Much like the representation of color we reported on in the alt-right rally in Freedom Plaza (If you think alt-right means alt-white, think again!) stood out, chants of “F- – – 12, F- – – the Police” and ralliers in masks stood out among the anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter rally in Pershing Park. This wasn’t the prevailing theme but it set the tone to a certain extent at this gathering.
There was a palpable unease for the police as well as an observance that the police were there to protect the alt-right and not Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Although there was no evidence of this being the case the posture of the police line along the 14th street corridor didn’t could easily have been taken out of context, The fact that they were facing the anti-fascist crowd leaving their flanks open to the alt-right wasn’t missed.
(video contains explicit language)
What also wasn’t missed where the masked participants referred to in the video. Whether they were there to protect the crowd or not doesn’t make it any less concerning. The fact that people clothed in a disguise we’ve come to associate with a terrorist on the battlefield should cause all of us to question this approach. Clothing oneself in masks whether they are bandanas or pointed hats creates an atmosphere of terror.
All of that being said, terror wants the message the antifascist rally was trying to project. In fact, it was mostly a message of inclusiveness and diversity. However, the message can easily be co-opted or lost when “F— 12, F— the Police” becomes a call and response.