Donald Trump

Clearing Out Lafayette Park for Trump's Church Photo Op Was Wrong, Even If Cops Didn't Use Tear Gas

The right to peacefully protest is sacrosanct: Government curfews and press conferences are not.

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On Monday, President Trump left the White House, walked across Lafayette Park—where rioters burned a public restroom the night before—and posed in front of St. John's Episcopal Church while holding a Bible. This photo op was made possible by U.S. Park Police, who cleared overwhelmingly peaceful protesters from the area using aggressive crowd control tactics.

People are now debating whether those tactics included the use of tear gas, which swiftly became central to the mainstream media coverage of the incident, and a focal point of criticism from former Vice President Joe Biden. Multiple on-the-ground reporters said they suffered the effects of tear-gassing—burning in the throat and eyes—but Park Police have emphatically denied this, claiming that officers fired canisters of smoke rather than tear gas. It's hard to know for sure what happened, but it seems plausible that the protesters directly in front of Lafayette Park were, in fact, hit with smoke.

Whether the Park Police used tear gas or smoke matters because the truth always matters. If media reporting on that detail was wrong, they should correct their reporting. But whatever kind of canister was fired into the peaceful crowd, the most important point is that the entire episode was completely unacceptable. Law enforcement officers who harass peaceably assembled citizens are violating the First Amendment, whether or not they use tear gas.

Park Police have claimed they didn't know of Trump's plans to walk to the church, and that they began clearing the area prior to the curfew going into effect because protesters were throwing water bottles at them. Reports on the ground suggest some throwing of objects, but also tons of protesters instructing the throwers to stop it immediately. Multiple things could be true here, of course: The police might not have known precisely why they were instructed to push the protesters back, but if Trump had his heart set on walking to St. John's, the cops were going to have to move the protesters to accommodate him. That the scene on ground was more complicated than it may have appeared is not an excuse for voiding the right to protest.

The same is true of Washington, D.C.'s curfew, which was slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. Vox described the authorities' decision to drive people away from Lafayette Park half an hour early as "the most chilling aspect of Trump's Monday night crackdown on law-abiding protesters." This is nonsense: It was morally wrong to disperse protesters at 6:30 p.m., and it would have been wrong to disperse them at 7:05 p.m.—curfew or not. Public officials at every level of government are making arbitrary decisions about whether such-and-such activity should stop being practiced in such-and-such manner and at such-and-such time. These excuses for violating civil liberties are just not compelling.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) was exactly right in observing this morning that "there is a fundamental—a Constitutional—right to protest, and I'm against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop."

By all means, let's pursue the truth of exactly what happened outside Lafayette Park. But let's not get lost in the weeds along the way. The government's rough handling of protesters—not rioters and looters, but citizens engaged in constitutionally protected demonstrations against police violence—is unlawful. It's immoral. And it's making things worse.

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  1. Presidential movements have been inconveniencing public traffic since the 20th Century. As always, Trump does the mundane with exceptional vulgarity.

    1. so much this. It’s not so much he does it they can’t stand how raw, hamfisted and unfiltered he is and how he does it. Presentation and aesthetics are everything to the chattering class. Principals over principles over and over.

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      2. This is more than a matter of aesthetics.

        But going beyond Lafayette Square, civility matters. Anyone who cannot see that has the same antisocial mental block Trump has.

        1. civility matters

          ::: Laughs in Antifa apologist :::

        2. Every Republican president in my lifetime has been denounced as a fascist, a racist, a murderer, and Nazi, both by Democrats and by the press.

          You’re right: past Republican presidents responded to such uncivil accusations with civility. Trump isn’t doing that.

    2. Neighbors keep calling the cops when Obama vacations at the Kennedy compound.

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    3. So much this!

    4. The fact that something has been done with regularity does not make it right. The media is irrational in its criticism of Trump, of course, but that is not a defense for his actions, only a point of evidence against the offending members of the media.

      1. I guess I’m tired of Trump getting called out for doing the same thing all leaders before him have done. If the actions are wrong, call them out. But that means calling it out on everyone, enough with letting things slide because someone is liked while haranguing someone that is not liked.

        1. I agree 100%. I didn’t approve of most of Obama’s policies but he wasn’t, in my view, a douchebag. Trump embraces his douchebaggery with no remorse so if you’re not liked because you’re a douchebag then we’ll call you out for being a douchebag.

          1. You’re a douchebag

            1. Thank you, note taken douchebag!

          2. If 0blama had done the same thing the media would be bowing down to his magnificence.
            He was a big douchebag, it is just that he wasn’t called out on it like Trump is, even when he isn’t being one.

            1. Have you forgotten the animosity the Republicans had for Obama, including a certain Democrat by the name of Donald? I could care less what the media reports on and thinks of Trump so don’t give me that bullshit. Im talking about what Americans think of him. You choose to indulge in the media you intake, that’s on you! Respectfully speaking of course.

              1. Doesn’t fit their Trump-as-victim narrative.

              2. “I could care less what the media reports on and thinks of Trump so don’t give me that bullshit. Im talking about what Americans think of him. You choose to indulge in the media you intake, that’s on you!”

