A peaceful conservative rally in support of funding the police was disrupted this weekend. Antifa protesters, clad all in black, arrived and used smoke grenades and fireworks to create a chaotic scene. Two members of the rally were injured by what police described as mortars. No one was detained by the police.
Oregon has been ground zero for violent protests by far left Antifa groups. Portland in particular has been racked by violent protests for months at a time. In 2020 the City Council voted to defund its police department by $15 million and the city has struggled ever since to try and regain its footing. Social activists have argued for a more community-based approach to policing but so far, this social experiment has failed every place it has been tried.
There is institutional knowledge that has been gained over decades of experience in every local police force. Abandoning these lessons in favor of a Utopian solution that has never been successfully implemented is not a winning strategy. Crime is skyrocketing across the country, especially in the states that have embraced the defund the police movement.
Unfortunately for conservatives and pro-police politicians living in blue enclaves there is a momentum to the liberal policies in cities like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago. These cities are shadows of their former selves. They are experiencing historic loss of residents, who are fleeing to more security oriented red states and cities.
Forward thinking governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis are offering bonuses for first responders who relocate to the state. They are also imploring transplants to not bring the voting patterns that resulted in the conditions for forcing them to leave in the first place. The gap between red and blue states on public safety is widening.
As the economy worsens, groups like Antifa will have a unique appeal to people who feel abandoned by the system. As people struggle with inflation and a contracting economy, we can expect rioting to return to the United States this summer. Now that police departments across the nation have less resources and community support, they will be less able to deal with the chaos. Communities need to come together to send a message that law and order is a paramount value that everyone supports. Only then will order truly be restored to our communities.