You betcha. In fact, the ‘violence’ at Tea Parties is pretty much non-existent in comparison:
“Tea party” activists successfully lobbied security officials in Raleigh, N.C., last Thursday to reverse a ban on carrying full-sized flagpoles and signs at a tax day rally. Antiwar protesters, however, argue that they’re often not afforded such luxuries.
Do tea party activists get preferential treatment from law enforcement officials? They have been able to carry guns to anti-Obama rallies, critics note, suggesting that there is a double standard.
Parade permitting rules vary widely from town to town and city to city, with the Supreme Court giving law enforcement broad authority to uphold public safety.
To be sure, permitting rules and police preparedness are often developed based on past behavior at various kinds of protests. Many go back to the 1960s and 1970s when violent rallies erupted over the Vietnam War. Such protests sprung up again during the presidency of George W. Bush, when protesters clashed with police in New York City and elsewhere during large-scale demonstrations against the Middle East wars. With tea party rallies so far proving more orderly, police have given them more latitude.
Alarm around tea party protests cropped up last year when tea partiers began showing up armed. One much-publicized incident involved a man who carried a high-powered rifle to an anti-Obama rally close to where the president was speaking in Phoenix. The man was not breaking any laws, and the Secret Service said Obama was never in danger.
This flies directly in the face of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) comparing TEA parties to California in the 1970s – and that of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann comparing them to Selma during the fight for minority civil rights.
No matter how much prominent liberals talk about rampant violence, the facts on the ground tell a different story, and reporters end up leaving with rather dull footage – no police clashes, no tear gas, no images of people being carted away in handcuffs.
In fact, the narrative of violence was such a dud on Tax Day, the Huffington Post’s coverage of the “most outrageous” images became a small collection of homemade signs.
Security officials in North Carolina were unconvinced by the left’s hysteria, and on the morning of April 15, the state rescinded its ban on flag poles. Raleigh’s News and Observer reported on the decision:
The little-known restriction applied not just to flag poles, but to any posts attached to signs or banners and was out of a concern that the metal, plastic or woods posts could be used as weapons.
But there had been no prior instances of violence, and was questioned this week in advance of a Tax Day tea party demonstration being held at 5 p.m. on the State Capitol grounds.
So comfortable are various police departments with TEA party rallies that some are allowed to bring guns as an expression of Second Amendment rights.
Left wing protests, on the other hand:
ST. PAUL — Here in the land of “Minnesota nice,” the specter of protesters flinging rocks at cops, and slapping or spitting on elderly delegates this week has many locals in this traditionally liberal town gritting their teeth and tossing their progressive views out the window.
“I’m a Democrat through and through, and I’m about as liberal as you can get,” grumbled Alex Seasly, a construction worker who was grabbing a quick lunch down the road from the Ramsey County jail. “But I want to shove a hockey stick …well, you know.”
He added: “It’s an embarrassment for the city. We don’t treat visitors like that, unless they’re on the ice.”
The jail is where bail hearings began Tuesday for more than 280 protesters arrested in Monday’s unexpectedly violent protests here at the Republican National Convention.
Nearly 10,000 anti-war protesters arrived at the steps of the Capitol building, eager to voice their complaints on everything from the White House to the economy, and tout the country’s need to embrace all things green and organic. (See arrest video below.)
But the fight had been brewing for days: local police raiding protester homes days earlier, in an effort to make a preemptive strike on potential violence; activists, claiming their rights were….
…violated, circulated videos online of terrified young people being handcuffed, and ordered to lie flat on the floor by police in SWAT-like uniforms.
Monday started out peacefully enough, a relief to many. But as the afternoon wore on, small groups peeled off from the main rally, and that’s when things started to go bad. Road flares were thrown into garbage dumpsters, and then the fiery receptacles were pushed into position to to block traffic.
Shop windows were busted. So were police car windows. Protesters threw rocks, bottles, even garbage at the thickening rows of police in riot gear.
One group cornered members of the Connecticut Republican delegation as they were walking to a security check-point to enter the Xcel Energy Center.
“They linked arms and tried to prevent us from going in,” said Heath Fahle, the state party’s executive director. “They were pushing and shoving, and we were pushing back, just trying to get by.”
He added: “They were grabbing at purses, at credentials, spitting on the delegates.”
One protester wrestled with 83-year-old Fred Biebel and stole his credentials. Another spit on Lila Healy, the mother of the state’s GOP party chairman, and hit her in the face.
When former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, who used to work for the CIA, stepped in front to protect her from the crowd, a bottle full of water and bleach was thrown in his face.
And here I thought being “anti-war” meant one was “pro-peace.” My mistake …
Related: Black conservative Lloyd Marcus busts another liberal media myth about Tea Partiers.