                LOL
                Thanks, that was a good one

                1. Excellent sidestepping!

              3. The vast majority of the media has treated Trump much differently that Obama. I didn’t support either and dislike them both for different reasons.

                I mostly dislike the media and how they attempt to manufacture and spin the news. Clearly the majority of the media was holding water for Obama and they are nitpicking and outright manufacturing dirt on Trump.

                It is expected that that Democrats will attack Republicans and Republicans will return the favor. The media however is given special rights and should be expected to play fair. More and more it is becoming apparent that there is no true media in the US any more. There are simply just propaganda machines.

                For me Trump is a bad choice for President, but Biden is even worse. I’m choosing a third party option with the Libertarian party in 2020. Neither Trump or Biden deserve my vote.

                1. “The vast majority of the media has treated Trump much differently that Obama.”

                  Not a surprise, since they are different people. The vast majority of media treats daytime and nighttime differently as well.

      2. but that is not a defense for his actions,

        Defense for what? For walking across Lafayette Square safely? That, in your book, is now a grave misdeed?

        1. “Defense for what? For walking across Lafayette Square safely? That, in your book, is now a grave misdeed?”

          For ordering assaults on American people. That, in my book is indeed a grave misdeed.

    5. Is it true that the crowd was warned twice before that they had to disperse? Is it true that collections of baseball bats and bottles were discovered abandoned after the crowd was pushed out of the park? Is it true that AG Barr had bottles thrown at him just prior to this? If any of these are true then even tear gas would’ve been justified though not used. When did libertarians become anarchists? TDS seems to have spread to the community.

      1. You just strung together three “if any”s, then plowed right through any concern for whether they were facts to the conclusion you wanted to reach.

        1. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what jimdez did

          1. You gaslight people. A lot.

            1. That’s rich coming from you.

            2. Or he has better reading comprehension than you. Hint, that is what has been discussed by the Park Police all day. They have evidence of glass caches and other weapons. They were responding to violence.

              You? You are pushing a narrative.

              1. Still lying? Not surprised.

                Why did Virginia county recall their sherrif deputies after this incident and call it shameful?

                Why do you believe the police, who have an obvious interest in lying, over the priests and Bishop of the church?

                1. Hi Delta!

                  So you still haven’t read your own link, have you? Too many words? Do you need one of those madly gesticulating signers to help you? Interpretive dance maybe?

                2. Because Virginia has political leaders who… act like politicians?

      2. TDS doesn’t cut it anymore. I have Trump a chance when he was elected. After three plus years he has clearly shown himself to be a reprehensible, insane person. That’s just calm, rational evaluation of his performance on the job.

          1. This is a majority viewpoint, domestically and globally. Lol all you want, but the real laugh is at you and Trump.

            https://youtu.be/w-3FyvZTIuU?t=37

            1. Almost four years later and you still can’t accept that Hillary lost. Tut tut.

            2. This is a majority viewpoint, domestically and globally.

              Trump’s approval rating domestically is about where Obama’s was.

              As for outside the US, Europeans have a long history of anti-Americanism. They are envious of American liberties, American economic success, American opportunities, and they hate American conservatives with a passion. They loved Obama because he sucked up to them and promised to drag the US down to their level.

              1. “Trump’s approval rating domestically is about where Obama’s was.”

                He’s never managed even 50%. Except among extremely stupid people who believe his lies.

        1. Funny, I didn’t vote for Trump, I don’t particularly like the guy as a person, and I think his Twitter feed is rude and stupid. But I have no problem with his job performance.

          1. ” I have no problem with his job performance.”

            What job do you imagine him to be performing?

      3. When did libertarians become anarchists? When they completed their evolution.
        “Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a Great Leap Forward that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children. In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.” ~Robert Higgs
        “The measure of the state’s success is that the word anarchy frightens people, while the word state does not.” – Joseph Sobran

        1. Umm…yeah anarchists didn’t do those things but I’m not seeing where he lists all the arson and beatings that can easily be attributed to anarchists. Also, for what it’s worth, those who put those evil regimes in place created or took advantage of anarchy.

          Of course, since anarchy is best described as a chaotic transition between two stable forms of government I don’t really see the point of talking about anarchy. It’s the half-time show of the actual game being played.


          Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.

          Uhh…no it’s not wholly conjectural. It’s a real thing, it’s just perhaps not at the same level of monstrosity as Communism. Weirdly enough, anarchy can easily be a precursor to Communism (or anything else, really) but to pretend anarchists and a wholly peaceful community is pretty absurd even while peaceful anarchists may exist.

          1. ” It’s the half-time show of the actual game being played.”

            an anarchist killed Archduke Ferdinand. That game went into extra innings, and wasn’t fully resolved until the Berlin Wall came down

      4. Well technically anarchy means “without rulers” so a libertarian government based on the NAP would be an anarchy.

        1. In reality, anarchists just want to destroy liberal and democratic governments, generally for the purpose of bringing about some kind of socialist utopia.

