For some conservative Americans who are sitting back and watching protest and violent acts unfold across the United States in response to executive actions by President Trump, the world seems to have gone completely mad and they are disgusted by what they are witnessing.
But why? Is this the first time a movement in the United States has harbored peaceful protest and criminal activity at the same time? Hardly. In fact, such movements are not even exclusive to left. For example, it’s hard for the right to look at what’s happening with condescension when the conservative movement against abortion has used protest and at times violence over the years in their call for change.
Since Roe V. Wade was decided in 1973, pro-life activist have remained vigilant in their fight for reversal. Their oppositional activism has come in several different forms such as the annual march on Washington, forming “life chains” on sidewalks, and a method called The Rescue. Rescue operations consist of activist blocking the entrances to abortion clinics forbidding the entrance of patients wishing to enter. Operation rescue is similar to their yearly picketing efforts.
Both however, which are preventing people to a legal service, are not inherently violent. They are not of the limousines on fire and broken windows variety so to speak. But that doesn’t mean extremism and violent criminal behavior has eluded the mostly right-wing movement.
Through the years, the anti-abortion movement has motivated actions on some of their advocates behalf that have resulted in arson, explosions, attempted murder and yes, even murder. And while many that are apart of the movement do not approve of such, it still does not get to separate the violence and crimes from their history.
So now we have groups like Antifa and Black Bloc that have joined the resist movement aimed at President Trump’s executive actions, appointees and the rise of white supremacy. You would think after years of watching the pro-life movement unfold that supporters and participants of anti-abortion activism would understand how these things work. But they sit back appalled, and without a hint of hypocrisy.
After 44 years of marches, pickets, blockades, murder and arson – pro-life activist have never been closer to seeing their hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade. They might have a chance at a victory. With that being said though, while they may not like the Resist movement – the may want to buckle up and settle in because that movement is just getting started – and it could look a lot like their own.
This story originally appeared in CounterPunch.