PHILADELPHIA—Progressives were whipped into quite the frenzy over the decision by Moms for Liberty, a parental rights group, to hold its Joyful Warriors National Summit right here in the Birthplace of America.
Outrage over the decision by Philadelphia Marriott Downtown to host Moms for Liberty’s annual conference and the Museum of the American Revolution’s decision to host the group’s opening event drove progressives into a catatonic rage. That rage resulted in vandalism and defacement of property, blocking vehicles, death threats, and the most drastic measure of all: petitions.
After the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left activist group, designated Moms for Liberty as an “anti-government, extremist organization,” legacy media began publishing passionate opinion pieces. The SPLC begged people to protest the parental rights advocacy group and prevent it from holding its event in Philly last Friday through Sunday.
Before the conference began, Moms for Liberty chapters and its national board received dozens of death threats, and vandals struck the Museum of the American Revolution. Vandals spray-painted “F— You” on a mural of George Washington crossing the Delaware River and on an adjoining plaque. Someone also shattered a window to gain entry.
Protesters screamed into bullhorns, encouraging the mob to “get disobedient” as police held off the crowd from swarming the museum.
The Philadelphia Police Department was forced to saturate several downtown blocks with officers, who stood their ground against crowds of protesters pushing against metal fences.
Conference attendees who left the Marriott hosting the Moms for Liberty summit were surrounded by protesters—often shouted and spit at as well as blocked from walking through nearby shops and restaurants.
“Anyone in a suit or a blue shirt was followed inside and yelled at as they tried to order food,” said one chef in Philadelphia’s famous Reading Market.
When some members of the parental rights group, including Wisconsin leader Scarlett Johnson, attempted to take an Uber from the Marriott, protesters surrounded the vehicle and tried to prevent it from leaving. “Encouragement” from both Philadelphia police and other protesters quickly dispersed those surrounding the car.
As fellow columnist-commentator Bethany Mandel and I were walking from the Marriott to another location, one female protester warned us: “You aren’t safe anywhere in this city while you’re here.”
Moments before, the same protester had shouted at Mandel, who was carrying her infant, that she hoped the child would turn out to be “trans” and “commit suicide.”
Charming, isn’t it?
Many on the Left rallied to the defense of the protesters on social media, claiming that the conference attendees’ treatment was justified—and that their supposed “hatred” of LGBTQ+ peoples and “black and brown people” were to blame. The campaign manager for Sen. John Fetterman, a Democrat, called them “literal Nazis.”
The protesting crowds, which appeared almost exclusively young and white, were starkly different from the crowd attending the Moms for Liberty summit.
There were no speeches preaching against “gay rights,” as Elizabeth Vargas of the NewsNation cable outlet claimed—though there was a featured lecture from Jaimee Michell, founder of Gays Against Groomers, who, being a lesbian, is rather in favor of gay marriage.
At the Moms for Liberty summit, I spoke with registered Republicans, Democrats, and those with a checkered voting record.
The summit was well attended by far more than the “white suburban mom” stereotype with which Moms for Liberty is consistently painted by the Left and left-leaning media. You haven’t truly enjoyed irony until you have watched an angry white boy scream at and accuse a group of laughing black mothers from Brooklyn of being “complicit in fascistic, white supremacy.”
A group outside the Marriott screamed that Moms for Liberty was intent on banning a series of books that the protesters were giving away to passersby. However, Moms for Liberty never has targeted any of those books for review by school boards or children’s libraries.
I’m still waiting to see the horrific, evil, “phobic” behavior that Moms for Liberty is accused of exhibiting.
As the summit closed, hotel staff lined the hallways to thank the attendees for coming, shaking hands and giving hugs. The protesters left the streets lined with trash and the stench of urine and body odor, and they left the exterior of the Museum of the American Revolution defaced by spray paint and broken.
One group definitely acted like fascists in Philadelphia over the weekend—but it wasn’t Moms for Liberty.
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