A dramatic scene unfolded in Brooklyn last night: A NYC anarchist group called Disarm the NYPD publicly announced that they would burn the U.S. flag around 7:30 PM at Fort Greene Park. Our friends an ANIMAL NY found their flyer, proclaiming “Let’s make it crystal clear that the American system in its entirety must be condemned… We will set fire to these symbols of oppression — the American flags — and march to honor our brothers and sisters who have fallen in the long struggle for freedom.”
The protesters made a bold proclamation that there isn’t a difference between the U.S. Flag and the Confederate flag, according to ANIMAL:
The 21-year-old New Yorker sees little difference between the Confederate and U.S. flags. “We want people to understand that these issues haven’t gone away and this flag — the ideals it purports to represent — doesn’t actually represent what it claims because of these structural issues of racism and white supremacy,” he explained. The activist said he’s looking to reach three types of people: Young people who are dissatisfied with the current state of American society; those who are tired of racism and structural oppression by the state; and anyone who’s dissatisfied by the system.
When asked what a proper alternative to the flag would be, Cabeza said something “new’ and that’s more emblematic of “America’s diversity,” but then later conceded he’d rather no symbol at all. “I’m not a supporter of nations,” he said. “I’m an anarchist: we regret state, governments, as ways of organizing society. We instead seek voluntary communities.”
Yeah, OK. Whatever. Despite your right to free speech and public protest, that not going to fly with a lot of people this 4th of July weekend.
When the demonstrators set fire to the flag by throwing it on a portable grill, a mob of pro-flag supporters stormed the protest to chase them out. Via Bucky Turco’s first-hand account at ANIMAL:
Suddenly, a large man middle-aged man rolled up. He tried to pick up burning fragments of the flag and this enraged him more. An activist in the distance could be heard saying, “Guys, let’s fucking go.”
The man responded, “Hey punk, come back now. C’mon you piece of shit. You fucking coward.” Just then, a menacing-looking member of the notorious Hallowed Sons motorcycle club came crashing through the immediate crowd, asking “Who did it? Who did it?”
And then another fight went down. Here’s how Bucky describes the scene:
Moments later, another scuffle broke out between bikers and protesters. And then another. At the same time, more and more flag supporters started showing up. Soon they outnumbered the activists. One man carried a giant flag and stood at the base of the monument with his dog. An older woman took position just off to his side and started singing an off-key rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
As I made my way across the plaza, there was a visibly shaken veteran in his 30s with a flag tucked neatly under his arm. I asked him about the melee and he handed me a business card and asked to call him later. “Right now it’s a pretty tense time over here,” he said. Later, I saw him consoling another vet, who was crying. He asked the camera people to please give them some space.
Go read Bucky’s full report over at ANIMAL. There’s a dark kicker in all this from one of the rabid pro-flag supporters that I don’t want to spoil here.
Meanwhile, The Blaze has more footage of the Americans chasing the flag-burning protesters out of the park, including one woman yelling “get the fuck out of the country if you don’t like it!”
Here’s an interview with the lady from the video above:
VIDEO: Woman delivers passionate defense of the American flag at scene of planned flag burning in New York City.Full story: http://blz.us/1IPKREA
Posted by TheBlaze on Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The Blaze also talked to one of the veterans at the protest, who offered this very mature piece of wisdom:
“Everybody has a right to protest. Everybody has a right to express their opinions. Some opinions, I believe are valid. Some opinions, I believe need a lot of dialogue… With that being said, burning the flag doesn’t represent the change that they’re looking for.”
“Protest, by all means. Demonstrate, by all means. Have constructive dialogue. But, the flag represents a lot more than just simply our history as a country. It represents every man, woman and child who have served our country.”
In the words of Charlie Day, they just went AMERICA all over everyone’s asses.
Happy 4th of July, Bros.