    6. “Exceptional vulgarity” made me think of Daffy Duck’s voice. Or a genteel Victorian old maid.

    7. Or, rather, a foaming-at-the-mouth agitprop media tells you to be angry at what they are angry about and you can’t help but be influenced by it?

      1. Just because it works on you is no reason to assume it works on everybody.

  2. Park Police said they didn’t clear them out for Trump to walk across the street. They did it due to being pelted with objects as well as protesters starting to climb the very buildings that were set on fire the day before.

    You need to update your talking points Robbie.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/02/source-says-only-smoke-canisters-not-tear-gas-used-on-protestors-before-trumps-arrival-at-burned-church/

    1. Jesse’s narrative has been busted. He should update his talking points.

      From the liberal rag, National Catholic Reporter:
      https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/ahead-trump-bible-photo-op-police-forcibly-expel-priest-st-johns-church-near-white

      On June 1, President Donald Trump stood before the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Washington, D.C., and held aloft a Bible for cameras.

      The photo opportunity had an eerie quality: Trump said relatively little, positioned stoically in front of the boarded-up church, which had been damaged the day before in a fire during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

      The church appeared to be completely abandoned.

      It was, in fact, abandoned, but not by choice: less than an hour before Trump’s arrival, armored police used tear gas to clear hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square park, which is across the street from the church.

      Authorities also expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church’s patio.

      “They turned holy ground into a battleground,” said the Rev. Gini Gerbasi.

      Gerbasi, who serves as rector at a different Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown, arrived at St. John’s Lafayette earlier that day with what she said were at least 20 other priests and a group of laypeople. They were organized by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington to serve as a “peaceful presence in support of protestors.”

      The volunteers and clergy offered water, snacks, and hand sanitizer to demonstrators who were gathered in Lafayette Park across the street — which sits directly in front of the White House — to denounce racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

      But sometime after six in the evening, when volunteers were packing up supplies, Gerbasi said police suddenly began to expel demonstrators from the park — before the 7 p.m. curfew announced for Washington residents earlier in the day.

      “I was suddenly coughing from the tear gas,” she said. “We heard those explosions and people would drop to the ground because you weren’t sure what it was.”

      The Rev. Glenna Huber, the rector of the Church of the Epiphany who was at St. John’s but left as the National Guard arrived, said she watched as police rushed into the area she had just fled. Concerned, the priest sent a frantic email to clergy at the church urging them to be careful.

      Back at St. John’s, Gerbasi said she was dressed in clerical garb and standing on church grounds as police approached.

      “I’m there in my little pink sweater in my collar, my gray hair up in a ponytail, my reading glasses on, and my seminarian who was with me — she got tear gas in her eyes,” she said.

      Gerbasi said as she and the seminarian watched, police began to expel people from the church patio.

      “The police in their riot gear with their black shields and the whole bit start pushing on to the patio of St. John’s Lafayette Square,” she said, adding that people around her began crying out in pain, claiming to be shot with non-lethal projectiles.

      Gerbasi and others eventually fled the scene, leaving emergency medical supplies behind. By the time she reached K street several blocks away and checked her phone, Trump was already in front of the church holding a Bible.

      “That’s what it was for: to clear that patio so that man could stand in front of that building with a Bible,” said Gerbasi.

      The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      Trump aides reportedly told a Bloomberg News reporter that officials had planned to expand the perimeter around White House Monday afternoon, irrespective of Trump’s visit to the church — although those plans do not appear to have been shared with clergy working in front of the church.

      The official White House Twitter account did tweet a video Monday evening celebrating Trump’s visit to the church, complete with footage of Trump walking to the church set to dramatic music.

      Episcopal Church leaders were quick to condemn the incident.

      The Rev. Mariann Budde, the bishop of Washington who helped organize the clergy presence at the church, said Trump’s arrival at St. John’s happened without warning and left her “outraged.”

      “The symbolism of him holding a Bible … as a prop and standing in front of our church as a backdrop when everything that he has said is antithetical to the teachings of our traditions and what we stand for as a church — I was horrified,” she told RNS.

      “He didn’t come to pray. He didn’t come to lament the death of George Floyd. He didn’t come to address the deep wounds that are being expressed through peaceful protest by the thousands upon thousands. He didn’t try to bring calm to situations that are exploding with pain.”

      The Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, also criticized the move, accusing the president of using “a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.”

      “This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us,” Curry said in a statement.

      “We need our president, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

      1. I mossed the part where wjat Jesse said was wrong could you highlight it, specifically the part that proves that “Park Police said they didn’t clear them out for Trump to walk across the street. They did it due to being pelted with objects as well as protesters starting to climb the very buildings that were set on fire the day before.” is inaccurate.

        It seems pretty clear the Park Police did say that. If you could read, you wouldn’t keep making these dumb errors

        1. in case I wasn’t clear and because you’re painfully stupid, Jesse was reporting what someone else said.

