It is getting downright surreal out there. Activist efforts to stop Trump have crossed an invisible conceptual line recently, starting in my hometown of Chicago.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) March 13, 2016
— Ben Spielberg (@BenSpielberg) March 12, 2016
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 12, 2016
According to the CBS News, the organizer of the protest is on record saying “Our whole purpose was to shut it down. Trump tried to bring his rally to one of the most diverse universities, and we had to show him that our voice in civil rights was greater than his voice.” This organizer, one Ja’Mal Green, has previously been known for his activism in support of Bernie Sanders:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this looks just awful for Sanders. Doubly so if he fails to publicly repudiate those of his supporters who promote anti-speech tactics and try to get other presidential candidates shut down.
Regardless of what the other presidential candidates say and do, though, the “Shut Down Trump” movement is going to continue picking up steam, starting tomorrow in Miami:
This is a nonviolent protest. Our goal is to shut it down or disrupt it, not incite a riot. Be aware that Trump supporters might turn violent. Be mentally prepared to resist their verbal attacks and don’t let them goad you into hitting them. That said, if someone strikes you, it’s your right to defend yourself. Hopefully it won’t reach that point. There’s also the risk of being arrested, so if you’re not comfortable with that possibility, it’s best that you stick to protesting outside and not enter the premise.
Let’s stop Trump from spewing his racist and xenophobic rhetoric! There’s no room in our city for neo-nazis to congregate!
To me, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. Not only do anti-speech tactics reflect badly upon those who use them, but they also tend to legitimize those against whom they are employed.