This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 8, 2017:
House Republicans attended a closed-door meeting on Tuesday to address concerns about anti-Trump protesters entering their congressional offices and threatening them physically. House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers invited one of their own — Representatives David Reichert (R-Wash.) who served as sheriff of King County, Washington — to address the group with suggestions on how to protect themselves and their staff from violence.
Reichert recounted how several angry constituents “bum-rushed” into his office, blowing past a staffer, and offered this advice:
If someone presents some sort of physical threat or is espousing a verbal threat that could lead to a physical threat — if you feel that you’re in danger and your staff is in danger — call 911 and … go out the back door….
Make sure you have a hard door, not a glass door [and install an] intercom system with a camera up front so you can see who is there.
The ramping up of violence that is now threatening congressional members and their staffs in their offices is something unknown even to long-term members. Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) said, “It’s toxic out there right now. Even some of the guys who have been around here a lot longer than I have, have never seen it to this level.”
Last weekend Representative Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) had to be escorted out of his own town hall meeting because protesters became violent. It took six police officers to clear a path through them to safety. And 100 protesters showed up unannounced at the Arizona office of Representative Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday.
These incidents followed the shut-down of the UC-Berkeley campus over a conservative speaker scheduled to make a presentation.
The list of protest violence goes back to March 2016 when tens of thousands of protesters showed up at a Trump meeting, forcing the event to be cancelled. Later that month protesters showed up outside a Trump rally scheduled at St. Louis’s Peabody Opera House where 32 of them were arrested and one charged with third-degree assault.
A day later Trump was addressing a crowd at a hanger in Dayton, Ohio, when a man jumped a protective fence intent on harming the candidate. Secret Service members stopped him before he could wreak havoc.
A week later protesters stormed the doors of an arena in Salt Lake City where Trump was scheduled to speak. It took police officers in riot gear to disperse them.
On May 24, protesters rioted outside a convention center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Trump was speaking. They threw rocks at the police, tore down police barricades, and broke windows. Police, again in riot gear, were forced to use smoke bombs and pepper spray to keep them from entering and disrupting the event. Several of the officers had to be treated for injuries received during the melee.
In San Jose, California,protesters smashed cars and punched Trump supporters as they were leaving a Trump rally in June. One young woman was cornered by the mob and was pelted at point-blank range with eggs. Another young man was struck with a heavy back pack of one of the rioters, and was treated at a local hospital for bleeding from his ear.
A few days later Michael Sanford, an illegal alien with an expired visa, made his way into a Trump rally in Las Vegas intending to assassinate Trump with a police firearm. He was arrested when the officer foiled Sanford’s attempt to steal his sidearm for the deed.
What’s clear is that the protesters have moved their efforts to disrupt, intimidate, and threaten from the streets to congressional offices. What’s the next step? Said Walker: “For those of us who have children in grade school … how far will the progressive movement go to try to intimidate us?”