        2. Of course that the Park Police say it, doesn’t make it so.

          1. of course it doesn’t make it so, good thing no one said it did

            1. Don’t gaslight. JesseAz was clearly promoting what they said as being true.

              1. As opposed to, say, CNN?

                1. WhadAboutCnN.

                  1. And what was disproved about what Jesse posted?

          2. Yes that was the point dumbass

            1. well my point was more that reporting someone else’s position is definitely not taking said position for oneself

        3. The part where everyone is hanging out peacefully and then the cops suddenly attack protestors and clergy alike, just as trump is hurried over to the statue to take a photo.

          Can you use an ounce of deduction? I don’t need an answer to that.

          1. Hi Delta! How’s the narrative biz doing these days? Found your white supremacist overlords yet?

    2. The whole thing was for show and to prove that he could do what the mayors couldn’t. They had their shot and blew it. It was wrong of him and yet he’s going to do well in the polls because of it. Last I checked people hate looting and violence and mostly love order still.

      1. But don’t run from what he did he doesn’t.

      2. It was wrong of him and yet he’s going to do well in the polls because of it.

        It was wrong of him… why?

    3. Curfew was at 7pm anyway. All the protests started being cleared out about 20 to 15 minutes to that time. Starting around Lafayette Park, but the protesters blocks away from Lafayette Park were also being cleared out, and everything was clear by 7pm. Protesters were first warned to disperse using a loudspeaker, the Park Police say this didn’t happen and they were hit with projectiles, then used the gas.

      Trump’s walk over to the church was scheduled to happen at 7pm at the same time curfew ended… perhaps as a vindication of his law-and-order approach to curfews…

      So this all turns into a story about Trump clearing the area for a photo-op.

      But it was really about the particular curfew policy that he insisted on, that everyone be dispersed by 7pm in the name of law-and-order. And people can criticize that if they want, sure… but turning it into a narrative about a photo-op is really just about politics… and people shouldn’t be duped by that.

      1. Sorry, that was a bit sloppily written with a few mistakes in wording, but I’m sure people can figure out the meaning.

      2. It was about a photo op.

    4. The peaceful protestors at Lafayette Park actually set a fire in the historic St. John’s Church on Saturday night:

      Fire set at historic St. John’s church during protests of George Floyd’s death

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/fire-set-at-historic-st-johns-church-during-protests-of-george-floyds-death/2020/06/01/4b5c4004-a3b6-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

      Fortunately, DCFD was able to put it out. This is the reason that Trump chose the church for a photo op.

      1. Sunday night, no edit button.

    5. “Park Police said they didn’t clear them out for Trump to walk across the street. They did it due to being pelted with objects as well as protesters starting to climb the very buildings that were set on fire the day before. ”

      I would think that protesters climbing on buildings that were set on fire the day before is a problem that takes care of itself, unless gravity has recently become optional.

  3. They did the same thing in Atlanta. They started throwing stuff and the tear gas was released…it’s was probably 3 minutes before the curfew. Why don’t you go after Mayor Bottoms? Police have the right to protect themselves just a protesters have the right to assemble. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dc-protesters-trump-church-visit

    1. That’s what happened in Atlanta. Different place.

      1. Is Atlanta different than Minneapolis too? Asking for a friend. He’s confused at these seemingly arbitrary generalizations.

        1. The entire conversation was about what happened in Lafayette Square last night, but keep bringing up irrelevant stuff.

          1. I learned it from you.

            1. But not well.

  4. Lame complaints about meaningless optics. Yep, they’re talking about Trump again.

  5. This is getting dull. We get it, Trump has the wrong positions on abortion, immigration, and China, and his dirty supporters need to be put in their place by people with better hair. Can you just say that on your masthead and stop writing idiotic articles?

    1. You could go away.

      1. Nothing says “Free Minds” like “Go Away.”

        1. Respecting your right to hold stupid opinions does not require an invitation to share them .

  6. “The right to peacefully protest is sacrosanct:”

    unless an old has the sniffles then all bets are off

    1. “Protesting is not an essential activity”
      — governments just a couple of weeks ago

      1. not just governments…

        1. Reason wasn’t fully on board with it just recently, either.

          1. you don’t say?

  7. There was only one surprising thing in this performance of theater in the absurd.

    It’s that Trump holding a Bible in front of a church didn’t cause him to spontaneously combust.

    1. Actually, I would have expected struck by lightning.

      1. “Actually”

        you know you’re a douchenozzle when you say this reflexively even when you aren’t ACTUALLY correcting anything

      2. So God is on our side?

        1. Of course! Just ask the Most Reverned Whats-Her-Name! God is on the side of neo-Marxists and socialists! Everybody knows that! Give Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give Caesar what is God’s! It says so right there in the Bible!

          1. Marx did draw inspiration from the Bible and the early church. It’s where “from each according to his abilities, and to each according to his needs” came from.

    2. Holding a bible in front of a church.

      Perhaps he should read it. Then he can talk.

      1. Is there a picture version available for him? Or maybe his staff could summarize key points for him.

        1. Just give him a version that replaces the word “God” with “You” and he won’t be able to put it down.

          “You said, let there be light!” – Bible
          “Of course I did, I make all the best light.” – Trump

          1. I do love the schtick that Trump is arrogant and self-obsessed after eight years of Obama.

            1. I never said Obama wasn’t completely arrogant and self-obsessed. I believe that’s about the only job prerequisites. I do think he wore it better, though.

