The breakdown of law and order in the cities is accelerating with very little resistance from city officials or police.
In New York City, protesters set up a crude camping area outside of city hall, pushing their “defund the police” agenda. They have regularly assembled in front of the city hall building to shout their slogans and shake their fists at police.
The protesters assembled several makeshift barricades that the cops finally began to remove yesterday. In this series of tweets courtesy of Shelby Talcott, the police are shown being provoked, but mostly maintaining their cool.
More and more have arrived at Occupy City Hall and are taking back the barriers that protesters made for the encampment pic.twitter.com/JZRqWeYd01
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) July 1, 2020
Incredibly tense as protesters and cops stand off just around 6 this morning in NY. Fights are ensuing on the ground … I’m on top of a bus. pic.twitter.com/GVTzFsjFgs
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) July 1, 2020
After some minor confrontations between protesters and police, the cops retreat.
NYPD leave their positions at City Hall in NYC, leaving it to Antifa and Black Lives Matter at the new CHAZ. pic.twitter.com/LN1lS7xwr9
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 1, 2020
Radio host Dan Bongino tweeted, “We’re entering Snake Pliskin territory in New York City. Such a disgrace.”
“Whose streets? Our streets!” roared the protesters as they filled the sidewalks.
Another clip shows protesters mocking cops and singing, “Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” as the officers approach the arch at 1 Centre Street.
As was the case Tuesday, tensions came to a head when protesters became enraged as police removed barricades they had illegally set up.
It’s unknown who ordered the retreat. Whoever did probably figured the risk of a serious confrontation outweighed anything gained by retaking control of the area directly in front of the most sensitive power center in the city.
During the 1968 Democratic convention, when protesters in Chicago approached the hotel where Hubert Humphrey was staying — the nerve center of the campaign and where the Democratic National Committee was meeting — Chicago police pushed back. The protest organizers were hoping to provoke a riot by tossing rocks, stones, and bags of human feces and urine at police.
What they got was a phalanx of beefy Chicago cops wading into the crowd swinging their nightsticks. The cops were undisciplined — a “police riot” as it was referred to in the official report — but the fact is, thousands of protesters were moving toward the nerve center of democracy. The hotel had to be protected.
One wonders if city hall is seen by the political elites as expendable.
Officers are shown pushing through the crowd as the protesters shove back, some using their umbrellas to block or strike cops. One cop can be seen grabbing a person’s umbrella and throwing it on the ground.
One person claimed on Twitter that the NYPD stormed the protesters’ camp “full of aggression, looking to agitate,“ as “many where [sic] serving breakfast and cleaning.” But the video doesn’t back up that claim. All that is seen is police officers facing demonstrators who are camped out on the sidewalk.
As Heather Mac Donald points out in this excellent piece in City Journal, the entire establishment appears to be surrendering.
Meanwhile, criminal-justice leaders themselves are surrendering. The New York Police Commissioner has disbanded the department’s most effective tool for getting illegal guns off the street, the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit. Officers across the country are being told to ignore low-level offenses, and urban D.A.s are refusing to prosecute public-order arrests, on the ground that Broken Windows policing is racist—until, that is, an outbreak of particularly irksome disorder becomes too widespread, as is the case with the current fireworks discharges. The head of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association in New York has advised its members to use their “utmost discretion” in responding to fireworks complaints unless New York mayor Bill de Blasio “unequivocally commits to having our officers enforce fireworks infractions AND the District Attorneys verbally commit to processing fireworks offenses” (emphasis in original). Otherwise, warns the LBA president, officers are merely being set up for a new slew of phony civilian complaints.
Mac Donald is not optimistic:
These are no longer the warning signs of a possible breakdown of civilized life. That breakdown is upon us. If local and national leaders are unable to summon the will to defend our most basic institutions from false and inflammatory charges of racism, they have forfeited their right to govern. Unless new leaders come forth who understand their duty to maintain the rule of law, the country will not pull back from disaster.
The video of police abandoning the streets to the likes of Black Lives Matter and antifa is one of the most disturbing images seen so far. It makes one wonder if anyone, anywhere will ever try to stop the madness. Each incident emboldens the mob to go further.
Eventually, ordinary citizens will take matters into their own hands — as they’ve done throughout American history when leaders have failed them.