Justin Haskins: George Floyd riots — socialists, radicals hijacking peaceful protests to do this

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For millions of people who sympathize with the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as many of those who have participated in one of their recent protests, the movement is a mostly peaceful attempt to change what they believe to be racist policies and actions conducted by police and other government institutions.

However, for numerous leaders within the movement, and many loosely affiliated with it, there is more at stake. The recent protests over the tragic death of George Floyd present an opportunity to advance radical left-wing causes, many of which have little or nothing to do with race issues.

Make no mistake about it: Socialists are trying to hijack the movement to advance black causes so that they can usher in a radical, far-left revolution.

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Consider the chaos in Seattle, where protesters — many of whom are white — have taken over a six-block section of the city, including a police station. The area, which the protesters have designated the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), is completely under their control. No police or other law enforcement agents are permitted within its borders.

In addition to calling for severe funding cuts to Seattle police, CHAZ protests have been oozing with socialist slogans, propaganda and demands.

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On Tuesday evening, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a member of the radical Socialist Alternative organization, openly railed against capitalism in a speech before the protesters. “You can’t have capitalism without racism,” she said, in an apparent quote of Malcolm X. “We need a fundamentally different society if we aim to see a society free of police. That’s why I’m a socialist.”

Sawant also led a protest to City Hall, where she demanded increased taxation of Amazon and other large corporations.

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Sawant isn’t the only socialist trying to use the Black Lives Matter protests to advance collectivism. One of the most influential Black Lives Matter organizations, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), promotes several Marxist and even communist policies.

On a section of its website titled “Economic Justice,” the Movement for Black Lives demands “economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure black communities have collective ownership, not merely access.”

M4BL further calls for the creation of a “right to restored land, clean air, clean water and housing and an end to the exploitative privatization of natural resources — including land and water.”

“We seek democratic control over how resources are preserved, used and distributed and do so while honoring and respecting the rights of our Indigenous family,” M4BL also notes.

“Collective ownership” of property and the end of the “privatization of land” are foundations of socialism.

Many in the mainstream media are refusing to tell the truth about these extremists and their role in the incitement of violence in dozens of protests across the country.

And if all that talk of ending “the exploitative privatization of … land” isn’t enough for you, the “About Us” page for the M4BL bluntly states, “We are anti-capitalist: We believe and understand that black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.”

Additionally, a variety of news reports have confirmed the presence of individuals affiliated with anarchist groups or violent, far-left organizations like Antifa.

On May 31, 233 protesters were arrested in Richmond, Va., including members of Antifa.

That same day, New York Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller reported that “anarchist” organizers had coordinated attacks on police and property.

“They prepared to commit property damage and directed people who were following them that this should be done selectively and only in wealthier areas or at high-end stores run by corporate entities,” Miller said, adding that the groups also recruited “medics … to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police.”

On June 1, 20-year-old Brian Bartels, who faces charges of vandalism and rioting, turned himself in to police in connection with violence in Pittsburgh. Reports say Bartels’ clothing included symbols associated with the far-left Animal Liberation Front, which the FBI has characterized as a “loosely organized extremist movement committed to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals.”

On June 6, KSAT, a Texas-based television station, reported three people associated with Antifa had been arrested for looting an Austin-area Target store.

Of course, many in the mainstream media are refusing to tell the truth about these extremists and their role in the incitement of violence in dozens of protests across the country. Instead, the press spends most of its time pushing the wildly unsubstantiated claim that “far-right” groups are to blame for significant amounts of the looting, violence and destruction. They ignore the overwhelming evidence showing that socialists, communists and other leftists have infiltrated many of the protests to promote the destruction of free markets and property rights.

The idea that the real “far right” — libertarians and others who support limited government policies — are looting high-end clothing stores and taking over whole city blocks is absurd.

Tens of thousands of people have peacefully taken to the streets in recent weeks to try to spark important changes in police practices and to spread awareness about problems facing the black community. Regardless of what you think of their proposals, their voices deserve to be heard and their arguments fairly and carefully considered. We must not allow anarchists, socialists and communists to shape this important conversation, or even to continue to influence it.

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Equality under the law is an admirable goal that all should strive for, but that’s not what socialists and communists seek. They intend to abolish people’s right to own property and want to use government force to seize the property of citizens who they arbitrarily decide have “enough” wealth — without ever determining what “enough” means.

The far left does not want real “justice.” They want to use political power to bludgeon their ideological rivals. All those truly interested in equality should beware.

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