              1. 0blama’s “wearing it better” was the media refusing to show it.
                They thought him the great leftist Messiah and anything he did was god-like.

            2. “I do love the schtick that Trump is arrogant and self-obsessed after eight years of Obama.”

              Trump was arrogant and self-obsessed before any years of Obama, so it’s not a surprise to anyone that he remains so today.

          2. I like trump, but the “you” replacement idea is hilarious

            1. We do know that you have to put his name on every page of a document if you want him to read all the way to the end.

        2. He doesn’t read or listen to staff summaries.

      2. And what will you do to earn your ability to speak?

      3. You mean like “libertarians” justifying looting, arson, and attempted murder because they’re mad?

        1. Point to anyone justifying looting, arson, or attempted murder.

    3. Well, an Episcopalian church, so a performance art religion. But I did get a laugh out of how Trump had to look at the book several times trying to figure out which was the front and which the back and whether or not he was holding it upside down. Pretty obvious it’s probably only the second time in his life he’s ever touched a Bible. Assuming the book was in fact a Bible and not a repair manual for a 1958 Buick Roadmaster. I have to guess Trump was pissed when he got back to the White House that some dumb shit had handed him a Bible that didn’t clearly say “The Bible” on the front in big beautiful classy gold letters so the press could read the title from 50 feet away. Somebody got an ass-chewing for that.

      1. It definitely should have been branded better. The Trump Bible or Trump’s Holy Bible would have done just fine in obnoxiously large gold print.

        1. You know, a cross is really just a lower case “t”

          1. Unless you mean the kind that Jesus was actually crucified on, in which case it’s more of an “X” than a “t’.

    4. That’s why he held it upside down. To subtly call on Satan for STRENGTH!

  8. “Public officials at every level of government are making arbitrary decisions about whether such-and-such activity should stop being practiced in such-and-such manner and at such-and-such time. These excuses for violating civil liberties are just not compelling.”

    I went back to look for Robby’s defense of protesters during the COVID pandemic- (a pandemic that we are still in the middle of, right?)
    https://reason.com/2020/04/19/coronavirus-lockdown-protests-shutdown-media-covid-19/

    Well, he tells people not to be mean to the protesters. There are a lot of to be sures- Sure they aren’t social distancing correctly, and there are some nuts within their ranks- but we shouldn’t shit on them.

    You know what isn’t mentioned in that article? ANY assertion of 1st Amendment Rights. He never once says that curfews (instituted during the pandemic) are on their face unlawful.

    I’ll give Soave a little credit for attempting to at least voice some consistency between the two situations- at least he supports the speakers in both cases, no matter how tepid and conditional his support for the lockdown protesters.

    But it is also clear that there is a major inconsistency here. According to Soave, in a city where there is real burning and destruction. Where there are real injuries and deaths. There, they are making “arbitrary” decisions that infringe on the right to protest. But he can never seem to muster any more than a “jeez leave the rubes alone” statement, and no condemnation of the governments that were doing the EXACT SAME ARBITRARY INFRINGEMENTS ON THE RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE, just 2 months ago.

  9. Evidently a bishop at that church and the mayor of DC both say the protesters were peaceful and the police action was unprovoked.

    And the bishop was thrown out of her own church as part of Don Orange’s stunt?

    1. I’ll be honest this is chaos what people say is worth fuckall

  10. This was just President Trump showing that he was not cowering in the WH. I am sure that with enough protection he would not be afraid to go anywhere in this country. Of course he still afraid to answer questions from black women reporters. Maybe he could get the park police to drive the BW reporter from the press room before he answers questions.

    1. You mean that affirmative action hire Yamiche?

      1. lol she really clowned herself the other day lololl

      2. Yea for one, I like to see President Trump put on his big boy pants and answer her questions.

        1. He could just say “DERP” and basically match the intelligence of any query she has ever made outside of “In my pussy or my mouth?” when she interviewed for her “job”.

      3. That woman is really in her own orbit around Uranus.

    2. The media lying about it and saying Trump used tear gas on innocent protestors for a photo op to make him look bad is far worse, but then again they have that every day for the last 4 years so it not surprising.

      1. The tear gas may have been correct, but are you claiming the photo op was made up? ‘Cause we have photos of the photo op.

        1. It was just a small lie. But Trump.

        2. No, what was made up was the notion that the protesters were cleared for the photo op, when they were actually cleared for the curfew and for aggressive behavior.

  11. Oh come on Mr. Soave…from your own piece: Reports on the ground suggest some throwing of objects, but also tons of protesters instructing the throwers to stop it immediately.

    What….The DC Police and Secret Service are not entitled to protect themselves?

    1. No, no. I’ve seen this decision in court. Six dudes were seen looting stores and assaulting people but they were let off because peaceful people told them to stop and they did.

