In case you haven’t noticed, the anarchists have taken over Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building.
At least, that is what Attorney General William Barr would have you believe.
Barr officially declared New York City, along with Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington to be “anarchy zones” today after activists from BLM and other protest groups have continued to hold frequent protests against police brutality, racism, and other social ills while faced with open hostility and armed opposition from the Trump administration.
The designations came in the form of a Justice Department press release that explained the categorizations as stemming from what this administration claims is the fact that these three jurisdictions “have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.”
The singling out of New York, Portland, and Seattle is part of an effort to lend an air of legitimacy to Trump’s politically-motivated and extortionate threat to cut off federal funding for Democratic-controlled states that resist his federal stormtrooper tactics to quell legitimate and necessary peaceful protests.
And in case you didn’t get the message clearly enough, Barr even included an explicit threat to other municipalities to either smother any other mass protests or face the loss of precious federal subsidies.
“The Department of Justice is continuing to work to identify jurisdictions that meet the criteria set out in the President’s Memorandum and will periodically update the list of selected jurisdictions as required therein,” The Department of Justice press release states.
“The list was published on DOJ’s website today in response to President Trump’s memorandum of September 2, 2020, entitled ‘Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients That Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities.,'” the statement continues.
“’When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,’ said Attorney General William P. Barr. ‘We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.’”
People who live in the cities supposedly rife with raving violent anarchists looked around and — failing to notice the types of conditions that Barr describes — took to social media to call manipulative, political B.S. on the attorney general.
Just last week, I smuggled out my phone to capture the terrifying “anarchy” in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Once a peaceful respite. Now….this. https://t.co/DOGylxtB8j
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) September 21, 2020
NYC isn’t in a state of anarchy.
But that’s not the point.
Outlawing & punishing opposition to the administration and civil protest: that’s the point.
Justice Dept. brands NYC an 'anarchist jurisdiction,' targets federal funds https://t.co/oWGqk0OoZ3
— Joanne Freeman (@jbf1755) September 21, 2020
This is what anarchy in New York looks like pic.twitter.com/kfkpLuyMjG
— Kyle Harris (@heykyleharris) September 21, 2020
friday night was especially harrowing pic.twitter.com/QNVddVlcgH
— LRo (@LRo70) September 21, 2020
"Anarchist jurisdiction" makes us sound way more dope than we are
I just took a peek outside — look at this anarchy outside my window pic.twitter.com/8mDMuhUwNb
— Barred and Boujee (@AudreLawdAMercy) September 21, 2020
“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” — George Orwell.
The Trump administration’s use of financial threats to push its political agenda may eventually backfire, especially since their premise is contradicted by both reality and the inconvenient fact that the states that the three cities cited reside in each contribute more or at least as much in tax revenue to the federal government than they receive in federal dollars sent back to their economies, unlike those mooching red states that take more than they give.
If the states get desperate enough to fight back against the illegal manipulation of power for political ends, they could always stop sending money to the federal government and begin the breakdown of our system of federal government.
Or we could just vote this monster out of office in the upcoming election with an incontrovertible landslide for Joe Biden.
Get out and vote!
Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.