Do you remember the Guardian Angels in NYC who started helping protect people around NYC on subways and other places when no one else would? If you don’t remember them or know who they are, here is a refresher course at Wikipedia:
The Guardian Angels is a non-profit international volunteer organization of unarmed crime-prevention patrollers. The Guardian Angels organization was founded February 13, 1979, in New York City by Curtis Sliwa and has more than 130 chapters around the world.
Sliwa originally created the organization to combat widespread violence and crime on the New York City Subway system. The organization originally trained members to make citizen’s arrests for violent crimes. The organization patrols the streets and neighborhoods but also provides education programs and workshops for schools and businesses….
In the beginning, New York City Mayor Ed Koch publicly opposed the group. Many government officials also opposed the group whenever they attempted to open a chapter in their cities, including Toronto Mayor David Miller and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair. Over the years, the controversy has died down in many cities; and as citizen involvement and outreach has increased, there has been less public opposition to the group by administration officials. Ed Koch later reversed his stance on the organization, and former New York City Mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg have publicly supported the group.
If you lived in NYC before Giuliani was mayor like I did, you will understand why it was so important to have a group who at least gave the appearance of being in charge. In the years of Koch and Dinkins, the city was a mess; the city simultaneously cracked down on law abiding citizens and rarely helped against the criminal element present.
This troubling dynamic is much like what is happening around the country today. Universities across the country are allowing violent mobs of leftists to attack libertarian and Republican speakers (or anyone else who is in their way) while protecting or ignoring their violence. Here is a recent description from Libertarian Charles Murray about what happened to him and others at Middlebury College:
We finished around 6:45 and prepared to leave the building to attend a campus dinner with a dozen students and some faculty members. Allison, Bill, and I (by this point I saw both of them as dear friends and still do) were accompanied by two large and capable security guards. (As I write, I still don’t have their names. My gratitude to them is profound.) We walked out the door and into the middle of a mob. I have read that they numbered about twenty. It seemed like a lot more than that to me, maybe fifty or so, but I was not in a position to get a good count. I registered that several of them were wearing ski masks. That was disquieting.
What would have happened after that I don’t know, but I do recall thinking that being on the ground was a really bad idea, and I should try really hard to avoid that. Unlike Allison, I wasn’t actually hurt at all.
I had expected that they would shout expletives at us but no more. So I was nonplussed when I realized that a big man with a sign was standing right in front of us and wasn’t going to let us pass. I instinctively thought, we’ll go around him. But that wasn’t possible. We’d just get blocked by the others who were joining him. So we walked straight into him, one of our security guys pushed him aside, and that’s the way it went from then on: Allison and Bill each holding one of my elbows, the three of us plowing ahead, the security guys clearing our way, and lots of pushing and shoving from all sides.
I didn’t see it happen, but someone grabbed Allison’s hair just as someone else shoved her from another direction, damaging muscles, tendons, and fascia in her neck. I was stumbling because of the shoving.
Luckily, they had security guards, but obviously, not enough to keep one of the professors from getting hurt but it was Murray who was the target because of his views. At Berkeley, protestors injured people and attacked college Republicans when Milo Yiannopoulos tried to speak there. The attackers were taken into custody but maybe it would be better if there was more protection to begin with.
In town halls across the country, Republicans are facing hostile crowds where people can often get out of hand. And face it, we all know that in some cases, no one really cares if those of us on the right side of the aisle get hurt: angry, violent leftists see it as our “just deserts.” They think there are no consequences for their actions because the media and the academic world rarely holds them accountable. With this attitude, how soon until this violence against those on the right escalates?
It may be that those on the Right need a large group of Guardian Angels to be present when they speak, or are in settings where there is a likelihood of violence. It may be that this show of solidarity is all that is needed, hopefully the Guardian Angels won’t be needed at all. But what do we do when no one else is willing to protect the people who stand for us or for those of us who want to speak out but are shut down or worse?
Any other suggestions are welcome.