    2. “The DC Police and Secret Service are not entitled to protect themselves?”

      From protesters telling the agents provocateur to knock it off?

  12. If media reporting on that detail was wrong, they should correct their reporting.

    Perhaps we can make July CNN retraction month.

    1. How about July through July?

  13. Know who else is MOSTLY peaceful?

    The police.

    Doesn’t seem to be enough for Reason.

    But as long as only SOME of the protestors are looting and rioting, then stopping the action is not justifiable.

    1. “Know who else is MOSTLY peaceful?

      The police.

      Doesn’t seem to be enough for Reason. ”

      The police got caught on video being not very peaceful. The protesters not so much. makes a difference.

  14. These pEaCeFuL Lafayette Park protesters are the paragon of virtue, simply cannot fathom why they would be forced to clear out. The burning of the parish house must’ve been a conspiracy against them.

  15. If media reporting on that detail was wrong, they should correct their reporting.

    “media” … Shackford reported that as fact, not “reports say” or more honestly “all the shitlibs on my Twitter.”

  16. I could be rushing to conclusions, but these Episcopalians seem somewhat wimpy:

    “’I could see no other real damage besides that one room, and quite a bit of graffiti and debris around the exterior of the church. Protestors easily could have done a lot worse to our buildings, but they chose not to do that,’ Rev. Rob Fisher, the rector of St. John’s, said in an email to the church’s congregation Monday morning.”

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/washingtons-historic-st-johns-church-225008816.html

    At least Rev. Bob didn’t blame it on right-wing agents provateurs.

    1. Hmmm…now the link only goes to the headline not the story…I can’t seem to find the text of the original article, which I linked yesterday. 🙁

      1. Here’s another article with the quote:

        “’I am happy to share with you that I could see no other real damage besides that one room, and quite a bit of graffiti and debris around the exterior of the church,’ Fisher said.

        “He added: ‘Protestors easily could have done a lot worse to our buildings, but they chose not to do that. (The damage I saw to other nearby buildings illustrated this point.)'”

        https://1010wcsi.com/fox-politics/rector-of-church-near-white-house-set-ablaze-sunday-night-says-damage-could-have-been-a-lot-worse/

        1. The peaceful protestors showed a lot of love.

    2. I watched the burning of the church Sunday night on various Twitter feeds. There was a roaring fire going in the basement. Fortunately, DC FD got there in time, and put it out, or there would have been no church left for the idiot bishop to bleat about.

      Here’s the full story:

      Fire set at historic St. John’s church during protests of George Floyd’s death

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/fire-set-at-historic-st-johns-church-during-protests-of-george-floyds-death/2020/06/01/4b5c4004-a3b6-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

  17. Torching a church is not a “peaceful protest”, it is arson and it is a felony.

    1. The media conveniently downplays that.

    2. “Torching a church is not a “peaceful protest”, it is arson and it is a felony.”

      How many people actually took part in the torching, vs. the ones who happened to be in the park? Is it your contention that the ratio is 1:1 100%

  18. Reason is wrong on almost everything these days.

    1. They’re too busy pandering to the leftists. Honestly can’t take it seriously anymore

      1. Yet you congregate here every day.

        1. Just like “peaceful” protesters who vote for the same mayors and governors year after year.

        2. We’d prefer not to. Unfortunately, Section 230 still results in corporate media hijacking the public square.

          1. Section 230 has nothing to do with corporate media being anywhere near the public square.

  19. Virgina county who lent sheriff’s deputies to DC takes them back, saying clearing the church was a bad use of their resources and shameful.

    https://apnews.com/1bde9766a3c205ab15979d19c6be75f9

    But let’s still cite the totally trustworthy federalist article where they interview another reporter and the police and no one else. Never ever admit that Trump made a mistake.

    1. Hi Delta! Did you read your link? Let me help you:

      United States Park Police Acting Chief Gregory Monahan said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that officers used smoke canisters and pepper balls to quell protesters, but did not use tear gas as was widely reported.

      While most reports described protesters as largely peaceful, Monahan said Park Police responded to clear the park only after protesters threw “bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids” at police. He also said “officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.”

      So your own source backs up what Jesse wrote. Damn, that’s embarrassing.

      1. DOL doesn’t read the links he provides. It’s pretty common when you dig into them they confirm the thing he’s trying to refute.

        1. Of course not. The podcasts and texts distribute the daily talking points.

      2. Police also claimed they were intentionally poisoned by Shake Shack in NYC. Before they clarified that no, actually they were not.

  20. One thing I can never understand is if Trump is so bad, so horrible, why does the media have to lie to make him look bad?

  21. Clearing Out Lafayette Park for Trump’s Church Photo Op Was Wrong, bEven If Cops Didn’t Use Tear Gas

    Clearing Out Lafayette Park for Trump’s Church Photo Op Was Wrong, Even Though We Lied About It

    FTFY

    It’s amazing how quickly these narratives are vanishing. Why, here’s another one about the truck driver who “barreled” into “peaceful” protesters on Sunday.

