AP featured image
Anti-fascist counter-demonstrators cross the Burnside Bridge across the Willamette River from the west side of the city to the east side in search of the far-right group, the Proud Boys, in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Self-described anti-fascists vowed to confront the rally while leaders from the far right urged their followers to turn out in large numbers to protest the arrests of multiple members of right-wing groups in the run-up to the event. Antifa members often cover their faces with masks, making it harder to identify them. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

Sounds like the memo may finally have gone out to Democrats and media that supporting the radical leftist violence is killing them with the voters.

Otherwise how to explain the sudden realization by Democrats like Ted Wheeler and a story in the New York Times actually calling out Antifa and the violence of the Seattle autonomous zone?

The violence in Seattle and Portland has been going on for weeks. So why the sudden change now?

We wrote about what Ted Wheeler said here, criticizing the radicals for “attempted murder.”

But the article from the Times is rather astounding and it’s worth a full read. Too bad they didn’t write it back in June when it could have made a difference. It calls out the violence against the businesses and explains that some of those businesses that suffered so much during the occupation of the six block area of Seattle have a suit they filed weeks ago against the city for leaving the area a Wild West zone without protection or police.

But while they call out the trouble, once again it doesn’t appear without spin. See if you can pick it up.

They describe the experience of Faizel Khan and the other business owners, with roving protesters smashing things and carrying guns.

He saw encampments overtaking the sidewalks. He saw roving bands of masked protesters smashing windows and looting.

Young white men wielding guns would harangue customers as well as Mr. Khan, a gay man of Middle Eastern descent who moved here from Texas so he could more comfortably be out. To get into his coffee shop, he sometimes had to seek the permission of self-appointed armed guards to cross a border they had erected.

“They barricaded us all in here,” Mr. Khan said. “And they were sitting in lawn chairs with guns.” [….]

In Portland, Elizabeth Snow McDougall, the owner of Stevens-Ness legal printers, emphasized her support for the cause before describing the damage done to her business.

“One window broken, then another, then another, then another. Garbage to clean off the sidewalk in front of the store every morning. Urine to wash out of our doorway alcove. Graffiti to remove,” Ms. McDougall wrote in an email. “Costs to board up and later we’ll have costs to repair.”

The impact of the occupation on Cafe Argento, Mr. Khan’s coffee shop on Capitol Hill, has been devastating. Very few people braved the barricades set up by the armed occupiers to come in for his coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Cars coming to pick up food orders would turn around. At two points, he and his workers felt scared and called 911. “They said they would not come into CHOP,” said Mr. Khan, referring to one of the names that protesters gave to the occupied Capitol Hill area. “It was lawless.”

They finally noted the huge economic losses suffered by many of the businesses.

Some of the business owners ended up have to pay for private security.

His name is Rick Hearns and he identified himself as a longtime security guard and mover who is now a Black Lives Matter community guard, in charge of several others. Local merchants pay for his protection, he said as he handed out his business card. (Mr. Khan said he and his neighbors are now paying thousands of dollars a month for protection from Iconic Global, a Washington State-based private security contractor.)

Mr. Hearns has had bad experiences with the police in his own life. He says he wants police reform, but he was appalled by the violent tactics and rhetoric he witnessed during the occupation.

He blamed the destruction and looting on “opportunists,” but also said that much of the damage on Capitol Hill came from a distinct contingent of violent, armed white activists. “It’s antifa,” he said. “They don’t want to see the progress we’ve made. They want chaos.”

Many of the business owners on Capitol Hill agreed: Much of the violence they saw and the intimidation of their patrons came from a group these business owners identified as antifa, which they distinguished from the Black Lives Matter movement. “The idea of taking up the Black movement and turning it into a white occupation, it’s white privilege in its finest definition,” Mr. Khan said. “And that’s what they did.”

See it?

They’re going to declare it all the fault of white Antifa. The New York Times even gave this true, but surprising for them definition of Antifa. “Antifa, which stands for anti-fascist, is a radical, leaderless leftist political movement that uses armed, violent protest…”

But they’re giving the BLM and the Democrats who coddled all this a complete pass, of course.

The problem with this is the violence has been a part of BLM-themed actions, you don’t get to suddenly just make it all go away for them because many slipped into black bloc attire on occasion in the evening. Not to mention the autonomous zone operated in the light of day without black bloc with even the Democratic mayor meeting with them and lauding their BLM message. It’s also not identifying the radical nature of the BLM movement. So this is a manifestly dishonest narrative being pushed.

Add this to suddenly Ted Wheeler’s decision to condemn Antifa in Portland and there does seem to be a realization dawning on those on the left that their position is going to hurt them badly.

But one has to think they can’t slide out from under that easily, plus the problems they’ve failed to address are still continuing.

Thinking Americans wouldn’t forget anytime soon if Democrats try to make this flip now.