A furloughed photojournalist set out to document the protests in late May in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. After the widespread rioting and looting began, he infiltrated groups of individuals who were engaging in violence. He expected to find that white supremacists were responsible for the mayhem.
Instead, he discovered something different.
The New York Times’ Farah Stockman penned a column last Wednesday about the experience of Jeremy Lee Quinn, who started photographing a Black Lives Matter protest in Santa Monica, California, on May 31. Upon arrival, he saw looters running out of stores carrying shoeboxes as masked men wearing black supervised the thefts.
The photographer saw a black-clad white man shatter a store window using a crowbar the next day, although he did not steal anything from the store. Quinn began reviewing videos of riots across the country and saw that other groups dressed in a similar fashion were engaging in the same type of activities.
After he noticed the similarities between groups operating in different cities, he decided to infiltrate one of the protests. He believed that he would find that he was dealing with white supremacists engaging in racially-motivated violence. But it did not take long before he realized he had linked up with a group of “insurrectionary anarchists.”
According to the author, Quinn started joining marches with “black bloc” anarchists across the nation to learn more. He said that he respected their goal to build a society without hierarchy, but that their tactics worried him since they could help President Trump get re-elected.
Quinn told Stockman that these anarchist groups advertised the protests on social media and drew “cultlike energy” to demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. Left-wing anarchist groups that are part of the Antifa movement typically use social media to organize their gatherings and protests.
It is a common misconception — and a prevalent lie — that most of these protests spontaneously erupt due to anger at police brutality. But according to Quinn, the truth is that these events are meticulously organized, with protesters being recruited online.
Stockman noted that while some anarchists participate in peaceful civil disobedience, many others support violent activities. These individuals justify arson, looting, and assaults, arguing that it somehow weakens the capitalist economic system.
Pamela Paresky, a co-author of a Rutgers research report on the violence, told Stockman that the report documents “systematic, online mobilization of violence that was planned, coordinated (in real-time) and celebrated by explicitly violent anarcho-socialist networks that rode on the coattails of peaceful protest.”
Paresky also stressed that, “The ability to continue to spread and to eventually bring more violence, including a violent insurgency, relies on the ability to hide in plain sight — to be confused with legitimate protests, and for media and the public to minimize the threat.”
To those who have been paying attention, most of this information is nothing new. It has been apparent that most violent protests are organized and perpetrated by white progressive anarchists and Antifa operatives. These individuals have hijacked the Black Lives Matter movement and have even carried out their violent acts in black neighborhoods as residents begged them to stop.
Quinn tweeted some footage of the unrest, noting that a black woman was insisting that the violence “is not what it is” when referring to the peaceful protesters.
Of course, Quinn’s findings of the anarchist groups destroying parts of cities are accurate. One only has to speak with a member of one of these groups to see that the “cultlike energy” exists. I experienced this when I had a short conversation with a protester in Austin, Texas.
When I attended supposed “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in the city, I observed that many of these operatives, some of whom were armed, communicated using radios, possibly because they did not want their phones traced. They had individuals designated as medics for those who were injured in clashes with the police.
These riots are not outbursts of anger; Indeed, they are carefully calculated terrorist operations. They have absolutely nothing to do with protecting black lives even though the younger foot soldiers actually seem to believe they are helping African Americans. The danger is the leadership that manipulates these young minds and radicalizes them so that they view themselves as revolutionaries fighting against an oppressive system.
For this reason, the corporate media’s glossing over the true nature of these riots is reprehensible. They are ensuring that the American public does not understand who these people are. Journalists are deliberately obfuscating the threat these organizations can pose when and if they decided to escalate, and they are doing so purely for political purposes. Unless more people are made to comprehend the issue, this movement could grow into something far more pernicious than just property damage.