    Bogdan Vechirko was just back from delivering fuel from his tanker truck when he was suddenly confronted by a huge violent mob blocking the bridge on I-35 west, the major interstate out of Minneapolis. Who would ever have thought police would stand back and allow rioters to block a freeway? Yet as the chaotic event played out on Sunday, people initially thought this was a man on a murderous rampage to kill the saintly “protesters.” He actually wound up stopping to avoid hitting people, even though he was unaware of what was going on, and was dragged out of his truck and beaten. Then he was arrested by Hennepin County police. To my knowledge, nobody who beat him was arrested.

    According to local media, “Gov. Tim Walz said the driver, 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko, “feels incredibly lucky that he did not kill someone,” adding that even though he was assaulted after stopping the 18-wheeler he “is really lucky Minnesota showed some of their better angels and he did not get killed.”

    But I’m sure that fucker deserved it because Trump.

    1. This is the reason why truck drivers used to, and still often do, go armed.

      1. I’m sure Reason laments the fact that he wasn’t taught a proper lesson.

    2. That Louisville BBQ guy shooting is looking a lot more complicated too.

      1. Shut! Up! When has jumping to conclusions ever been wrong?

  22. “The government’s rough handling of protesters—not rioters and looters, but citizens engaged in constitutionally protected demonstrations against police violence—is unlawful. It’s immoral. And it’s making things worse.”

    Despite the intervening decades and the fact that even after Carter and Johnson no one could have, then, predicted a POTUS that was such a monumental buffoon as is Trump; Reagan could have been speaking about Trump’s government today when he said:

    “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” ~ Ronald Reagan

    1. Well you’d think after Obama’s first term they would have realized anything was possible.

      1. Reagan was long dead by the time of Obama; but some of those of us, then, around did see Obama as a fundamental turn for the worse. Some of those, I for one, see Trump as a nasty continuation down that path:

        Trump is Obama’s third term.

        1. Aside from actually abiding by the Constitution, sure. I mean he is sooo uncouth.

        2. BTW, remind me what Reagan did 1969. I seem to have forgotten (as have you).

          1. Nothing as POTUS, since he did not take office until 1981. As Governor, where police powers constitutionally lie, he did have the the lawn sprinklers turned on some protestors after they had, actually, breached the grounds and began setting up camp in his yard.

            1. Oh, so it only matters if the president does it. Because reasons. The Insurrection Act of 1807 is constitutional outside of your alternate reality.

              And it was slightly more than lawn sprinklers, but again, that would require some knowledge of history.

              1. In Sacramento when protestors illegally broke on to the grounds, Reagan’s yard in essence, not outside the fence legally as panicked Trumpy into his bunker, Reagan ordered the lawn sprinklers turned on; and they slowly and peacefully went away cold and wet. If you are writing of some other incident, you are writing of a non sequitur incomparable to this incident at / near the White House and its nearest California equivalent in Sacramento.

                When it leaked that the coward Trump ran from protestestors and cowered in his bunker sucking his thumb, his brittle ego prompted this reality TV display at St. John’s.

                1. ^totes a mature, thoughtful person who should be taken seriously

                  1. ^not at all a mature thoughtful person who should be taken seriously.

    2. Once laws are broken, like blocking a street, the “protest” ceases to be peaceful and becomes unlawful, placing the “protesters” at risk for citations or arrests.
      Clearing them out is being lenient.

      1. “Once laws are broken, like blocking a street, the “protest” ceases to be peaceful and becomes unlawful, placing the “protesters” at risk for citations or arrests.”

        Placing the “protesters” who broke laws at risk for citations or arrests. The “protesters” who were not breaking laws were not breaking laws. Assaulting people who are not breaking laws is itself a violation of law.

  23. Ah, now the truth comes out that no tear gas was used but still something, something, something. Those ‘protesters’ were attacking the Park Police by throwing bottles, etc. That is why they were moved out.

  24. The stench of TDS is strong here tonight. All the deranged think they can read minds. I think it was perfectly reasonable to clear the park. It would be normal for the Secret Service to be the motivators.

    1. “All the deranged think they can read minds.”

      Tell me more about what the deranged think.

  25. That’s right, let the RIOTERS ASSAULT, DESTROY OTHER’s Property, LOOT, BURN or KILL – its all for such a good cause, and you know, they’ll tire of it, sometime! No one has a “First Amendment Right” to ASSAULT, DESTROY OTHER’s PROPERTY, LOOT, BURN or KILL. “Standing Down” signals to the MOB, they will NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!

    1. ” No one has a “First Amendment Right” to ASSAULT, DESTROY OTHER’s PROPERTY, LOOT, BURN or KILL”

      Neither are any of these Presidential powers. Thus why the President is being criticized for ordering them.

  26. You have the right to protest you don’t have the right to protest in any specific location.

    1. I think the constitution dedicated Lafayette Park to protesting, It would be really bad if they went somewhere else for a while

  27. I guess they were peacefully protesting when they burned down a guardhouse outside the white house? https://streamable.com/vfopia

  28. I may have to start reading the The Atlantic. They are making more sense than these doorknobs at Reason

  29. “overwhelmingly peaceful protesters”. Only 10% were psychotic killers.

