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Bill Barr Knows There’s No Such Thing as 'Peaceful Violence'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Attorney General Bill Barr has established himself as one of the few public officials willing and able to accurately describe the ongoing wave of violence and radicalism.


In an interview with Mark Levin on Sunday, Barr cut straight to the point with his description of the violent, organized, and often armed “anti-fascist” radicals who have been rioting in cities across the country.

“They are a revolutionary group that is interested in some form of socialism, communism,” he said, “they are essentially Bolsheviks[.]”

Barr went on to make clear that when masked extremists attack police, destroy property, and “occupy” city streets and public property, they are engaging in “a new form of urban guerilla warfare” while “shrouding themselves in First Amendment activity.”

Throughout his recent grilling by congressional Democrats, Barr was subjected to recitations of what can only be described as an alternate reality — one in which Antifa radicals are “peaceful protestors” who are only taking control of streets and trying to burn down federal buildings because federal law enforcement agents were in Portland trying to restore order after two months of nightly riots.

On Friday, that theory’s greatest proponent, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, was himself forced to admit that it was pure fantasy. After federal officers pulled back to give state and local authorities another opportunity to do their jobs, the rioters did not stop rioting. Of course they didn’t – the riots never had anything to do with the presence of federal law enforcement. When the feds went back to simply keeping rioters out of federal buildings, Antifa simply moved on and tried to burn down a Portland police station instead.


Even as he finally acknowledged — for the first time in more than two months of riots — that these are not peaceful protesters, Wheeler continued to ensconce himself in delusion. “I believe that city staff could have died last night. I cannot and I will not tolerate that,” he told reporters.

The truth, however, is that Wheeler, other big city Democrat mayors, and Democrats on Capitol Hill do openly tolerate Antifa violence. When the Trump administration insisted on restoring order to American cities, they pulled out all the stops to get federal law enforcement to leave and threw a fit about Bill Barr deploying federal agents in cities with skyrocketing murder rates and rampant lawlessness.

Even as he confronts a violent morass of his own creation, Ted Wheeler’s most important concern is how his beloved “peaceful protesters” make President Trump look.

“Don’t think for a moment that if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the re-election campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are,” he told the supposedly “peaceful protesters” in a desperate plea intended to get them to stop lighting public buildings on fire.

During his interview with Mark Levin, Barr brilliantly broke down the motives of both the radicals trying to tear down our country and the Democratic politicians who excuse or even lionize them.


The riots are not about George Floyd. They are not about police brutality. They are not about Christopher Columbus or Mount Rushmore. They are about one thing: political power.

Antifa members do not want to abolish the police – they want to be the police. They do not oppose the concept of law and order – they merely want their word to be the law and their own violent tactics to be the order.

As Barr put it, “The left wants power because that is essentially the state of grace in their secular religion. They want to run people’s lives. ... It’s the lust for power.”

The goal is not reform. It is not moving funding around or replacing cops with social workers. Those are ruses — ways to make “tearing down the system” palatable to ordinary liberals. “They're not interested in compromise.... They're interested in total victory,” Barr told Levin.

And what of the Democratic politicians who refuse to condemn Antifa in even the most general terms?

“Some of them are true believers. Some of them are essentially revolutionary in their outlook, they believe in ‘tearing down the system.’ But many of them are just cowards,” Barr explained.

The violence is getting worse, not better. American cities are seeing the biggest spike in murder since the late 1960s. After a few weeks of calm, Chicago descended back into mass looting on the very same night that Barr’s interview aired, as criminals used another patently fake narrative of police murdering a black child to excuse their greed.


With so many Democrat politicians willing to surrender to the mob, the American people cannot afford to surrender the truth. Brave public servants like Bill Barr will only be there to resist the violence and fight for public safety as long as Donald Trump remains president. Should Joe Biden win, there would be no one like Barr left to stop “peaceful protesters” from burning down our police stations.

Harmeet K. Dhillon is a nationally recognized lawyer focusing on commercial litigation, employment law, First Amendment rights, and election law matters. She is the Vice President of the Republican National Lawyers Association.

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