. sonofrojblake says

    @jws1 AND @tkreacher: No, you’re a liar. And a poopyhead.

    Really, is this how low the standard has got for debate here? “You’re a liar”? No specifics, no contradiction, no corroboration, no evidence, just name-calling? Pathetic. Do better. What did I lie about? What is the truth? What is your evidence for that truth? Come on.

    Also, jws1, merely accurately reporting what someone has said (and correcting you when you inaccurately report it) is not the same as supporting them, and really very much not the same as being like them. And not for the first time I’m happy to be able to say I’m not in your “liberal democracy” – I’m several thousand miles away from it and very glad I am.

  15. sonofrojblake says

    non sequitur
    noun
    a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.

    The first part of my statement was concerned with your victim blaming bullshit, implying Trump supporters had violence coming to them because they somehow “provoked” it. The second part was about another common example of victim blaming bullshit.

    So no, not non sequitur much.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    sonofrojblake @ # 16: … implying Trump supporters had violence coming to them because they somehow “provoked” it.

    Do yourself a favor and look up “provocateur” sometime. It means, and I meant, that quite possibly the Trump operation planted people among the protesters who deliberately agitated some more easily angered individuals to push them over the line into violent activity (as I mentioned, something which did not happen with any other of the outrageous assholes among the GOP candidates).

    This tactic goes way back as a means of discrediting and disrupting a movement and reinforcing its opposition. That you don’t even know what it denotes puts the cherry on top of your sundae of opinionated wrongness.

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