- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Antifa is not in the lineup for Saturday, but check this out.

“No Confederate flags, communist flags, or foreign flags allowed. This is not a Democrat or Republican rally. It’s not a left or right rally. We condemn racists of all colors and supremacy of all colors. Our patriots are of all colors and we are uniting under our constitutional rights. We are Americans and our color shouldn’t matter.”

That’s a few lines from the organizers of what’s being billed as the “Mother of All Rallies,” a gathering in support of President Trump scheduled for Sept. 16 on the National Mall.

The website statement is rather benign — unless you’re the type of hell-raiser who prefers to proclaim, “No rallies, no peace.”

For sure, the other events scheduled for the same day on and near the Mall — a 5K race to raise funds for cancer research and rally of fans of hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse who call themselves “juggalos” — will be a true test for D.C.’s law enforcement agencies.

To say police will have to man all stations is an understatement.

First of all, recall that antifa adherents and anti-American protestants began the year in the nation’s capital acting up during the Trump inauguration, and they are still raising Cain via a lawsuit abetted by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Meanwhile, Juggalo March on Washington organizers said they’re coming to town to tell “the world about what we are and what we are not.”

While their painted faces can be as scary as any Stephen King-inspired “It,” fans of the Insane Clown Posse are no fans of the FBI and the Justice Department, which listed the Posse in its 2011 Gang Threat Assessment Report as, well, a gang threat. They also filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the feds.

While there’s no love lost between the feds and antifa, or the feds and the juggalos, the real challenge for local and federal authorities is that neither group can easily be contained to the National Mall.

What’s to say that antifa, whose social and political malcontents are leaving blemishes across the country, won’t join forces with the juggalos? For the most part, all they’d have to do is replace their masks and black scarves with face paint to blend in with the clowns.

I mean, c’mon. D.C. is an antifa magnet — and not merely because of President Trump.

This city is rich in monuments and memorials to dead presidents and warriors on horseback. There’s a target-rich environment of iconic protest sites, starting with the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court.

There’s nothing that precludes mischief-makers and detractors from targeting any of those sites for defacing and trashing, or draping them in black — as antifa already has managed to do in other protests across the land.

Local, federal and Metro transit authorities also must be on the lookout for general ne’er-do-wells who want their hijinks to be captured for online and TV display, too. To be sure, all that social media prints is not fake news.

Let’s hope that the real heroes and heroines along the Mall, the ones ginning support for cancer research and celebrating the lives of survivors, don’t get caught up in the misfit mix. The 37th Annual Race to Beat Cancer 5K stands among the noblest of causes.

Pray for peace.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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