    1. “just a few bad apples”

  30. How far are we from Trump in a gaudy military uniform covered in gold braid and fake medals?

    “‘It reminded me of what I reported on for years in the third world,’ Polymeropoulos said on Twitter. Referring to the despotic leaders of Iraq, Syria and Libya, he said: ‘Saddam. Bashar. Qaddafi. They all did this.’

    The scenes have been disturbingly familiar to CIA analysts accustomed to monitoring scenes of societal unraveling abroad — the massing of protesters, the ensuing crackdowns and the awkwardly staged displays of strength by a leader determined to project authority.

    In interviews and posts on social media in recent days, current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/cia-veterans-who-monitored-crackdowns-abroad-see-troubling-parallels-in-trump-handling-of-protests/2020/06/02/7ab210b8-a4f6-11ea-bb20-ebf0921f3bbd_story.html

    1. “How far are we from Trump in a gaudy military uniform covered in gold braid and fake medals?”

      President Bone Spurs could barely walk down a ramp at the US Military Academy.

  31. Sunday night leftist rioters tried to burn down “the presidents’ church”. This was broadcast nationwide. We wouldn’t learn the historic site’s fate until the morning.
    In the preceding days, they’d tried to storm the Whitehouse and injured dozens of secret service agents. Monday they congregated again in the same place they had vandalized and set fire to all weekend.

    Founding fathers forbid Trump think it important to be seen going to that historic place and show it’s still there as over a hundred cities are burning, engulfed in chaos and wanton destruction.

    How the fuck do you try to claim these are “peaceful protesters” when days of protest produced nights of rioting without fail?
    It’s a joke

    1. When did the scary leftists start hiding under your bed and in your closet?

  32. Your brilliance has taken the day off, Robby! Peaceful protesting is rightly protected by the First Amendment. Constant whining as a result of our perpetual grievance culture is ANNOYING and worthy of derision and is rightly protected by the First Amendment. My copious mockery over time of these aggrieved Snowflakes has been brilliant and rightly protected by the First Amendment. Abetting the Destruction of private property and violence Is NOT protected by the First Amendment and will destroy our society if not Forcibly stopped.

  33. The overwhelmingly peaceful protesters injured 51 park rangers and are now targeting monuments, including the ones that honor the “Glory” division.

    Trump is president. When he appears at a vandalized church to make a statement, the police have to clear out protesters. Just as they would if Obama visited a mosque in similar circumstances. These protesters really HATE Trump and these “peaceful protests” can turn into rounds of looting and beatings as soon as one person cracks open a store or feel antagonized.

    Why Reason perceive these protests as static is beyond me. It all starts sort of peaceful with marching and sloganeering and will eventually devolve into some level of looting and violence later in the day. That’s been the established pattern. This is a hostile crowd in which 80% of participants cannot stop the rest from running amok, because the body may number in the thousands and the looters swell in rank.

    Do you call a baseball game that scored 20 runs as low scoring if all 20 runs were scored in the top of the ninth?

    1. Ayn Rand had opinions about bible wavers and mobs. READ THEM.

  34. now he’s an asshole with a bible. just a matter of time i guess

  35. You guys just have no integrity left. “The right to peacefully protest is sacrosanct.” And who gets to determine if it is “peaceful” or not? And the Founders meant normal, intelligent people when they spoke of this. Not just mobs of people using IMPLIED violence to get their way. Of course, you KNOW this. The White people in Charlottesville were peaceful while the media set mobs against them because they hate White people. The media constantly characterizes it as violent when there would have been no violence without the other side causing it. Meanwhile, these thugs, worshiping a known violent criminal, call protests peaceful even as they are standing in front of buildings set on fire (that pic of the MSNBC reporter doing just that will live on in infamy.)

    1. “You guys just have no integrity left. ‘The right to peacefully protest is sacrosanct.” And who gets to determine if it is ‘peaceful’ or not?'”

      We have this thing called “objective reality”. You should stop by and visit sometime. It’s not as much fun as “partisan bubble”, admittedly, but you should give it a try.

  36. Is it really possible that all of Trump’s detractors have no knowledge of the “unpeaceable assembly” the day before where agitators threw rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails at federal law officials as they tried to storm the fences in front of the WH??

    At least 50 Secret Service agents were injured and it appeared that the mob was weakening the fences with the sheer weight of numbers. The next day the leaders of the protests were predicting a turnout of a million people. Does anyone have an idea of what damage even a small percentage of that number would do in a riot scene? I stayed up all night worrying about what would come.

    Mr. Soave, I am a libertarian, but you can’t allow this thing to morph into a mob-led overthrow of the government. The 10 Days That Shook the World in Moscow were a surprise to everyone even the Bolshviks. Perhaps you are of the persuasion that a overthrow of the head of state by mob violence would be a good thing????

    I think clearing out Lafayette Park was a prudent move by anyone’s standard who doesn’t have a bent toward anarchy or is a victim of cognitive dissonance in regard to Trump

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