- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 14, 2016


Bill Maher usually cracks me up. This week, though, when the host of “Real Time” told the host of “Hardball” that, without police, America “would look like that movie ‘The Purge,’” my brows furrowed for so long I thought perhaps Mr. Maher was losing his edginess.

Then I checked out the plot of “The Purge” and discovered he was, as usual, spot on.

“The Purge” is a 2013 futuristic flick where anything and everything unlawful goes for 12 hours without benefit of breaking any law. Such a future brings to mind the 2015 Baltimore riots, when the mayor effectively let all Hell and Hellions loose following the burial of Freddie Gray. Weeks later a man was seen waving and firing a gun, as if law and order had been suspended there, too.

Well, America, my America, fiction is scheduled to merge with real life — or not — in 37 cities for a “Day of Rage” on Friday. It reportedly even has a call-to-action hashtag, #FridayOfSolidarity.

Bill Gertz, national security columnist at The Washington Times, writes that the Army last week warned all personnel to steer clear of the 37 cities.

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“[T]he advisory was to provide situational awareness for all Army personnel within the U.S. Northern Command area of responsibility who may find themselves in the vicinity of any protests (planned or spontaneous),” according to Lt. Col. Jason Shropshire. “At this time, we do not have information regarding any specific threats to DOD personnel.”

The notice also says “being anywhere near these protests greatly increases the chance that you could become a victim of violence. When the mob mentality takes over, normally decent people can commit heinous acts.”

The notice urges commanders to pass on the warning to all troops: “Use this as a list of places NOT to be on Friday the 15th. While the media does specify nonviolence and denounces the actions taken against police officers that were not involved in these deaths, with the tagline ‘Day of Rage’ it is safe to expect emotions to be running very high on both sides of the line. No matter how great your empathy might be for those who have unjustly lost their lives, these protests are not safe places to be.”

What are the 37 cities? In alphabetical order:

Ann Arbor, Mich.: 7 p.m. (THE DIAG, Burns Park, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)

Atlanta, GA: 7 p.m. (OLD DECATUR COURTHOUSE, 101 E Court Sq., Decatur, GA 30030)

Austin, Texas: 6 p.m. (TEXAS STATE CAPITOL, Outside South Gate-11th and Congress Ave.)

Baltimore, MD: 7 p.m. (201 E Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202)

Boston, Mass.: 7 p.m. (MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, 24 Beacon St., Boston, MA 01233)

Carson City, NV: 4 p.m. (NEVADA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, 101 N Carson St., Carson City, Nevada 89701)

Chicago, IL: 6 p.m. (RICHARD J DALEY CENTER, 50 W Washington St., Chicago, Illinois 60602)

Cleveland, Ohio: 7 p.m. (CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, 325 Superior Ave. E, Cleveland, Ohio 44114)

Columbus, Ohio: 7 p.m. (GOODALE PARK, Columbus, Ohio 43215)

Denver, Colo.: 5 p.m. (CIVIC CENTER PARK, 100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy, Denver, Colorado 80204)

Des Moines, Iowa: 6 p.m. (IOWA STATE CAPITOL, 1007 E Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319)

Durham, NC: 7 p.m. (200 E. Main St., Durham, North Carolina)

Detroit, Mich.: 7 p.m. (CAMPUS MARTIUS PARK, Detroit, Michigan 48226)

Lansing, Mich.: 7 p.m. (STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933)

Little Rock, Ark.: 6 p.m. (OUTSIDE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Little Rock, AR 72201)

Los Angeles, Calif.: 4 p.m. (LEIMERT PLAZA PARK, 4395 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008)

Manhattan, NY: 7 p.m. (TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan, NY, 10036)

Memphis, Tenn.: 6 p.m. (HEALTH SCIENCES PARK, Memphis, TN)

Miami, Fla.: 7 p.m. (GWEN CHERRY PARK, NW 71 St., Miami, Florida, 33147)

Milwaukee, Wis.: 5 p.m. (DINEEN PARK, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Minneapolis, Minn.: 6 p.m. (MINNEAPOLIS URBAN LEAGUE, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Nashville, Tenn.: 6 p.m. (ESTES KEFAUVER FEDERAL BUILDING, 801 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203)

Newark, NJ: 7 p.m. (NEWARK CITY HALL, 920 Broad St., Newark, New Jersey 07102)

New Orleans, LA: 6 p.m. (LAFAYETTE SQUARE, New Orleans, LA 70130)

Oakland, Calif.: 4 p.m. (FRANK OGAWA PLAZA, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612)

Orlando, Fla.: 7 p.m. (LAKE EOLA PARK, 195 N Rosalind Ave., Orlando, Florida 32801)

Philadelphia, PA: 7 p.m. (LOVE PARK, 1599 John F Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102)

Pittsburgh, PA: 7 p.m. (PITTSBURGH CITY-COUNTY BUILDING, 414 Grant St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219)

Phoenix, Ariz.: 5 p.m. (EASTLAKE PARK, 1549 E Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ 85034)

Portland, OR: 4 p.m. (PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE, 701 SW 6th Ave., Portland, Oregon 97204)

Salt Lake City, Utah: 5 p.m. (SALT LAKE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 4600 S Redwood Rd., Salt Lake City, Utah 84123)

San Francisco, Calif.: 4 p.m. (CIVIC CENTER PLAZA, 355 Mcallister St., San Francisco, California 94102)

Seattle, Wash.: 4 p.m. (QUEEN ANNE BAPTIST CHURCH, 2011 1st Ave. N, Seattle, Washington 98109)

St. Louis, MO: 6 p.m. (GATEWAY ARCH, St. Louis 63102)

Tampa, Fla.: 7 p.m. (OUTSIDE HILLSBOROUGH COURTHOUSE, 800 E Twiggs St., Tampa, FL)

Tucson, Ariz.: 5 p.m. (CATALINA PARK, 900 N 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705)

Washington, D.C.: 7 p.m. (OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500)

Note that Dallas, where a sniper took out five police officers during a protest last week, is not on the list. Baton Rouge isn’t on the list either, while Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., are. So are Cleveland, home to next week’s Republican Party convention, and Philadelphia, where Democrats will anoint Hillary Clinton.

It’s July. It’s an election year. People are in the streets, parks and entertainment venues. Families are vacationing from every curve of the globe, and attending conferences and business-as-usual affairs.

(Wo)man your flank. This is not the time to go wobbly.

“The Purge” only cost $3 million to make, but check this out: It made $64,473,115 domestically and $24,855,512 outside the United States.

Although you might not have seen “The Purge” or its sequels, young people, anarchists and haters flock to such fictional tales.

Thank Bill Maher for the heads up.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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