The Topeka Capital-Journal, Lawrence Journal-World, KCUR, WIBW, KCWH, and other local media turned up in Lawrence on Saturday to cover a protest of, well, absolutely nothing.
Some sample headlines:
Topeka Capital-Journal: “Hundreds of people block flag protest in downtown Lawrence.”
KCUR: “Hundreds Line Lawrence’s Massachusetts St. Anticipating ‘Defend The Flag’ Demonstration.”
KWCH 12: “Nearly 600 people gather in downtown Lawrence for silent protest.”
As the headlines suggest, the media could not quite reach a consensus as to what did not happen on Saturday. Did the protestors block a march, remain silent as a matter of strategy, or simply have nothing to shout about as no one showed up to be shouted at? Whatever it was that did not happen, the coverage was entirely sympathetic.
The protest showed just how confused the current left-wing protest scene is. As best can de deduced from the evidence, the protesters hoped to use a “Defend the Flag” march to show their alleged love for the First Amendment. Many protesters wore t-shirts reading, “Art is the voice of freedom.”
Their basic protest was aimed at the University of Kansas for removing under pressure a desecrated American flag flying over campus that was alleged to be an art installation. Says KCUR, “The piece by New York City-based artist Josephine Meckseper looks like an American flag, altered with stains and adorned with one child’s sock.” Yes, art!
When Clay Mead, owner of the Hog Holler Saloon in Ozawkie, Kansas, announced a “Defend the Flag event,” it gave the art-as-freedom crowd something tangible to protest against.
The only problem was that Mead’s event was not organized as a protest against the university’s flag art. “We’re just walking with the flag, that’s it. Showing it honor and respect. It’s not a protest against anybody else,” Mead said.
“I think that the American flag is the one true symbol of unity that we have in America,” Mead continued. “People of every social group you can divide us into have sacrificed life, limb, loved ones, and this is a symbol of that sacrifice toward freedom.” In that only a dozen people showed up to walk the flag, Mead and pals didn’t bother with a march.
The protestors had to be disappointed. One suspects at least some of them were hoping for their own Charlottesville. “Those rallying and walking into this peaceful community,” said Eleanor McCormick, associate pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church, “that you take advantage of people’s pain and you whip up people’s fear on the anniversary of Charlottesville, you are looking for a violent engagement, and we need to be an nonviolent society.”
The good pastor has apparently not read any of scores of news articles during the past year about the Antifa headbangers who have been whipping up people’s fears and violently suppressing free speech rights from coast to coast.
As to Mead, he had no idea it was the anniversary of anything. Charlottesville apparently is a much bigger day on the left’s calendar than on the right’s.