Guest Opinions

I despise the alt-right’s preaching — and the violence some use to counter it

Inauguration Day protests erupt across the country

Around America on January 20, protesters turned to the streets to voice their opposition of Donald Trump's presidency. From Washington State to Washington D.C., some marched peacefully while others burned flags and vehicles.
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Around America on January 20, protesters turned to the streets to voice their opposition of Donald Trump's presidency. From Washington State to Washington D.C., some marched peacefully while others burned flags and vehicles.

Free speech. Violence free.

I had to look up the definition of ANTIFA from Wiki — Anti-First Amendment/Anti-Fascist Action.

First, full disclosure. I’m a ‘bleeding heart’ liberal with decades of bonafides. Sierra Club — yep. Audubon — yep. Climate Change Lobby — yep. MoveOn.org — yep. ACLU — yep. Ad infinitum.

And I’m a scientist. A nuclear physicist. “Alternative facts” = √sq. of- 1 = (imaginary number). “Science isn’t a liberal conspiracy.” OK, my left-brain gets the math. Trump won the Electoral College. My right-brain? Trump will never, ever in my lifetime be my president. I respect the Office but the man is utterly repugnant.

Our nation is divided but our right to free speech is unlimited. It’s our birthright and inclusive across the entire political spectrum. Sometimes it’s discomforting. I despise the hate filled speech by the alt-right’s Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, and Richard Spencer, yet they have an unalienable right to spew their hate. I can put in my airPods, turn the channel, not attend their events, avoid their Breitbart News sites, and vociferously and vocally counter their opinions. But I have absolutely no right to stop them from speaking or protesting.

Back to ANTIFA.

With grave alarm and despair, I’ve watched ANTIFA’s violent, black-clothed and masked protesters rioting during planned peaceful liberal marches. Violence is the antithesis to my beliefs and ideals. Are these anarchists marching in support of my liberal beliefs? No. Absolutely not. Arrest them. I’m not a part of their hate. If your words are insufficient to change someone’s viewpoint, violence surely won’t work.

Let the hatemongers speak. Let them protest. Our country’s strong enough to reflect it without stain. But ANTIFA will not steal my beliefs nor act in my name. Liberals, make sure the world knows ANTIFA’s violence, or any violence, is intolerable and runs counter to our core DNA.

Honorable people can disagree honorably. Whatever your politics, speak forthrightly and earnestly. Protest if you wish but leave your violence at home. Locally, let’s celebrate that Boise’s recent Climate March was free from violence. Thank you, Boise.

MAGA, no. Violence, no.

Free speech, yes. RESIST! Yes.

Sarah Haynes is an environmental/climate change scientist-activist, lives in Eagle, and is a nuclear physicist in diagnostic radiology.

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